Pope Francis at the audience for Fr. Giussani's centenary on October 15, 2022 (Roberto Masi/Fraternity CL)

The Pope's letter: The path to follow

Notes from the Communion and Liberation leaders’ meeting
with Davide Prosperi and Francesco Cassese on Pope Francis’ letter to the whole movement. Milan and via video connection from Italy and around the world, February 20, 2024

Francesco Cassese. Today we are gathered together–members of the Diaconia of Lombardy in person and the leaders of the movement in Italy, and around the world, via video connection–to better understand the meaning and contents of the letter that Pope Francis sent to Davide and to the whole movement last January 30.
We felt that it was important to organize this meeting for two main reasons: firstly, because of the importance and value that this letter has for our history and, precisely for this reason, we want to avoid running the risk of underestimating it; secondly, to try to address together the many questions that have arisen after the positive reaction we all felt when we received and read it.
We asked Davide to help us look at this letter together. It will then be the responsibility of each of us to communicate what emerges to our communities. In preparing tonight’s work, we started from a dialogue between leaders that took place last week, from the many contributions and questions that came in and for which we thank you. This is the first sign of the responsibility we bear together. I am the spokesperson for this dialogue.
I would like to say that this letter concerns all of us, no one should feel excluded because, on the one hand, as St Paul says, we are members of one another; on the other hand, we believe and are convinced that there is a step of consciousness in it for the whole movement.
As you know, this letter originates from the audience that Davide, together with Monsignor Santoro, had with the Holy Father last January 15. I therefore begin by asking if you could tell us about this meeting.

Davide Prosperi. First of all, I thank you for the many contributions you have sent, because it is a
sign that there is a particular sensitivity among us and I believe this is a very important factor.
I remember–we all remember–the famous meeting in Rome, on Palm Sunday 1975, when Giussani heard Paul VI say to him in the sacristy: “Take heart, you and your young people, because this is the right road” (The Life of Luigi Giussani, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal 2018, p. 514). In that instant he remembered that the then Archbishop Montini had said something similar to him at the end of the 1950s, faced with the positive outcome of the Citizen Mission in which Giussani had involved the whole of GS: “I do not understand your ideas and your methods very well, but I see the fruits, and I tell you, go ahead like this” (ibid., p. 217). That “go ahead like this” has marked our entire path; how many times did Father Giussani repeat it to us!
I believe that today we are faced with something that has the same significance, because this letter is a confirmation and a revival, exactly like those words. And no one then dreamed to start shouting “I do not understand the methods”, because the focus was all on “I see the fruits... go ahead like this" [...]

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