Pontiff Urges On Italian Catholic Action
Encourages Renewal and Growth
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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI encouraged members of Italian Catholic Action to continue renewing their institution, and to offer formation to the laity, especially in dioceses and parishes.
In an audience today with the Pope, professor Luigi Alici, who has been president of Italian Catholic Action since May 31, and retired Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Anagni-Alatri, general ecclesiastical assistant of the organization, reported on the growth and activities of the association, the country's largest lay Catholic entity.
Alici told Vatican Radio: "At the center of the meeting was the journey of renewal that the association has undertaken in the last years, for which the Holy Father showed great interest, encouraging us obviously to go forward."
The president said that the Pope also made special requests and "very important" observations about the future of Catholic Action in Italy, particularly that it be of "service to the local Church, the dioceses, and the invitation to live an ever-more intense experience of communion with all ecclesial realities."
"The Holy Father is particularly interested in the service to the local Church, and to Catholic Action's presence in almost 7,000 parishes. He invited us to work in a specific and organic way in the service of formation," said Alici.
Catholic Action is a lay association which has the parish as its point of reference.
It began in 1867 as the Italian Catholic Youth Society, and was approved the following year by Pope Pius IX. It was established with its present name and structure by Pope Pius XI.