.- Earlier today, the Vatican released a letter from Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on the death--one year ago tomorrow--of Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the Church’s prominent Communion and Liberation movement; a man whom he called “a zealous pastor” and “a man who loved Christ.”
The letter was addressed to Fr. Julian Carron, current president of the Communion and Liberation association and successor to Msgr. Giussani, who died at the age if 82 last year.
Recalling the Monsignor’s life, the Pope called him "a father and teacher of so many young people to whom he indicated Christ as the center of their lives."
He also gave thanks to God "for the gift of such a zealous pastor, who loved man because he loved Christ."
The late Pope John Paul II chose to send then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the funeral as his representative.
On this, Pope Benedict wrote that "With emotion, I recall the solemn celebration of his funeral in the Duomo of Milan, when I had a further opportunity to note the respect and appreciation that he, in the course of his fruitful life, was able to arouse around his person, his teaching and his apostolic work.”
Recalling his own words during the funeral service, Benedict said that “the most striking things about Don Giussani were his solid faithfulness to Christ and his incessant efforts to communicate the wealth of the evangelical message to all social groups."
The Pontiff closed by calling on Don Giussani's spiritual followers to continue "in his footsteps and his teaching," and always to remain "in communion with bishops and other ecclesial figures.”
To that end, he gave assurances of his prayers, “asking the Lord that Communion and Liberation may serve the cause of the Gospel with joy, continuing the work begun by their venerated predecessor."