The title of next edition. Final Press Conference
Rimini, August 26th 2015, The title of the XXXVII edition of the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples will take place from the 19th to the 25th of August 2016 in Rimini.
“Only the initiative of God the Creator could fulfill the breadth of the heart, and He came to us to allow us to find him just as we would find a friend.” With these words Pope Francis invited us to go even deeper into the theme of this year, that lack of the heart which inevitably leads to the desire for something bigger. The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, in the message sent to the Meeting stated the same: “There is always a risk of sectarian reactions or fundamentalist temptations.” That’s why we need not to lose sight of “our humanity, fraternity, the desire for what is good and beautiful”. This year, many protagonists have witnessed this: starting from father Ibrahim Alsabagh, Syrian priest in Aleppo. In a city devastated by four years of war, with the lack of water and food, the Franciscans opened the door of their convent to everyone, whether they are Muslims, Christians or Kurds. Father Charly from Buenos Aires, together with his young friends, came to Rimini to share their experience. And then the first lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani, and the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Taieb Baccouche, or Italian protagonists such as Pietro Modiano and Fausto Bertinotti, Card. Jean Louis Tauran, Card. George Pell, Card. Giuseppe Betori, Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, Msgr. Silvano Maria Tomasi, father Mario-Giuseppe Lepori, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order, the archaeologist Giorgio Buccellati, the Chairman of Special Olympics Timothy Shriver, the linguist Noam Chomsky, the scientist Duccio Macchetto and the astronaut Roberto Vittori. The Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Ministers Martina, Poletti, Gentiloni, Galletti, Delrio and Padoan. This research, this desire for what is good and beautiful, has also moved the great artists of the shows of the Meeting. A program that allowed the reading of texts such as “L’annuncio a Maria”, in a new translation, or the rediscovery of genres like the “folk mountain song” with the CET choir and the beauty of poetry with great performers of Italian theater during the inaugural show “The mark – Modern hearts.” The 3,000 volunteers – arrived from over 40 countries all over the world, a clear sign that the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples is a real experience – are the authentic protagonists of the Meeting. Together with them the people who have sustained the Meeting with donations, 218 speakers, curators (artists, scientists, writers and teachers), but also interpreters of the world economy and entrepreneurship, who have been driven by a desire to build and start again, as Nerio Alessandri, Brunello Cucinelli, Roberto Snaidero, Frederic Thil. Thanks to their contribution the Meeting has been built. We build it together because it’s just a meeting which originates new and alive subjects, able to affect the world. During the extraordinary dialogue between Monica Maggioni, president of Rai, Fr. Julián Carrón and professor Joseph Weiler, on the figure of Abraham and the alliance between man and God within the present day’s challenges -first of all that of reviving the self from its torpor and boredom- we heard: “That’s the beginning of a story. God began from what was there, from the “I,” just as it was at the beginning, with all its difficulties and all its limits. The stories in the Bible are full of the limitation of man. there is no mythologizing about man because real man is awakened (Fr. Julián Carrón). “In order to be looked at like Zacchaeus on the sycamore fig tree – Fausto Bertinotti said – the “I” needs somebody’s gaze to dialogue with.” “Through our history we have learned that there is no relationship with truth except through freedom.” “Man today,” said Fr. Giussani, “expects perhaps unconsciously the experience of the encounter with people for whom the fact of Christ is such a present reality that their life is changed. What will shake today’s man is a human impact.”
This is the reason why the title of the XXXVII edition of the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples which will take place in Rimini from the Friday 19th to Thursday 25th August 2016 is: “You are a good for me”.