Catholic Action Leader Urges Unity Among Movements

Stresses Collaboration in Wake of Loreto Meeting

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LORETO, Italy, SEPT. 7, 2004 ( Catholic Action’s pilgrimage to Loreto, which gathered some 250,000 faithful around John Paul II, was an occasion to foster unity among ecclesial movements and communities.

On Saturday, the eve of the meeting with the Pope, Paola Bignardi, president of Italian Catholic Action, presided at a meeting attended by representatives of associations and new ecclesial realities.

Among those present were members of the Focolare Movement; Communion and Liberation; the Community of Sant’Egidio Community; and the Workers’ Christian Associations.

Bignardi described the meeting as «more than a conquest, a gift that must be received with responsibility and that must be taken to the ordinary life of dioceses and parishes.»

In statements on Vatican Radio, the president of Italian Catholic Action said that «collaboration is above all communion; that is, rather than doing things together, it is that spirit of fraternity, esteem, reciprocal respect, respect for our originalities, which leads us to rejoice over the good of others and helps us to make progress, even to correct ourselves, in dialogue.»

Salvatore Martinez, Italian coordinator of Renewal in the Spirit, said the meeting was important to «overcome the dichotomy between new movements and more traditional associations, two spirits which are rooted in the Lord.»

Father Stefano Alberto and Jesús Carrascosa of Communion and Liberation handed Bignardi a letter written by Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of their movement.

In the letter, Monsignor Giussani expressed the hope for «a new spring of grace and commitment for the Association [Catholic Action] and for the whole Christian people.»

«I assure you of the readiness of all our widespread communities for real collaboration,» especially in «the proclamation of the Christian event,» Monsignor Giussani added.

Catholic Action dates back to 1867. The newer movements and ecclesial realities have arisen in the main since the Second Vatican Council II.

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