2014-05-20 16:25:17

Pope's address to Italian bishops’ assembly

May 20, 2014 - ‎Italy’s current crisis that is not only economic, but also cultural, moral and spiritual, is an historic ‎emergency that calls for the social responsibility of all. Pope Francis thus invited the nation to fight what he called ‎‎‘catastrophism’ and resignation, by supporting with every form of creative solidarity those who are struggling. ‎For the first time in the history of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Italy (CEI) a Pope delivered the ‎keynote address opening its 66th General body meeting in the Vatican Monday afternoon. The keynote ‎address is normally reserved for CEI president.

The Pope urged the Italian Church not to run away ‎from the “waiting room” full of the jobless, those on dole and temporary workers where there is a living ‎drama of those who do not know how to bring bread to their homes or those who don’ know how to ‎carry their business forward. He specially pointed to areas where the Christian presence is mostly ‎required and meaningful. The first is the family, that is heavily penalized by a culture that idolizes ‎private interest and upholds a makeshift logic. He told the bishops to be the convinced voice of the ‎first cell of every society, bearing witness to its centrality and beauty. He told them to promote the life ‎of the unborn and the elderly. Provide support to parents in the difficult and exciting educative ‎journey. Do not forget to bend down with the compassion of the Good Samaritan on those wounded ‎in affection and who see their plan of life compromised.

He also told the bishops not to look the other ‎way, but to embrace migrants fleeing persecution, intolerance and lack of future. The current difficult ‎situations experienced by Italians, the Pope said, call for reviewing a development model that exploits ‎the created world and sacrifices persons on the altar of profit and creates new forms of marginalization ‎and exclusion. The need for a new humanism is the cry of a society without hope, that is shaken in ‎many of its fundamental beliefs and impoverished by a crisis that, more than economic, is cultural, ‎moral and spiritual. Calling the Italian bishops to authentic witness and discipleship, he encouraged ‎them to be tireless caregivers to all in need, and to be courageous teachers of the faith. “Go out to meet ‎anyone who should ask the reason for the hope that is in you,” said Pope Francis.

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