Towards the Meeting 2022. A passion for the person

25 August 2021
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The final statement of the 42nd Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples and the title of the next edition to be held in Rimini from 20 to 25 August 2022.

The 42nd edition of the Rimini Meeting opened the horizon for a possible and sustainable new beginning, encouraging people to assume personal responsibility in the face of the challenges of our time. The title “The Courage to Say 'I'” invited us to reflect on the initiative of the individual as the origin of a more supportive society, as well as the urgency of posing existential questions as a source of truer relationships and more open dialogues for mutual enrichment. The Holy Father's invitation to dialogue and be witnesses was gratefully welcomed, and many of the sessions echoed the President of the Italian Republic’s reminder of the link between freedom and responsibility for the common good, which he spoke of during the opening session. The tragedy in Afghanistan was at the center of numerous meetings, highlighting how freedom and democracy cannot be taken for granted and that their defense depends on the one hand on education and civil courage, and on the other on a geopolitical context capable of containing the most violent threats while respecting cultural and religious identities.

As was the case at the 2020 Meeting – which was held as a “special edition” mainly via livestream – this year more than 70 meetings have been again broadcast virtually with simultaneous English and Spanish translations. In more than 20 countries, small Meetings that connected to the Rimini Meeting were organized.

Turning to the exhibitions, "Living without fear in the age of uncertainty" is the title of one of the most visited exhibitions and one of the most attended conference sessions of the Meeting. Both focused on the dialogue between philosopher Charles Taylor, Anglican theologian Rowan Williams and Julián Carrón, President of Communion and Liberation. Through a multimedia journey, the exhibition presented various aspects of postmodern culture, indicating that secularization is a “vocation”, an “invitation”, and an “opportunity” for Christians to rediscover and grow in the experience of an authentic faith. Other exhibitions highlighted the topicality of Pasolini's work, the impact of TV series on personal and social life, and examples of virtuous women who have had the courage to create work for themselves and cultivate friendship in the midst of a thousand difficulties.

Edith Bruck, Elisa Fuksas, Susanna Tamaro, Eraldo Affinati, Carmen Pellegrino, Gian Mario Villalta, Andrea Benanti, Pupi Avati, Fabio Volo, Luca Doninelli, Alessandro Baricco, Sergio Givone, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi are just some of the protagonists of the world of culture who brought their testimonies to the Meeting through video-interviews or live interventions.

As always, science marked an original dimension of the Meeting. The human ‘I’ was taken as the "object" of scientific investigation in its most constitutive and mysterious levels (language and consciousness) and as the subject of a gaze towards the entire universe, involving guests of the caliber of Andrea Moro, Marcello Massimini, Juan José Gómez Cadenas and, on the theme of supermassive black holes, Reinhard Genzel, the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

In several meetings and exhibitions, education and professional training were highlighted as avenues for recovery and the creation of decent work. The daily talk  “Il lavoro che verrà” (The Work to Come), organized by the Foundation for Subsidiarity, addressed these themes. Again with an outlook oriented towards future generations, issues such as the environmental and social sustainability of the economy, the reform of health systems, new technologies, mobility and new sources of energy have also been addressed. Numerous ministers, regional presidents, entrepreneurs, social workers and trade unionists discussed these topics.

Damir Mukhetdinov, Executive Secretary of the International Muslim Forum, David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldees and Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi discussed the encyclical Fratres Omnes highlighting its centrality at this juncture in world history.

Various international cooperation initiatives were exhibited in a dedicated pavilion. In a session on the development of cooperation, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio clarified the Italian and European position in the face of the tragedy in Afghanistan, indicating the G20 as the most suitable and necessary multilateral forum to discuss new international policies.

One of the central themes was the future of democracy, with speakers such as President Luciano Violante, Professors Joseph Weiler and Sabino Cassese. To further address this topic, a meeting was held between the leaders of the parties represented in Parliament: Giuseppe Conte, Enrico Letta, Maurizio Lupi, Giorgia Meloni, Ettore Rosato, Matteo Salvini, Antonio Tajani.

The Meeting Music contest with the finale at the Lido Arena in Rimini saw the participation of 137 young musicians and bands. Important evening shows were presented in the squares of the historic center of Rimini: the inaugural concert with maestro Uto Ughi, a concert with the young violinist and composer Federico Mecozzi, theatrical performances on Dante with Marco Martinelli, on the figure of Saint Joseph with Maurizio Donadoni, and finally "La Sagra Famiglia" by Cevoli.

Finally, some figures: more than 250,000 people followed the sessions of the Meeting live and on our digital platforms. To these numbers we must also add the 74,000 daily views of the Talk “Il lavoro che verrà” (The Work to Come) and the 66 live broadcasts of 36 Meeting events on national TV and on the web pages of the main Italian newspapers. Almost 80,000 people passed through the Rimini Fiera during the event, scrupulously complying with the anti-Covid protocols, showing their green passes or taking rapid antigen tests.

Finally, the 1,700 volunteers, plus the 250 pre-Meeting volunteers, have borne witness to the title of the Meeting by building and setting up this event with such professionalism that is above all an expression of gratuitousness, attention and care.

The 43rd Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples will be held at Fiera di Rimini from 20-25 August 2022 and will be entitled “A passion for the person”.