For the last 32 years members of the movement Communion and Liberation (CL) have held a week-long international cultural meeting known as the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in the Italian seaside resort of Rimini, writes Christopher Morgan.
It is a place where people of all nationalities, religions and walks of life can meet to share their lives. The Meeting, attended by over 700,000 people, consists of exhibitions and talks with subjects ranging from religion, the arts and business to politics and social issues.
At this year’s Meeting, from August 21-27, 40 British members of CL presented an exhibition on Cardinal Newman to respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s call, when he visited Britain last year, to learn from the great English convert. Entitled “The certainty of Newman: Conscience and Reality”, it traced how Newman, as a boy of 15, realised “that God and the soul… constitute what is genuinely real, what counts” and how this launched him on a great journey which led him to found the Oxford Movement to defend the Anglican Church from the relativism he saw around him and finally to recognise that the one true Church was the Church of Rome.
The exhibition was supported by Fr Richard Duffield from the Birmingham Oratory community, which lent various artefacts, and the leading Newman scholar Fr Ian Ker who reviewed the texts.
Among the 25,000 visitors to the exhibition were the Anglican theologians John Milbank and Andrew Davidson, Phillip Blond, director of ResPublica, and the journalists Austen Ivereigh and John Waters, all of whom delivered talks at the Meeting.
It is hoped that the exhibition will be brought to Britain next summer.