Benedict XVI Signals Support
for Ecclesial Movements (Catholic
"With Paternal Affection," Says Cardinal in Message to
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).-
Benedict XVI will continue to guide "with paternal
affection" the ecclesial movements, associations and communities,
which were nurtured by Pope John Paul II, says the Vatican's secretary
Cardinal Angelo Sodano confirmed the new Pope's intentions in a
message sent Friday to the national congress of Renewal in the Spirit,
which gathered 25,000 people in Rimini, Italy. That event ended
The letter, signed by Cardinal Sodano, included the Holy Father's
The document expressed the Pope's satisfaction to send, "at the
start of the ministry of the Successor of Peter," "a special
thought" to all those gathered in Rimini for the occasion:
bishops, priests who assist the movement's groups, and numerous
faithful from Italy and abroad.
"The beloved and venerated John Paul II, a man full of faith and
the Holy Spirit as he was, guided with great care the path of the
ecclesial movements, associations and communities," said Cardinal
Sodano in his letter.
"With paternal affection, His Holiness [Benedict XVI] wishes to
continue this service, so that the gifts that the Lord dispenses to
his Church will be fully appreciated and oriented in the best way for
the building of the Body of Christ which is the Church," the
Vatican secretary of state said.
Benedict XVI assured the meeting "of a special remembrance in
prayer, invoking the heavenly intercession of Mary Most Holy" so
that, "as [in] the first community gathered in the Cenacle,"
she will preside spiritually over the "assiduous and
harmonious" prayer of the participants, "obtaining a renewed
effusion of the Paraclete," the letter said.
With a strong call to unity, in remembrance of John Paul II, and with
his thoughts focused on Benedict XVI, Salvatore Martinez, Renewal's
national coordinator, closed the meeting on Monday.
"Benedict XVI tells the truth: The Church is alive!" he
said, recalling the Pope's words on the eve of the solemn Mass for the
inauguration of his pontificate.
Renewal "will never cease to cry out with the Pope that the
Church is alive because it is inhabited by Jesus Christ alive and
animated by the Holy Spirit," Martinez added.
In Italy, more than 200,000 people in 1,800 communities and prayer
groups share the spirituality of Renewal in the Spirit, an expression
of the Catholic charismatic movement.
More than 100 million Catholics share the charismatic experience
worldwide. The movement has a council, the International Catholic
Charismatic Renewal Services, that is recognized by the Pontifical
Council for the Laity.