Tag Archives: ecclesial movements

Pope Benedict on Religion and Politics: the influence of Communion & Liberation

November 26, 2008
Michael Sean Winters

America Magazine

Pope Benedict XVI greeted a group of pilgrims this past weekend with a short discourse on the Feast of Christ the King that has an obvious application to the political circumstance of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States in the wake of President-elect Obama’s decisive win among Catholic voters.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” the Pope told the pilgrims, “this is what interests God. The kingship of history is of no importance to him — he wants to reign in people’s hearts, and from these, in the world: He is the king of the entire universe, but the crucial point, the place where his reign is at risk, is our heart, for there God finds himself encountering our freedom.” Reign in the heart, then in the world. That is the proper order for political influence by the Christian Churches.

Unfortunately, political power inevitably invites that deadliest of the seven deadly sins, pride, and it is always tempting for those of us whose involvement in politics grows out of our religious motivations to conflate the two, to think that politics is about the Kingdom not the kingdom, to collapse our eschatons into our exit polls. And, this happens on both left and right.

But, Benedict is right. The primary means by which the Church should influence the realm of politics is by converting hearts and generating culture. This insight was the principal reason Don Luigi Guissani founded his movement, Communione e Liberazione and distanced himself from the Christian Democratic Party of his day. And, the Holy Father’s reliance on the insights of Don Guissani is well known.

So, as we Americans prepare to celebrate the quintessential American holiday, so soon after a tumultuous election, let us all remember that the kingship of history is less important than breaking bread with our friends. And, for those of us who are Catholic Americans, let us commit ourselves anew to the wonderful adventurous drama of the human heart where, as Pope Benedict said, “God finds himself encountering our freedom.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! back on Monday with more analysis of the transition.

Krakow prayer meeting in 2009 sponsored by Sant’Egidio

Sant Egidio peace.jpgOn November 21, Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the international Community of Sant’Egidio announced that the next international inter-religious encounter, in 2009, will be in Krakow, Poland, honoring the memory of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II and to recall the terrible tragedy of Auschwitz, where evil manifested its ugly face.




World leaders, religious and political, have met for prayer periodically since 1986 when the landmark event was first lived in Assisi.

Sant Egidio member.jpg 

The H2O News video report.


The Community of Sant’Egidio has been in the United States since 1990, more info is found here.


The Wiki article is here.

Focolari: The call to unity, the brotherhood of the human family

Chiara Lubich.jpgA brief story about Chiara Lubich, the Focolari Movement and the new leader of Focolari.


And the first Focolari university

Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples: CL & Rimini

fascia_1.jpgCommunion and Liberation,
Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples

The attention of many this summer will be the Olympic games, or the political party Conventions in the United States. There are two events of the summer that will not receive as much publicity in the media in the United States: World Youth Day, held in July in Sydney, Australia, AND the Communion and Liberation Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples in Rimini, Italy, a large cultural gathering in Rimini, Italy, held this week that will require 2,400 volunteers to help with the 700,000 participants who will show up.

This year’s meeting, happening right now so get to Italy fast, is built around the theme of “Either Protagonists or nobodies,” seeking to reflect on the concept of the person.

In the past leaders of science, the arts, politics, economics, and the Church have gathered, including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, Kiko Arguello; Nobel winning scientists, leaders in economics, heads of state, and last year United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Pope John Paul II described the Meeting of Rimini as “explicit and conscious echo of the great mystery that the whole Church is reliving during the Jubilee year: the incarnation of the Son of God.”

A defender of human reason, Father Luigi Giussani had a deep knowledge of literature and of music, and accorded great value to art as a road that leads to the Mystery. Followed by those belonging to the Movement he founded, now spread in many countries of the world, listened to with respect by many people a various faiths and various professional responsibilities, I like to remember him as a master of humanity and defender of the religiosity inscribed in the heart of the human being (Pope John Paul II).

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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