The World

Rimini to bring together scientists, intellectuals and artists in a cultural event

The 44th edition of the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples will be held in Rimini from August 20 to 25, 2023. This year's event will focus on the theme "Human existence is an inexhaustible friendship".

Loreto Rios-August 18, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

A presentation at the Peoples' Friendship Meeting 2022 ©bonfaphoto

The Peoples' Friendship Meeting will begin on Sunday, August 20 with a Mass presided over by Cardinal Matteo Zuppi and concelebrated by the Bishop of Rimini, Nicolò Anselmi.

Meeting History

Organized by the Catholic movement of Communion and LiberationThe first edition of the meeting was held in 1980. In 2008, the promoting committee, constituted as an association since December 8, 1980, was transformed into the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples Foundation, the entity in charge of organizing the meeting every year.

This foundation, according to the website, "was born from the desire of some friends to meet, get to know and bring to Rimini all that is beautiful and good in the culture" of our time. The Meeting Foundation "bets on the desire and passion that every man has in his heart to create a common ground for meeting and dialogue". Volunteers are a key pillar in the organization of the event, putting "in common" their inclination "towards truth, goodness and beauty".

During seven days in August, the Meeting gathers every year important personalities from different academic and artistic fields and from different religions and cultures, and is defined as "the cultural festival with more participation in the world" and "a place of friendship where peace, coexistence and friendship among peoples can be built".

The program is very varied: it includes lectures on different topics (economics, art, literature, science, politics...), round tables, exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances.

Edition 2023

The theme of the 2023 edition, "Human existence is an inexhaustible friendship," is "an invitation to discover the deeper meaning of friendship, its generative force, its origins and its prospects for the existence of every human being and for the construction of a new society. Friendship has always been at the center of the human heart's desire; it is a gift that no one can claim".

This year, the program will address topics related to education, press responsibility, science, physics, politics, friendship in the Bible, nuclear fusion, vocation at work, the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, reason and faith, artificial intelligence, healthcare, demography, literature and poetry, architecture, blue and circular economy, nature, among others.

Tolkien, Dostoyevsky and motorcycle GP

Some of the highlights are the meeting on Friday 25 with the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, or the interview with Marco Bezzecchi, moto GP rider. There will also be a music contest, the Meeting Music Contest and a creative writing workshop.

In relation to the performing arts, the staging of Dostoyevsky's "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man", starring the Italian theater icon Gabriele Lavia, and the concert "The Heart in Everything", dedicated to the surgeon and educator Enzo Piccinini, in the process of beatification, are worth mentioning.

Tolkien will also be present in the program with the lecture "The mission of Frodo: individual and company in 'The Lord of the Rings'. 50 years after Tolkien's death", by Giuseppe Pezzini, professor at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Paolo Prosperi, priest of the Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo.

The Meeting will also include presentations that recall personalities such as Aldo Moro, Lorenzo Milani, Dorothy Day, the Venezuelan Blessed José Gregorio Hernández, the Blessed Pino Puglisi or the Japanese Takashi Pablo Nagai, medical survivor of the atomic bomb in the process of beatification, of whom Ediciones Encuentro has recently published a book, "What never dies". This last paper, entitled "Inexhaustible Friendships. 'What never dies'. The figure of Takashi Nagai", will feature the participation of Paola Marenco, vice president of the Committee of Friends of Takashi and Midori Nagai.

Pope's message

On the occasion of the Meeting, the Pope sent a message to the Bishop of Rimini, Monsignor Nicolò Anselmi, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, in which he emphasized that the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples seeks "to be a place of friendship between individuals and peoples, opening paths of encounter and dialogue".

Finally, the communiqué underlines that "Pope Francis hopes that the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples will continue to promote the culture of encounter, open to all, excluding no one, because in everyone there is a reflection of the Father (...). May each of the participants learn a little to approach others in the manner of Jesus (...)".

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