Also incoming is a message from Pope Francis which will be read on Sunday 20th August at the start of the Holy Mass. This will be followed by the opening meeting at 3pm with the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
Rimini, 19th August 2017 – Opening the 38th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples (which will take place in the Rimini Fiera from Sunday 20th to Saturday 26th August) will be the prestigious and striking reading of the title chosen for this year’s edition, the phrase from Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832): “All that you have, bequeathed you by your father, earn it in order to possess it”. There is an inheritance to regain: but how? The answer comes from a message sent by the President Sergio Mattarella, in anticipation of Pope Francis’s letter, which He is sending through the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and which will be read on Sunday 20th August at the beginning of the Holy Mass at 10:45am (broadcast live on Rai Uno) which will be celebrated by the Bishop of Rimini Francesco Lambiasi in the Auditorium of the Fiera.
President Mattarella, interpreting Goethe’s phrase, underlines responsibilities in the generational handover. “It is the responsibility of adults to not use up too many goods and opportunities, and not take them away from their own children. It is the responsibility of young people to make stories and things their own, to give them a future and as such to become protagonists”.
The globalized world and hi-tech “calls into question a person’s own autonomy” (at the Meeting we will deeply reflect on artificial intelligence with some of the most important experts in this field). Here again, “the idea of freedom, the sense of community, the ambition to make history, demand to be reformulated, lived in the present”. This a work which primarily concerns young people and “forward-looking people”: “to never lose sight of the consequences of today’s choices and to go against short-termism which refuses to raise its gaze and visualise the future”.
The President’s key words are responsibility (especially “towards our future generations”) and solidarity, involving many subjects: “politics, institutions, economic subjects, social institutions, all carry weight in determining the outcome of the changes which are happening now”. Complexity and interdependence “are not excuses for disengagement”. Here Mattarella points towards a theme which will pervade the whole Meeting this year. “Attention towards young people needs to be translated into concrete opportunities and innovations, which opens the doors to a real social mobility and complete citizenship, starting from the right to work and to be taught, which is at the heart of the freedom of people and society. In this way, investing in the future, a community regains faith and doubles its strength”.
“We will have the whole week of the Meeting not to reread the President’s message but to allow ourselves to be described and challenged by it, in anticipation of the Pope’s message,” notes Emilia Guarnieri, President of the Meeting Foundation. “A year ago we chose Goethe’s phrase because it seemed useful for nowadays, a way of reading the present. Now we have a greater understanding of the reason behind this choice. We are grateful to President Mattarella, who regards the Meeting as a place to launch a message of recovery and hope for everyone, an experience which along with others serves civil society”.
In the meantime, on Sunday 20th August at 3pm, the inaugural event of the Meeting (after the Holy Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Rimini Francesco Lambiasi and broadcast live on Rai Uno) will be the meeting with the Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on the theme of “inheritance and the future of Italy”. The Prime Minister will speak in the Intesa Sanpaolo B3 Auditorium after being introduced by Emilia Guarnieri, president of the Meeting Foundation, and Giorgio Vittadini, president of the Foundation for Subsidiarity. Opened by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations, will read the greeting message of the Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres.