Friday, June 07, 2024

Pope on Focolare Movement: "Revolutionary path that is so good for the Church"

Pope Francis has encouraged the international Focolare Movement to continue in a spirit of openness. 

During a meeting with participants of an interreligious congress of the movement in the Vatican on Monday, he said that he was grateful for the perseverance of the movement, which is seeking a "spirituality of unity" together with non-Christians in the spirit of its founder Chiara Lubich

This is a "revolutionary path that is so good for the Church", emphasised the Pope.

Members of different religions should get to know and appreciate each other and respect each other's identity. In this way, the common commitment to the poor, to creation and to peace would grow. "Your witness is a reason for joy and consolation - especially in this time of conflict, in which religion is often used to fuel strife," said Francis. 

That is why interreligious dialogue is a duty for Christians and other religious communities. Francis also welcomed the president of the movement, the Haifa-born Arab Christian Margaret Karram, in detail. He prayed for her homeland, where there is currently so much suffering.

Founded in 1960, the Focolare Movement now has around 140,000 members in 182 countries. The current statutes, which also allow non-Christians to become members, have been in force since 2007. 

According to the statutes, a woman has always been at the head of the organisation, which has been Karram since 2021.