Forno di Coazze (AsiaNews) - Mgr Francis Xavier
Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok, has become the moderator of the
communion among bishops who adhere to the spirituality of the Focolari
movement. The new moderator has accepted the task from Maria Voce, current
president of the movement, following the death of its founder, Chiara Lubich
(1920-2008). He replaces Card Miloslav Vlk, archbishop emeritus of Prague,
who held the post for 18 years.
60 bishops and cardinals adhere to Focolari spirituality.
Their search is on of greater spiritual development at a personal level and greater
communion with the Church. For this reason, they meet regularly at conferences.
This year, their meeting was held in Forno
di Coazze (Turin, Italy) with 'Jesus' presence in one's brother' as the main
topic. Other meetings have been held in Castel Gandolfo, Istanbul, Jerusalem,
Beirut, Augsburg, Wittenberg, London and Geneva with the participation of members of other
For Maria Voce, Mgr Kovithavanij was chosen "as a sign
of the movement's openness and attention for emerging continents and dialogues."
Card Vlk was grateful for the nomination of a bishop
from the East, "where the spirituality of the Focolari movement is spreading
quickly, even among bishops."
In his best wishes to his successor Mgr Kovithavanij, "who
is well-prepared and suitable for the task, he said: "May you have the strength
and creativity needed to lead the communion among the bishops friends of the
The new moderator's mandate starts in October, during
the international assembly of the movement's leaders.
Monday, the bishops went on a pilgrimage to Sassello (Savona province), birthplace
of Chiara Luce Badano (1971-1990), a young woman member of the movement who
died at the age of 18 from bone cancer and was beatified soon after. She is a beloved
figure among youth.