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Pope Francis: City mayors called to be mediators

(Vatican) On Saturday, Pope Francis received in audience the municipal leaders of Italy.

In his address the Pope told the representatives of the National Association of Italian Municipalities to look to the men and women of the Church – pastors, religious sisters, and laypeople – as examples of knowing how to walk with and among the people.

He warned against the danger of becoming a mayor who exploits the needs of the people, and who always takes something for himself.

Instead, a mayor should be a mediator, “one who pays with his own life for the unity of his people, for the good of his people, putting forward different solutions [according to] the needs of his people.”

The Holy Father went on to commend those present, saying “you are mediators. Among the people, to create unity, to make peace, to resolve problems and resolve the needs of the people.”

Pope Francis reflected on when Jesus was in the crowd and was pushed, says the Gospel, so that he could barely breath. “So too must the mayor be, with his people… Exhausted, in the midst of your people, and sought after by the people because they know you always respond well.”

Listen to Ann Schneible’s report: RealAudioMP3