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Conference paper

Mediterranean – a Place of Meeting and Peace

Želimir Puljić ; Zadar Archdiocese, Zadar, Croatia


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Abstract

The paper is about the Mediterranean as a “place of meeting and peace”. Namely, at the invitation of the Italian Episcopal Conference, a meeting of Catholic bishops from the countries connected with the Mediterranean was held in Bari from 19 to 23 February 2020. The meeting, organized for the first time in history, was attended by 58 representatives from 20 “Mediterranean countries”. When asked why this meeting was organized, the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, answered: “With this initiative, we do not want to align ourselves with the prophets of calamities who give up when it comes to riots and wars…, for we believe that love is stronger than hatred, dialogue than fundamentalism, and justice than lawlessness. “ And the project of the Meeting of the Churches of the Mediterranean has historical roots related to the “prophetic vision” of the mayor of Florence, Giorgio La Pira, who organized the “Mediterranean talks” in the 1950s. He called the Mediterranean “Lake of Tiberias”, surrounded by peoples belonging to the “triple family of Abraham.” This time, an invitation was sent to Catholic bishops from the Mediterranean to come to Bari for a “meeting, conversation and prayer” that ended with a Eucharistic celebration with Pope Francis on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Although the meeting was not a “scientific gathering”, it was a historical and noted media event in which the bishops spoke in a “synodal way” about the signs of the times for this time of ours, and exchanged the rich and diverse liturgical, ecclesial and spiritual church tradition. Gathered around Pope Francis, with whom this meeting ended, one could feel the “prophetic words” of the Holy Father by which he directs us and encourages us to “be peacemakers and promoters of dialogue between peoples and nations through ecumenical and interreligious meetings.” In this regard, the work and writing of the Servant of God Giorgio La Pira on the Mediterranean as a “bridge connecting spaces and people”, linked to “a theology that should foster peace and culture of dialogue”, was particularly significant at the meeting of the bishops in Bari with the topic “Mediterranean as a Place of Meeting and Peace”.

Keywords

Pope Francis, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Giorgio La Pira, Mediterranean colloquia, Mediterranean as Lake of Tiberias; triple family of Abraham; Mediterranean – “bridge that connects” spaces and people; Bari – “the capital of unity”; Mediterranean – “a big tent of peace”; kerygmatic theology

Hrčak ID:

253711

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/253711

Publication date:

29.3.2021.

Article data in other languages: croatian

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