.- Fr. Julian Carron has been re-elected president of Communion and Liberation for another six years. The Central Diaconia of the Catholic fraternal organization voted unanimously to re-elect Carron March 21.
The priest was first asked to help lead the movement by its founder, Fr. Luigi Giussani, in 2004, one year before Guissani’s death. Carron was elected president in 2005 and reconfirmed in the position for six years in 2014. His third term as president of Communion and Liberation will conclude in 2026.
The vote was carried out by secret ballot, according to the movement’s website. Nine members of the Diaconia were present at the movement’s headquarters in Milan and another 21 took part via video call from Italy and other parts of the world. One member was not able to participate.
Carron communicated his re-election in a letter to members of Communion and Liberation March 23, indicating that the vote had been scheduled the previous March, with the year spent in discussion of possible candidates for president.
“After thanking everyone for having put their faith in me once again, I accepted the responsibility with the same openness I have had in responding from the first moment that Fr. Giussani called me,” he wrote, “and with the sole desire of following and supporting the design of an Other.”
Carron said they decided not to postpone the election, despite the coronavirus emergency, because they determined it would not be good for the movement to be guided for too long by “a president acting under a provisional extension.”
“Having verified that the necessary legal, organizational, and logistical conditions were present, we decided to hold the meeting as scheduled,” Carron said.
Communion and Liberation is a Catholic movement originating in the 1950s with Italian priest Msgr. Luigi Giussani. The international group focuses on the actualization of man’s faith by living the Christian presence within community.
Carron, 70, is a Spanish theologian. He first met Giussani in the 1980s.
In his March 23 letter, he wrote that, “aware of my limitations, I desire to continue in service to the initiative of the One who is the true protagonist of what we live. None of us, in fact, would be capable of generating what we see happening among and around us.”
He added that everyone is “truly stupefied by all the richness of life, of the initiatives and newness happening right now, at a particularly challenging time, during an age when nihilism reigns all around us.”
“Specifically, in the dramatic circumstances we are passing through, it is particularly evident how the educational path in which we participate generates people who are capable of facing challenges without giving in to fear or nothingness,” Carron said.
The priest also asked for prayers that he will be docile to the will of God and that, through the intercession of Fr. Giussani, they all will remain faithful to the charisms given to them by the Holy Spirit.
Noting the economic difficulty caused by the COVID-19 health emergency, he appealed to members of Communion and Liberation to “to be very serious in considering the commitment each of you has made or intends to make” to the movement’s “common fund.”
“This will allow the Fraternity to address, to the extent possible, and keeping in mind all the factors at play, the various needs that are presented,” he wrote. “In these dramatic days, we all perceive the desire to come to the aid of the many people who are now or will soon be in great need.”
Fr. Carron also expressed his closeness to the fraternity’s members who are on the “frontlines” in fighting the coronavirus, such as doctors and nurses, and to those who are sick or whose loved ones have died.