Julián Carrón received by Pope Francis.

Julián Carrón received in private
audience with Pope Francis

The president of Communion & Liberation explain to VaticanNews themes of their conversation. "He encouraged us to continue with our efforts, [...] he believes this education is especially important [...] when young people are living in a “liquid society”.
Adriana Masotti

On Friday February 2, Pope Francis had an audience with the president of Communion and Liberation, one of the most widespread post-conciliar ecclesial entities in Italy and throughout the world. After the death of Fr. Luigi Giussani, who founded CL in the 1960s, the leadership of the Fraternity passed on in 2005 to Spanish priest and theologian Fr. Julián Carrón. Following their meeting, Fr. Carrón spoke to us about how the time with the Pope went and the primary topics they discussed:

This was simply a desire that I had: to be able to share with the Pope the steps and the journey we have made since the audience we had with him in St. Peter’s Square, including the suggestions he gave to direct us on the way and the letter about poverty that he sent to us; and the steps we are currently taking as we continue to follow him through the many related initiatives that we have started. It was a simple sharing of these points, in addition to discussing the Synod on youth, which is very important to us. One of our concerns, which I see is also one of the Pope’s concerns, is the desire to listen to young people and to be truly open to dialogue with them on any range of topics.

Did the Pope have any specific requests or suggestions for the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation?
No. He simply thanked me for all that I told him about our initiatives in response to the needs of migrants, and again for our accompaniment of their children, and all of our attention related to the education of young people. He encouraged us to continue with our efforts, because he believes this education is especially important at this particular time when young people are living in a “liquid society,” so that they can find some points of reference to accompany them on their path.

What contributions have the teachings of Pope Francis offered to Communion and Liberation? We all know that movements and associations within the Church feel the effects of what happens in the universal Church, and therefore also the direction offered by the Pope…
I would say that the greatest contribution has been making us aware of this “epochal change,” which carries a challenge for all of us: that of looking at the concrete way the Church presents herself to the world, in facing the challenges that affect all of us. All this along with his constant push to go out and be in relationship with others, carrying that gaze full of tenderness and mercy that Christ brought to us in history, and to care for the needs of men and women today. This is something we find particularly significant for us, as for many, as it is something that is already in our DNA.

Earlier, you mentioned welcoming migrants and youth initiatives: would you like to give us a brief idea of the fronts on which you are particularly active right now?
Our involvement is primarily with young people, because we are convinced that this is a front that’s foundational for everyone. Therefore, it is where each of us and the entire Church verifies whether the proposal Christianity offers to modern man finds a place in the hearts of young people. It finds this place when it is proposed and perceived as an experience that has to do with life, with one’s needs, with the solitude and restlessness our young people feel. For us, this is a way of verifying the faith. The other front are the vast needs of our society today. Our desire to offer a true response takes many forms: from the Food Bank to accompaniment, for example, of young people struggling at school, or of prisoners, or for the people living in the big cities in Latin America are in great need. We can plant a little seed there, and for us this newness Christianity brings is fundamental.

To listen to the interview with Fr. Julián Carrón, visit: