Italy grieves over the death of Don Giussani
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.- In the wake of the passing of Msgr. Don Luigi Giussani, President of the Communion and Liberation Movement this morning, numerous members of Italian politics and public life have expressed their condolences. Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said of Giussani’s death, in a message to Signora Livia Giussani Sironi, "The news of the death of Don Luigi Giussani has effected me deeply. He was an extraordinary man of faith and culture who dedicated his existence to the education of new generations, working above all in the Communion and Liberation Movement that he founded more than 50 years ago.”

He contributed via his generous action to the promotion of the social and human maturation of many young people who saw him as their spiritual guide. 'Be ever more passionate about the mystery of man': this was his exhortation, his communication of the idea. A lesson of life that needs to continue to inspire the common commitment of the institutions and citizens in facing the challenges of the future. To family members and all those inspired by his noble example I send my condolences.”

Vice-president of the Italian parliament, Gianfranco Fini added, “A thoughtful and discrete man of the church has disappeared. He was a spiritual guide, capable of involve and fascinate the consciousnesses of many young people, by setting up a path of faith and a social responsibility for them to follow and go by.”

"The demise of Don Giussani is a great loss for the Catholic world. He succeeded in adapting the Church to modern times in the 20th century" said TLC Minister Maurizio Gasparri. "He left a deep mark in our country. He was a great man, and modernised the Catholic world. His faith was endless, and was a vehicle for unity. He founded the movement 'Comunione e Liberazione', initially opposed, but which then became a point of reference for millions of youngsters. These youngsters are now the bearers of his message and must follow the path he set".

European Union Polcies Minister Rocco Buttiglione added his condolences as well saying, "Everyone who met him was impressed with his Christian testimony. He said that faith could change your life, and was convinced it was true.”

“He used to tell the youngsters: 'I can understand you when you say you don't care about eternal life, because you don't know what it means; but Jesus Christ promises it will be 100 times better', and that's when they started following him, not in Italy, but throughout the world". "He taught his friends how to love earthly life, and hope in eternal one. That's why today is somehow a joyful day, because he reaches the goal he chased all his life, fulfilling his task".  

"I am close in this moment of pain to the friends of Communion and Liberation, who have lost their founder and father", declared president Silvio Berlusconi, in a note released by the Palazzo Chigi press office.

He continued saying that, "The loss of Monsignor Luigi Giussani is a loss for all of us. His faith in a strong civil potential touched many young people, who during years of domineering ideology, managed to defend liberty and carry out plans for the sharing of the needs of man. At this precise moment of history, I think that his figure and his message should be a model for the positive attitudes of all the good-willed Italians out there".

Msgr. Giussani died this morning in Milan at the age of 82.

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