Monsignor Filippo Santoro and Davide Prosperi with Pope Francis in a private audience on January 15, 2024 (Vatican Media/Catholic Press Photo)

The Pope to CL: "Preserve unity"

After the audience with Davide Prosperi and Monsignor Filippo Santoro, Francis has sent a letter on the anniversary of Fr. Giussani's death and the 70th anniversary of the movement. Here are his words and the message from the President of the Fraternity.

Dearest Friends,

last January 15, H.E. Monsignor Filippo Santoro and I had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis in a private audience. We were able to tell him about the steps taken by the Fraternity and the Memores Domini over the past year, and to renew our entrustment to his paternity in our journey of following Christ and the Church.

It is with great joy that I share with all of you the letter that the Pope wished to send us on the anniversary of Fr. Giussani’s death and for the 70th anniversary of the birth of the movement. They are words full of meaning for the times we are living. We welcome them wholeheartedly to identify with the Pope’s gaze on the experience of faith of each of us and of our communities.

Together with H.E. Monsignor Filippo Santoro, I am profoundly grateful for this gesture of esteem and affection from the Holy Father. I invite you, as he asks us, to continue to pray for him.

With warm regards,

Davide Prosperi

Vatican, Santa Marta, January 30, 2024

Dear Brother,

with grateful heart for your recent visit, on the occasion of the audience of January 15, during which you and Monsignor Santoro updated me on the life of the movement of Communion and Liberation and of the Memores Domini, I wish to extend my encouragement to you. I am grateful to the Lord for the vitality that the movement continually demonstrates in its work of evangelisation and charity towards the men and women of today. It gives me great comfort to see how seriously and willingly the movement has accepted the words I addressed to you during the audience of October 15, 2022, as well as those of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. I encourage you to continue on this path, and I confirm you in the work you have done during this period.

On the occasion of the celebrations for the birth to heaven of the Servant of God Msgr. Luigi Giussani and of the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Movement, I particularly care to advise you and all the adherents of the movement to take care of the unity among you: in fact, it alone, in following the pastors of the Church, will in time be able to safeguard the fruitfulness of the charism that the Holy Spirit gave to Fr. Giussani: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

To preserve unity and ensure that the charism does interpret ever more adequately the times in which you are called to bear witness to our faith in Jesus Christ, it is necessary to move beyond personalistic interpretations, unfortunately still present, which risk implying a unilateral vision of the charism itself. I therefore encourage you and your co-workers to continue the work you have undertaken, which aims to preserve an integral vision. The educational path proposed by you and those who help you in guiding the movement is also helping to correct several misunderstandings and to continue your mission in fidelity to the charism given to the Church through Fr. Giussani.

In this period, so decisive for your history after the death of the founder, I therefore address to all the members of the movement an invitation to follow the path taken, under the guidance of the Church, and to collaborate willingly and loyally with those who are called to guide the movement. Only this obedience, continually rediscovered and nourished, can ensure an ever richer experience of Christian life among you and the renewal of your presence in the world, for the good of the whole Church.

May the Lord bless you and may Our Lady protect you. And please do not forget to pray for me.