Professor Russell Pearce was quoted in The Tablet in an article on Margaret Karram’s appointment to president of the Focolare movement.
On Jan. 31, the Focolare’s general assembly elected Karram to be its next president. Besides Lubich, there had been only one other Focolare leader — Italian lawyer Maria Voca, who stepped down because of term limits.
Karram, Voca, and members of the assembly had an audience with Pope Francis on Feb. 5 at the Vatican.
“I repeat before you, Your Holiness, the words, ‘Here I am,’ that I pronounced at my election,” Karram said. “But, I don’t like the word ‘president.’ I’m a daughter of the Church, and I want to be at your service and the service of all.”
Law professor Russell Pearce is the founder of Fordham’s Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work. He is a reformed Jew who met Karram about 18 years ago while researching Focolare teachings.
The institute helps law students and lawyers learn how religion and spirituality can become a nurturing aspect of their legal careers.
“When I started teaching,” Pearce said, “I was thinking in terms of Jewish person how we’re taught that every moment has potential to be sacred, and how to bring that into law.”
He added that because Jesuits founded Fordham, he delved into their mission and principles, like caring for the entire person. Pearce joined in Catholic-Jewish interfaith dialogues in Israel and Rome, where he developed contacts with Focolare leaders.
“I got to meet all these amazing people, and one of them was Margaret.”