The New York Encounter is indeed unlike any other cultural event in the United States in its approach and content, totally transcending the cultural divisions that threaten the future of our society. It also escapes the search for a “common ground” that maintains and feeds the relativism that is paralyzing us. The purpose of its discussions, exhibits, concerts and theatrical performances is to build new friendships, to learn, and to celebrate life’s beauty. All of its events are open to the public and are free, with the exception of the theatrical performance (this year it will be Paul Claudel’s play The Tidings Brought to Mary on Saturday night).
"The New York Encounter: a Different Cultural Event", Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete
The New York Encounter festival runs from Friday, January 14 - Monday, January 17, 2011
Manhattan Center - Hammerstein Ballroom 311 West 34th Street at 8th Avenue - New York, NY 10001
Communion and Liberation follows the call of the Italian bishops to pray Sunday, November 21 for the Christians of Iraq, “who are suffering the tremendous trial of blood witness to the faith” (Final communiqué of the Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, November 11, 2010).
The Movement invites all its members to participate in Mass according to the intentions of Benedict XVI, who the day after the grave attack in the Syrian Catholic cathedral of Baghdad that left dozens dead and wounded, said, “I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, all the more savage because it struck defenseless people gathered in God’s house, which is a house of love and reconciliation. I also express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck once again, and encourage the pastors and faithful to be strong and steady in hope. In the face of the heinous episodes of violence that continue tearing the populations of the Middle East to pieces, I renew my grieved call for peace: it is the gift of God, but also the result of the efforts of people of good will, of national and international institutions. May everyone join their strengths to put an end to all violence! (Comments after the Angelus, November 1, 2010).
Addressing all members of Communion and Liberation, Fr. Julián Carrón said that “participation in Sunday Mass according to the intentions of the Pope and the bishops is a gesture of real communion and charity because we feel that the Christians of Iraq are our friends, even if we do not know them directly.”
As Fr. Giussani said, “If the sacrifice is accepting the circumstances of life, as they happen, because they make us correspondent, participants in the death of Christ, then sacrifice becomes the keystone of all life […] but also the keystone for understanding the history of man. The entire history of man depends on that man dead on the cross, and I can influence the history of man – I can influence the people who live in Japan now, the people in danger at sea now; I can intervene to help the pain of the women who lose their children now, in this moment – if I accept the sacrifice that this moment imposes.” (L. Giussani, Is It Possible to Live This Way? Book 3: Charity, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 74-75.)
For this reason, added Carrón, “if a gesture of prayer can influence the change of people in Japan, it can also change something in Iraq. May the sacrifice we make for the Christians of Iraq and Sunday’s prayer be a gesture with which we invoke, implore from God protection for them.”
The CL Press Office
Milan, November 18, 2010
...Marcos Zerbini, also from the PSDB, became a member of the State Parliament with 85,664 votes. While celebrating with members of the Landless Workers Association (ATST) and of Communion and Liberation Mr. Zerbini declared that his intention is to keep using his work to build the history of the ATST.
The ATST is one of the biggest social movements in Brazil, based on the principles of Subsidiarity of the Catholic Social Doctrine. It is very different from the well-known MST, the Rural Landless Movement, a left-wing anti-big-property association. Instead of forcing governments to answer their needs, ATST put people together and educate them to find these answers using their own resources. They ask governments to help them, not to substitute them.
The proposed construction of an Islamic center and mosque at Ground Zero has resulted in the outrage of many Americans and the recent public discussion about "Islamophobia" in America. These events provoke us to affirm the following:
1. We notice a growing tendency to manipulate circumstances to serve as a pretext to create a public furor that demands people make a choice between one of two pre -packaged, ideological positions. We refuse to engage in a debate about whether or not to build a mosque at Ground Zero. The reality of Islam in America brings up questions that go much deeper than that of the construction of one mosque. Indeed, one critical and open question is how contemporary American culture comes to grips with the human person's religious sense.
2. Many of those among the cultural elite, as well as many who hold the levers of power in our nation, have abandoned the religious tradition that informed the lives of the vast majority of their ancestors: Christianity. They have reduced it to a moral code or a vague myth, linked to a man dead for more than 2,000 years. Instead, they have embraced a "scientific" outlook on human life. But science provides no answer to those questions that continuously gnaw at the human heart, such as the problem of justice, the meaning of human life, or the problems of suffering and evil. In fact, science tends to stifle them. Hence, contemporary American culture finds itself weak and tremendously uncertain about any response to universal human inquiries and longings.
3. Just over two weeks ago, we marked the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa of Calcutta's birth. One who looks at her sees a resplendent human person, overflowing with love for everyone, especially strangers of different religions. Her humanity touched all: religious and atheist; Muslim and Hindu; rich and poor. Mother Teresa's life invites anyone who seeks truth to open his or her heart and mind and take a fresh look at Christianity.
4. For serious Christians, the challenge of Islam, the large-scale abandonment of Christianity, the emptiness of the dominant culture, and the witness of Mother Teresa signal the urgent need for conversion. Pope Benedict XVI recently said that "conversion...is not a mere moral decision that rectifies our conduct in life, but rather a choice of faith that wholly involves us in close communion with Jesus as a real and living Person." The Pope brings us face to face with the defining difference between Christianity and Islam: one religion bases its response to the human person's religious sense upon a message delivered 1,400 years ago, while the other offers the experience of a Man who died but is alive and present with us today. As Fr. Juliàn Carròn, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, recently affirmed: Jesus' message and even all the miracles He performed were not enough to overcome the sadness of His disciples on the road to Emmaus --only His risen presence could ignite their hearts once again.
5. We are not Islamophobic, nor do we fear our post-modern world. On the contrary, we invite all to look at Mother Teresa and at the Man to whom she gave her life. In His Person, present with us today, all can find the Truth that alone will deliver the freedom America promises.
Communion and Liberation
September 11, 2010
Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, February 17, 2010 (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20100217_en.html)
cfr. Luke 24: 13-35