Maria Voce


In this article based on her speech to the Economic Science Faculty at the University of Buenos Aires on April 12, 2012, the author begins by asking the question: Does the charism of unity have something to say to contemporary culture? She presents Chiara Lubich’s experience of unity and her vision for contributing to a more united and peaceful world. Looking briefly at the cultural situation in Europe today, the author presents the difficult cultural situations on that continent. But she quickly turns her attention to Latin America and the positive social, economic, and political changes that have recently taken place there as well as the challenges that still remain. She presents Chiara Lubich’s thoughts and proposals on her visit to Latin America in 1998 concerning those challenges. Lubich proposed an interreligious and intercultural “360 degree dialogue” that is based on fraternity. The author explains what fraternity meant to Chiara Lubich in the history of her own experience, in the Focolare spirituality of unity, and how it can be a paradigm for cultural development that overcomes the challenges facing Latin America—as well as the global community—today.