|Germany||MOVEMENTS MEET TO CONSIDER 'NEW MATURITY'|
Representatives of 40 Catholic lay communities and movements met near Stuttgart earlier this month to work out a strategy of easing tensions and working more effectively with the local church.
The event was the brainchild of three of their leaders: Chiara Lubich, the 80-year-old founder of Focolare, Professor Andrea Riccardi of Rome's Sant' Egidio community, and Salvatore Martinez of Italian Charismatic Renewal.
It was also a response to the call made by the Pope in St Peter's Square in Rome a year earlier, when he addressed 400,000 members of lay movements, praising them for their evangelical fervour while calling them to a "new stage of maturity" when they would put their gifts more at the service of the local Church.
Many of the movements have experienced difficulties at a local level. They have been accused of elitism, and of taking the most committed parish members out of the parish structure.
Tablet 11:43am 21/6/99