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On 10 March 2020, AMI Executive Committee met the Secretary of the State Cardinal Parolin, to present a draft of the AMI Military App.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 emergency, the participation of AMI ExeCom was guaranteed by the single presence of AMI’s Secretary-General, Col. Domenico D’Ortenzi.
Before the beginning of the meeting, the AMI Secretary-General introduced those who couldn’t be at the meeting: the AMI President, Vice-Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, the former Chief of the Royal Dutch Navy and Don Michel Remery the author and Project Manager of Tweeting with God (well known application for young people with religious material, questions and answers, …). There was a WhatsApp video call in an exchange of greetings and hope in this difficult moment, between Cardinal Parolin and the AMI President.
Video call ended, the AMI Secretary-General started illustrating the AMI Military Application for smartphones to Cardinal Parolin and the wish of AMI to launch the App during the upcoming International Military Pilgrimage in Lourdes in May 2020.
Besides, there were presented all the steps forward and progress of the AMI community and specifically the following bullets list:
- successful conference in Austria thanks to the support of Bishop Werner Freistetter. Kenya has given the availability to host the AMI Conference in 2021;
- AMI Conference 2020 will be held for the first time ever in London thanks to the support of Bishop Paul Mason. It was explained that after the Declarations of Rome (year 2000) and Berlin (year 2010), after further ten years, AMI will promulgate the AMI Declaration of London 2020 in July;
- Enlargement of AMI. We are trying to make bigger our community potentially with a new member like South Africa and reintroducing countries like France and Portugal thanks to the availability of their Military Bishops: Mons. Antoine De Romanet and Mons. Rui Manuel Sousa Valério;
- AMI was keen to participate at the 5th International Humanitarian course in Rome last October and it was the occasion to keep in contact with several Ordinariates thanks to the Dicastery of Laity Family and Life and to Padre Giulio Cerchietti. AMI gave a substantial contribution and his President presented a specific topic “Detention in the context of multilateral operations” well participated with several questions from the audience;
- AMI, as done in the past, is very well integrated into the Forum of Catholic-inspired NGOs and during the last Forum it has been accepted to introduce two new topics on safety/security and strategic communication;
- A closer relationship with the worldwide Protestant military community;
In short, it was a great opportunity for our entire community to update Cardinal Parolin on our AMI Military App and, at the same time, to present the AMI initiatives and steps forward.