Twenty years from the historic speech of Chiara Lubich in the Mosque of Harlem, the friendship between the African-American Muslim community and the Focolare Movement continues to grow and renew itself.[more]
Fruitful dialogues have developed among individuals, groups, movements and associations over the years, contributing to unity in the Catholic world.
Dialogue among Christians of different churches strengthens the already existing unity, encouraging the common effort to reach full communion.
The dialogue with faithful of other religions fosters peace and universal brotherhood.
Finally, the dialogue with all people of good will in our present-day society including its cultural dimension, leads to collaboration for common values such as freedom, social justice and international harmony.
Communion between ecclesial movements and new communities is something new in the history of the Church, but it has spread rapidly in all parts of the world.
On the 30th of May 1988, the Vigil of Pentecost, John Paul II invited the Movements and new Communities to Rome where they gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to give a united testimony. It was an historic event that brought together the members and founders of movements. These movements are the fruit of a particular charism, given by the Holy Spirit, to the Church and to humankind in response to the needs of our time.
John Paul II indicated to these new ecclesial realities, their own place in the Church, describing them as significant expressions of the Church’s charismatic nature, constitutive of the Church herself and coessential to the Church’s institutional aspect.
Aware that the pope ardently desired for the movements to be in communion among themselves, on that day, Chiara Lubich promised John Paul II that she would engage all her strength to promote fraternity between the movements, since her charism was unity.
Read more on the international website about dialogue within the Catholic Church.
The Focolare has a particular ecumenical lifestyle. Within the Movement there are Christians from approximately 350 churches and ecclesial communities who whilst being rooted in their own church are at the same time able to create links between Christians in a variety of other churches.
Our goal: The Movement aims to make a real contribution to breaking down the walls that separate the Churches removing prejudices and providing the space where the different types of ecumenical dialogue can bear fruit. This ‘dialogue of life’ enables Christians to give witness to the possibility of living together.
The foundation is the Gospel lived under the light of the spirituality of unity, the specific spirituality of the Focolare. Christians from the various Churches, living this spirituality, feel the need to recognize and deepen common patrimony and to also value the sources of spiritual life that are found within the different Churches. The novelty lies in that all feel they are part of a family and are linked by the commandment of Jesus: “I give you a new commandment: love one another; as I have loved you, so you are to love one another. If there is this love among you, then all will know that you are my disciples.” (Jn13,34)
Being united in the love of Christ is a requisite to have the presence of Christ amongst his friends (cf. Mt 18,20) and has become the characteristic of the ecumenical life of the Focolare Movement.
Read more on the international website about ecumenism in the Focolare Movement.
In view of the current world scene which is profoundly transforming itself into an increasingly multicultural and multi-religious society, the Focolare Movement is committed to promoting dialogue between religions, because the religious pluralism of the world should not be a cause of division and war, but contribute to the building of brotherhood and world peace.
Various thousands of faithful from different religions share, in as much as possible, in the spirit of the Movement, and collaborate for its goals.
The spreading of the Focolare Movement has, in fact, contributed to opening a dialogue with all the principle religions of the world through its contacts with the followers of these religions, but also in contact with their leaders and members of vast movements. For some years now, there has been fraternal collaboration between the Focolare Movement and the Buddhist movement, Rissho Kosei-kai and its 6 million adherents in Japan; with an African American Muslim movement in the United States; and with various movements inspired by Ghandi in the south of India.
Read more on the international website about dialogue among people of different religions.
Persons of no religious affiliation
In Italy, Europe and South America there are dialogue groups made up of a mix of people of those who have a faith and others with no particular religious affiliation. The members of these groups all have the desire to work together to create fraternity within the family of humanity. The dialogue serves to develop and deepen the promotion of human values shared through life and reflection referring to such themes as ‘laity and faith’ or other contemporary topics. Some people from the groups are involved in initiatives that are cultural or provide solidarity in some way for those in need.
Read more on the international website about dialogue with person with no religious affiliation.
New lines of thought are being outlined by the spirituality of unity for the renewal of culture not only in the West where it is in the midst of a crisis.
One development of the charism of unity has been the beginning of a dialogue marked by reciprocity, with the world of culture and all of its various disciplines and expressions: politics, economy, art, media, education, psychology, sociology, medicine, law, architecture, environmental science, and sport. It is promoted by international secretariats and by small nuclei of people which are emerging in different lands through meetings, seminars, convention, forums, and workshops. Their purpose is to offer a set of ideas, of cultural contributions, but also existential and constructive experiences.
Read more on the international website about dialogue with professional life.
In April at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Dr. David Carlson, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana, launched his new book, Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships published by New City Press.[more]
The Focolare of Columbus, together with members of the Cleveland Focolare community, were invited as main presenters for the “Family, Unity and Friends Day” held at the Historic Bilal Mosque.[more]