Benedict XVI Meets “Renewal” Representative

Charismatic Movement Set to Celebrate 29th National Meeting

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 26, 2006 ( Benedict XVI received in audience the coordinator of Renewal in the Holy Spirit, an ecclesial movement in Italy that forms part of the greater Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Salvatore Martinez revealed that Father Giovanni Alberti, a member of Renewal’s national service committee, also attended the 20-minute audience on Saturday.

During the meeting, Martinez presented to the Holy Father the program for the 29th national convocation of the movement, to be held April 22-25 in Rimini, Italy.

The Rimini meeting will be attended by, among others, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the approval of the statutes of Renewal in the Spirit, and by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Pontifical Household preacher.

Martinez said the presentation of the meeting’s program enabled him to “comment on the journey of ‘ecclesial maturity’ intensely undertaken by the Renewal, … supported by an appropriate formation.”

“As my explanation advanced, the Pope repeated on several occasions: ‘This is very important’; ‘this vision is truly interesting,'” added Martinez.

During the conversation, mention was also made of “the parishes, of collaboration with the bishops,” and of the priestly vocations that have arisen in the Renewal.

Gathering movements

Another subject addressed was the conference held last October in Lucca, Italy, on “20th Century Witnesses of the Spirit.” That event brought together founders and officials of movements and ecclesial communities, as well as contemporary witnesses of Christianity.

The meeting also served to plan the gathering of movements and ecclesial communities called by Benedict XVI for Pentecost.

Renewal in the Spirit is made up of tens of thousands of faithful who are part of the 1,900 groups and communities established in each of the country’s dioceses.

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