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Vatican appoints bishop to oversee Communion and Liberation lay branch


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 09/28/21

The Memores Domini are the group charged with caring for Benedict XVI's residence.

Pope Francis has appointed the archbishop of Taranto, Bishop Filippo Santoro, as special delegate of the Lay Association of Communion and Liberation, Memores Domini, the Vatican announced.

Since September 25, Bishop Santoro has temporarily assumed the direction of the association, replacing the current leadership of the movement “in order to safeguard its charism and preserve the unity of its members.”

The Holy Father recognizes “in its charism a manifestation of God’s grace,” the statement affirmed.

The Vatican press release also explains that the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has appointed Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda as “pontifical assistant” for canonical questions relating to Memores Domini.

The prefect of this Dicastery, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, had already appointed Father Ghirlanda as pontifical delegate to the group on July 6, 2020.

Bishop Santoro, the new delegate, was very involved in the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation, as he was responsible for the group in Latin America in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Founded in 1954 by Luigi Giussani, the Communion and Liberation movement enjoyed great growth following Vatican II, and can be found today in 90 countries.

The Memores Domini movement was created in 1964 and is a lay Catholic association under the aegis of Communion and Liberation. Its members live the precepts of obedience, poverty and chastity, having the world of work as their domain of apostolate.

In addition, several women belonging to the movement have been serving Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI since his retirement in 2013.

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