To be “the builders of new cities” was the wish of Maria Voce, President of the Focolare, for the 20th of June encounter, in Naples, commemorating the birth of the Political Movement for Unity (PMU). “In the present context of the general disenchantment of the citizenry concerning public institutions,” stated Maria Voce in her message, the achievements offered by the PMU – small perhaps, but significant – “make us hope in the season of “new politics” made of dialogue and mutual acceptance.
The roots: May 2, 1996, in Naples, Italy. A group of politicians posed a question to Chiara Lubich: How is it possible for those who are active in different parties on opposite sides of the aisle, to live out the fraternity which she proposes, in the field of politics?”. In her answer, she called for new determination, for unity around shared core values must come before the legitimate affiliation to a political party, and the common good can only be reached with the contribution of all. The PMU was born from these basic ideas, which were also wholeheartedly supported by the politicians in attendance.
Fifteen years later on 20 June 2011, a conference entitled: “Brotherhood: A Challenge for Politics” was held at the public auditorium of the Regional Council for the purpose of acknowledging the entrance of Chiara Lubich’s charism in civil history. More than 150 attended – among them parliamentarians and administrators from other regions as well. The first presentation was given by Eli Folonari who spent fifty years at Chiara’s side and is now director of the Chiara Lubich Centre. She offered her listeners an outline that traced the excursus of this journey: from interpersonal love to a social love for the commonwealth.
Today, the PMU operates in every region of Italy, various European nations, Latin America, and Asia. The various experiences that develop over the years converge in the spirituality of unity, beginning with the paradigm offered by Igino Giordani. The basic lines of the PMU were presented by Marco Fatuzzo, president of the International Centre, beginning with the definition offered by Chiara herself: “an international laboratory of common political work, between government officials, scholars, and politicians at various levels, from different party lines, who place fraternity at the basis of their life.”
Within this same framework, some significant examples were offered: the laboratory of dialogue and policy design that is animated by the PMU in some of the parliaments of various countries – in Italy, for example, Brazil, Argentina, and South Korea – the international network of political training schools, in which youths can experience a politics of communion.
Cities have also joined the network: “To date, more than 100 have joined the “City for Fraternity Association,” said the mayor of Rocca di Papa, Italy, Pasquale Boccia, who is also the association’s current president. And why not the Regions? It was truly emblematic, therefore, that in the context of a more inclusive vision of Italy, just at the conclusion of the conference, the president of the Regional Council of Campania, Italy, Paolo Romano, announced the unanimous membership of the assembly in the City for Fraternity Association, signing the memorandum of understanding.
Published by the Movement for Unity in Politics