Communion and Liberation Event Hailed as Success

Some 800,000 Attend 31st Meeting at Rimini

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By Luca Marcolivio

RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 29, 2010 ( The 31st Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples concluded Saturday with participation reaching some 800,000 people and the president of the event classifying it as a success.

The annual event sponsored by the Catholic Communion and Liberation Movement in Rimini, Italy, focused this year on the theme «That nature which pushes us to desire great things is the heart.»

People of 29 nationalities joined in the 130 talks, eight exhibitions and 35 shows.

Emilia Guarnieri, president of the Rimini Meeting Foundation, declared: “So many guests of every faith, culture, origin … it was surprising to see how for everyone the theme of the meeting was the main content of their interventions.» She said that the speakers’ contributions were a «real reading of each person’s experience in the light of the title.”

Guarnieri characterized the meeting as a place where there is the «will to start again and the will to change.»

“Many tried to situate us in this summer’s political puppet shows,” she stated, «but what happened this week, with the intensity of the sessions, showed that the meeting does not wait for political alchemies and goes beyond.»

Positive outlook

The president said the meeting was a success «because it met the demand to recover a positive outlook on reality, and it was a proposal for the need to change and refocus on communal life; it was the occasion to verify that, starting from an indestructible point that sets the human back on track, there are persons and human realities that put man in the condition to pass securely through the tempests of life, without being at the mercy of circumstances.”

Organizers emphasized various key moments of the Rimini meeting, including the contribution of Irish President Mary McAleese, and the ecumenical highlight of the embrace between Cardinal Peter Erdo and Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Filaret.

Ecumenism and interreligious dialogue were primary themes of the meeting, not only in the religious sense but also from the point of view of culture. This was the case in the presentation of a Chinese edition of Father Luigi Giussani’s book “The Religious Sense” (Father Giussani is the founder of Communion and Liberation) and of a meeting between Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and an imam and Buddhist monk.


At the end of October the meeting will have a two day extension in Cairo, thanks to the efforts of Wael Farouq, a professor of Arabic who produced a translation of Father Giusanni’s “The Religious Sense” a few years ago.

The event in Cairo, which will see the participation of four Egyptian government ministers, will be the fruit of a “partnership with certain Egyptian entities, a cultural center in Cairo and the meeting. There will be an exhibition, a show and a couple talks,” Guarnieri explained.

The 32nd edition of the meeting will take place Aug. 21-27, 2011, and will have the theme “And Existence Becomes an Immense Certainty.”

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