Communion and Liberation Thanks John Paul II

Announces Plans to Participate in Beatification

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MILAN, Italy, FEB. 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Communion and Liberation Movement affirmed its plans to participate in the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II, expressing gratitude for the former Pontiff's legacy.

In a letter publicized on Monday, Father Julián Carrón, superior of this ecclesial movement, confirmed the plans to "make the pilgrimage to Rome to join the Pope and the Church in thanking God who has given us such an authentic witness of Christ."

He noted that the movement's spiritual exercises, planned for April 29-May 1, will end a day early so that members and friends of the organization can travel to Rome for the beatification ceremony.

"We want to gather closely around Benedict XVI, who in his farsightedness has decided to indicate Blessed John Paul II to the whole world as an example

of what Christ can make of a man who allows himself to be grasped by him," the priest stated.

He affirmed, "If someone has an enormous debt of gratitude towards John Paul II, we are the ones."

The superior underlined the closeness of John Paul II's bond with the movement's founder, Father Luigi Giussani, "founded on a convergence in the view of faith on the whole of reality, in passion for Christ."

He added, "He spoke to us directly many times, including in the moving letters written to Father Giussani in the last years of their lives, joined together by the trial of illness."

Passion for Christ

Father Carrón stated, "We join in the joy of the whole Church in thanking God for the good that his person was, with his missionary witness and passion."

He continued: "Which of us did not receive much from his life?

"How many, on seeing his passion for Christ, the kind of humanity that sprang from his faith, and his infectious enthusiasm, rediscovered the joy of being Christian!"

"In him, we immediately recognized a man -- with a temperament and an accent imbued by faith -- whose words and gestures illustrated the method chosen by God for communicating himself: a human encounter that makes faith fascinating and persuasive," the priest acknowledged.

"We are all very much aware of the importance of his pontificate for the life of the Church and of mankind," Father Carrón observed.

He added, "In a particularly difficult moment he reproposed, with a boldness that can have only God as its origin, what it means to be a Christian today, offering all the reasons of faith and untiringly promoting the germs of renewal of the ecclesial organism set in motion by the Second Vatican Council, without falling into any of the partial interpretations that would have reduced its effect in one sense or another."

The priest affirmed, "His contribution to peace in the world and to human coexistence shows how crucial for the common good is a faith lived integrally in all its dimensions."