Bangkok Archbishop Named Moderator for Focolare Bishop-Friends

Succeeds Retired Prelate of Prague

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FORNO DI COAZZE, Italy, AUG. 10, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Catholic lay Focolare movement has asked Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, Thailand, to be the moderator of the bishop-friends of the movement.

The Thai prelate succeeds Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, retired archbishop of Prague, who held the post for 18 years.

The bishop-friends of Focolare share in the movement's charism, the principal point of which is promotion of unity.

The group of some 60 bishops and three cardinals just concluded their meetings in Italy, which included a pilgrimage to the resting place of Blessed Chiara Luce (1971-1990), a young Focolare member who died of cancer and was beatified in 2010.

Cardinal Vlk described the event as a "pause with Chiara Luce, to ask for help and protection on the path of spirituality and unity opened by Chiara Lubich, which is a way of sanctity.

Holy Mass during the pilgrimage was presided over by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, retired president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. In his homily he stressed how it was logical to come to the places in which the Blessed "conquered death with faith and heroic virtue" and that the prelates came more to ask and to receive than to give.