Father Julián Carrón wrote to members of CL on the election of Pope Francis as the Bishop of Rome.


Within the irrepressible joy of having a new guide for our community of believers, I am struck by how he managed to communicate to us, from his very first movements, with simple gestures comprehensible to everyone, where his gaze is fixed. With his choice of name, Francis, he shows us that he has no other wealth but Christ. He trusts no modality of communicating this if not plain and simple witness to Christ.

Pope Francis’s disarming request expressed the awareness that this witness is pure grace and that we must beg for it: “I ask you to pray to the Lord that He will bless me.” In the Pope’s prayer, together with the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, the miracle of the life that is the Church–whose heart is Christ Himself–took shape before the eyes of the world.

I am struck by the profound harmony, founded on faith in Jesus Christ, between the realism of Benedict XVI, who with his gesture reminded the world that the Church is Christ’s, and the humble realism of Pope Francis, who immediately expressed the consciousness of his ministry as a Bishop in communion and on a journey with the people of the Church of Rome, “which presides in love over all the Churches,” according to a fitting expression by the great Saint Ignatius of Antioch.

Moved by the invitation to start the journey together, Bishop and people, we ask Our Lady to grant each of us the abandonment to Christ that Francis witnesses to us in this moment.

Grateful to the Spirit, who gave a guide to His Church, we therefore start the journey desiring to follow and to serve the Pope with all of ourselves, according to the teaching that we received from Fr. Giussani: “The face of that single man [Christ] today is the unity of believers, who are the sign of Him in the world, or as Saint Paul says, who are His Body, His mysterious Body–also called ‘the people of God’–guided and guaranteed by a living person, the Bishop of Rome.”

Father Julián Carrón
President, Fraternity of Communion and Liberation
14 March 2013