Vatican City, 08 June 2013: In this year 2013 we remember the anniversary of the
Edict of Milan, seen by many as a symbol of the first assertion of the principle of
religious freedom. A century ago, the celebration of this anniversary represented
a stage in history which favored the awareness and the contribution of Catholics in
the construction of Italian society, a contribution that continues to be important
for the progress of the nation, said Pope Francis on Saturday morning while addressing
the Italian President and his delegation.
In today's world, religious freedom is more often asserted than realized, the Pope said adding, it is forced to undergo various types of threats and not infrequently is violated. The serious outrages inflicted on the primary law is of serious concern and need to see the unanimous reaction of the countries of the world in reaffirming, against every attack, the inviolable dignity of the human person. And 'everyone's duty to defend and promote religious freedom for all. In the protection of this shared moral good is, moreover, also a guarantee of growth and development of the entire community, affirmed Pope Francis.
The Pontiff pointed out the global crisis, which accentuates the economic and social problems, and then listed many troubling phenomena such as the weakening of family and social ties, the decreasing population, the prevalence of logics that favor profit compared to the work, insufficient attention to the younger generations and their training in view of a peaceful and secure future.
Admitting that it is not easy to guarantee and develop the overall system of democratic institutions, the Pope exhorted all to cooperate in the promotion of a society where injustice can be overcome and every person is upheld and can contribute to the common good according to their dignity and taking advantage of their skills.
The Italian people, drawing from the examples of its patron saints Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena, can and must overcome every division and grow in justice and peace, and thus continue to play its unique role in the European context and in the family of nations. Pope thanked all for the warm affection he received from them.
Recalling the long history of relationship between Italy and the Holy See, Pope Francis said that the normality and excellence of relationships have been developed especially after the Conciliation and the inclusion of the Lateran Pacts in the Italian Constitution, and, after the Second Vatican Council and the revision of the Concordat of Agreement.
In his speech Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said that profound change comes from spiritual and moral values which alone can inspire the search for sustainable solutions to our problems, perspectives more serene and safe, and that he greatly supports the contribution of the Church, in this regard.
Source: VR Sedoc