01-09-2008 - Traces, n. 8

La Thuile

Maurizio Lupi and Javier Prades testified about Italian politics and the situation in Spain, and what it means to take initiative to build in the social context, starting from the provocations of reality

However you look at it, there are two factors that weigh ever more heavily on our society: strong de-Christianization (that is, the elimination of those principles and values that gave rise to our civilization) and hopeless indifference toward reality. Maurizio Lupi, Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, faces these problems in his engagement in politics. “Parliament,” he began in his testimony Friday evening, “is the place of the triumph of opinions: one idea is as good as another. And Christianity is one idea among many. So why can I say that my idea, my position is the right one? Because of the experience I have, the experience I live.” This awareness of acknowledged belonging has given rise to the establishment of a School of Community in Parliament. “For me, right from the start it was a point of reference because it forced me to acknowledge in that instant the truth of the responsibility I had and of the life I was living.” It was the beginning of a series of unexpected encounters, like the one with Msgr. Rino Fisichella, who celebrates daily Mass in Parliament. “An important friendship developed between us, one that generated and generates, so much so that four years ago we proposed an annual pilgrimage for the members of Parliament.” In this responsibility to reality, other important experiences have flowered, such as the Parliamentary Group for Subsidiarity, and the School of Politics for Youth. “We work, we struggle so that what we believe in–and it’s not an idea–can be ever more true.”
The dialogue moves from Italy to Spain, where the Socialists, in power since 2004, have undertaken a great cultural transformation, as Javier Prades explained in his testimony. The transformation is happening “above all on two questions: the territorial conception of Spain, that is, nationalism and sovereignty, and secularism, that is, the definitive ‘modernization’ of the country with a series of laws, like that on gay marriage, appearing out of the blue.” How should one behave in this moment of history? “We’ve taken a stand more than once through some public initiatives of the Movement and the Companionship of Works, and through some campaigns we launched with other people on education, freedom, terrorism, family, and the relationship between Church and State. The uniting theme of these initiatives was the attempt to begin from a secular basis, that is, the description and affirmation of an experience common to all, a human experience that can be embraced by all.” This series of initiatives has generated “a communional subject, a unity among us. For this reason, I begin each year with more gusto, with the desire to stay together and with the certainty that because of this unity, one can continue learning. In other words, reason broadens because of the experience that is given to us each day.”