Rimini Meeting Not Political, Says Organizer

700,000 Participated in Gathering

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- What differentiates the annual Rimini Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples from other gatherings is that it's not political, says the event's organizer.



Emilia Guarnieri said this at a press conference Saturday, the last day of the meeting, which is organized by the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation, and held in Rimini.

This year's theme is taken from a phrase from the founder of Communion and Liberation, Monsignor Luigi Giussani: "Either Protagonists or Nobodies."

Emilia Guarnieri described the climate of the gathering with the words of Salih Osman, a member of the Sudanese National Parliament and human rights advocate from Darfur. He said, “I see that the lives of others truly interest you and your religion.”

“He is right,” Guarnieri said. "We are interested in the difference of others,” because, as Monsignor Giussani said, “it is precisely in meeting the difference of others that we delve into the depths of what we are, and are able continually to experience this embrace with others, without which, life would die.”

Guarnieri observed that the annual meeting is not just any meeting because "it is not born of politics."

She announced the theme chosen for next year's meeting, “Knowledge is Always an Event.”

“Knowledge is the fundamental act that the person accomplishes in his relation to reality,” Guarnieri explained.

She continued, “Any gesture of a child is in function of his knowledge. Knowledge is thus the first act that connotes the human person.”

“The word ‘event’ is a big word,” she added, “but we will be able to explore it at the next meeting.”

The gathering attracted 4,000 volunteers and 700,000 participants.