ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO MEMBERS OF
THE REGIONAL BOARD OF LAZIO, THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF ROME AND THE PROVINCE
Thursday, 11 January 2007
Distinguished Ladies and
This is the second time I have
the pleasure of receiving you at the beginning of the year for the traditional
exchange of greetings. I am grateful to you for coming here and offer my cordial
and respectful greetings to Hon. Mr Pietro Marrazzo, President of the Regional
Board of Lazio, to Hon. Mr Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome, and to Hon. Mr Enrico
Gasbarra, President of the Province of Rome. I sincerely thank them for their
kind words, also on behalf of the Boards they head. With them, I greet the
Presidents of the respective Council Assemblies and all of you who are gathered
Our meeting is a favourable
opportunity for strengthening and consolidating those deep, ancient and
tenacious bonds that unite the Successor of Peter with this City, unique in the
world, with its Province and with the entire Lazio Region.
Through you, I express my
affection, closeness and pastoral concern to each one of the citizens and
inhabitants of Rome and of Lazio and its cities, towns and suburbs; a land in
which Christianity has put down particularly visible roots down the centuries
and produced works of beauty and fruits of good, demonstrating in practice how
true a friend of men and women God made man actually is.
This legacy of goodness and
beauty is now in a certain sense also entrusted to you as public administrators,
with full respect for the healthy secularity of your functions. Moreover, this
is a natural context for collaboration between the Church and the civil society
you represent. The integral human good of the populations of Rome and Lazio are
certainly protected and increased by this cooperation.
In this spirit, I would like to
draw your attention to certain matters of common interest and great importance
and timeliness. To do so, I draw inspiration from a very recent experience that
brought me deep joy: my Visit last week to the Soup Kitchen of the Diocesan
Caritas of Rome on the Colle Oppio.
On that occasion, in naming the
Soup Kitchen after my unforgettable Predecessor, John Paul II, I repeated the
words he spoke in the very same place 15 years ago: "Suffering man belongs to
us". Yes, dear Representatives of the Administrative Boards of Rome and of
Lazio, every suffering person belongs to the Church and at the same time to all
the brethren in humanity. Thus, the suffering belong also and in a special way
to your responsibility as public administrators.
I cannot but rejoice, therefore,
in the collaboration that has existed for quite some time between the ecclesial
bodies and your Administrations for the purpose of alleviating and going to the
help of the many forms of poverty, financial and also human and relational,
which afflict a considerable number of people and families, especially among
There is then the immense field
of health care that requires an enormous, coordinated effort to guarantee people
suffering from physical or psychological illnesses prompt and appropriate
treatment: also in this area, the Church and Catholic organizations are
pleased to offer their collaboration, in the light of the great principles of
the sacredness of human life from conception to its natural end, and of the
centrality of the sick person. I trust in your readiness to encourage this
collaboration, which will undoubtedly benefit the entire population.
This same concern for the human
being that impels us to be close to the poor and the sick makes us attentive to
that fundamental human good of the family based on marriage. Today, the
intrinsic value and authentic motivations of marriage and the family need to be
understood better. To this end, the Church's pastoral commitment has been
considerable and must increase further.
But a twofold policy of and for
the family, which calls into question the responsibility of its members, is also
necessary. In other words, it is a matter of increasing initiatives that can
make the forming of a family and subsequently having and raising children easier
and less burdensome for young couples; that encourage the employment of youth,
contain housing costs as much as possible and increase the number of
kindergartens and nursery schools.
Indeed, those projects that aim
to attribute to other forms of union inappropriate legal recognition, inevitably
lead to weakening and destabilizing the legitimate family founded on marriage
and appear to be dangerous and counterproductive.
Educating the new generations is
the pastoral priority on which the Diocese of Rome is currently focusing
attention. The social and civil importance of this problem certainly escapes
none of you. Therefore, while I am grateful for the support you
already offer to certain forms of the Church's educational commitment, including
the after-school recreation facilities, I am confident that in this area too it
will be possible to develop a fruitful collaboration with respect for the
temperament and tasks proper to each one of those concerned.
Distinguished Authorities, there
are many other problems, often very complex, that you must face every day in
order to foster the financial, social and cultural development of Rome and
Lazio. I consequently assure you of my closeness and my prayers for you and for
the lofty responsibilities you are called to exercise. May the Lord guide your
steps and illumine your decisions.
With these sentiments, I warmly
impart to each one of you my Apostolic Blessing, which I willingly extend to
your families and to all who live and work in Rome, in its Province and
© Copyright 2007 - Libreria
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