Bonds Among Believers Will Shape the Millennium, Says Chiara Lubich

Addresses Ecumenical and Interreligious Meeting in London

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LONDON, JUNE 21, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The third millennium will be forged thanks to fraternal relations among believers of diverse religions, Focolare Movement founder Chiara Lubich told an audience of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs.



Lubich expressed that conviction Saturday during a Focolare-organized event that attracted 2,000 participants in Westminster Central Hall under the theme "Imagine a World Enriched by Diversity."

"What is the future for a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society?" Lubich asked.

She answered that dialogue between religions is the indispensable preventive remedy for terrorism. From such dialogue can begin the "strategy of fraternity, capable of taking a decisive step in international relations," she said.

The Focolare founder referred to the "birth of a new world" and mentioned St. Augustine, who found himself "in a certain sense in a situation similar to our own" because of "the fall of the Roman Empire under the pressure of the migrations of peoples from the North and East," Vatican Radio quoted her as saying.

"Augustine of Hippo had the grace and perspective to help the Christian conscience to understand that the upheaval of the civilization that was taking place under the eyes of his contemporaries was not the end of the world, but the birth of a new world," Lubich explained.

She said she believes that the new world of the third millennium will be the unity of the human family, enriched by its diversity, according to God's plan.

Lubich quoted John Paul II: "When we open to one another in dialogue, we open also to God and we do so in such a way that God is present in our midst."

In God is "the secret force that gives vigor and success to our efforts to take unity and universal fraternity everywhere," she added.