The strength of utopia: that long journey of solidarity and culture initiated by Di Piazza

UDINE. Never the Convention of the Balducci Center, now in its thirtieth edition, had celebratory or commendatory purposes, characteristics that could peep out, but only marginally, within programs always based mainly on the analysis of social problems and events and spiritual events linked to the actuality of the moment. And not even this time, despite the drama of Don Pierluigi Di Piazza’s death, would it have been legitimate to make an exception.

The 2022 Convention, “Small signs: the strength of utopia. On the way with Pierluigi Di Piazza “, which will begin tomorrow, Thursday, at 20.30, at the Giovanni da Udine theater, is, yes, dedicated to the memory of the founder of the Balducci Center, but not only to celebrate his commitment and his work, but with the main purpose of helping to make his immense spiritual heritage more approachable, understandable and manageable based on the practice of solidarity and the spread of culture not intended as separate or separable entities, but as a single, closely intertwined reality, capable of making become stable a system of care for others that cannot live only on the basis of impromptu impulses, even strong ones, but which, if not accompanied by a convinced cultural basis, are destined to wither in a short time, while, instead, they must become, ‘is mentioned in the title of the conference, the solid trace of a long and not simple path, but one capable of transforming utopias into reality with small signs

It is precisely in order to try to understand how the Balducci Center has developed in its thirty years of life and how we should continue in this work that the various appointments of the next Conference which will begin, as in the past, at the Giovanni da Udine theater have been focused. , capable of hosting the many people who have followed Pierluigi and his initiatives and who want to testify affection and gratitude for a work that has left deep traces in many sectors of our life.

To better convey the vast panorama of his commitment, it was decided to give the name of some of his books to the various time segments of the program. The opening night is entitled “In the heart of humanity” and will see on stage, in addition to the new president of the Center, Paolo Iannaccone, and his brother Vito, the president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, and two old friends of Pierluigi, the theologian Vito Mancuso and the senator and former magistrate Roberto Scarpinato who will talk about faith, religion, justice and society in a world that is changing at increasing speed and that sees inequalities increase dramatically. It will be a tribute to what Don Pierluigi called his two ethical compasses: the Gospels, in the field of faith, and the Italian Constitution, in the secular one. Without ever separating them too much, because, ultimately, they always indicate the same cardinal point.

The other themes are “My enemy is indifference” to remember that he never refused to confront the most difficult and thorny topics, but, on the contrary, he always urged them with the conviction that only with discussion and mutual understanding really concrete steps forward can be made.

In “Comrades on the road” some of those who have witnessed the birth and development of the Center will speak. In “Do not turn the other side” the protagonist will be the welcome, while in “Outside the temple” we will speak above all of that spirituality to which Don Di Piazza has incessantly dedicated his thoughts.

Three appendages: on Sunday morning a walk on a stretch of the Balkan route to reach San Dorligo della Valle, an event to which Pierluigi had already assured his presence; the evening of the following Tuesday, again at the Balducci Center, with Massimo Cacciari, another great friend of Pierluigi’s, and finally on November 19, the day before his birthday, a day dedicated to the students of the region to whom the founder of the Balducci Center has always dedicated particular attention and affection.

The strength of utopia: that long journey of solidarity and culture initiated by Di Piazza