ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL
Thursday, 13 January 2005
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. I am pleased to welcome you at the beginning of the New Year for the traditional exchange of greetings, and I offer each one of you my most cordial good wishes.
I greet respectfully Hon. Mr Francesco Storace, President of the Lazio
Region, Hon. Mr Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome, and Hon. Mr Enrico Gasbarra,
President of the Province of Rome. I thank them for expressing the common
sentiments of those present. I also greet the Presidents and Members of the
three Council Assemblies and their staff. My thoughts then go to all the
inhabitants of the City, Province and Region; I affectionately wish them a year
of serenity, spiritual and civil growth, and peace.
3. A further cause for satisfaction is the signing of the Protocol of
Agreement between the Vicariate, the Municipality and the Region concerning the
construction of new parish complexes on the city outskirts. This Accord, rightly
inspired by the principle of subsidiarity, will make it easier to build new
parishes which, in addition to providing pastoral care, also upgrade the urban
area and function as social centres where people can meet. Also on the agenda is
collaboration between the Church and the Municipal, Provincial and Regional
Institutions for the promotion of cultural events that will make the most of our
great artistic, historical and spiritual heritage.
The sad phenomena of drug addiction and more generally, hardship among youth, in turn require constant watchful attention and commitment, to provide young people with as good a future as possible.
Then what can be said of the urban traffic that becomes more congested and nerve-wracking from year to year? It causes considerable difficulties in the daily lives of many people and families. I very much hope that the bodies concerned can combine their contribution to improve the situation of urban traffic and transport. I eagerly hope that the matter of the condition of the roads and of city transport may be radically confronted with the contribution of all responsible bodies. With this in view, the opening of new communicating thoroughfares would certainly be helpful.
5. Honourable Representatives of the Regional, Provincial and Municipal Boards, I assure you of the support of my prayers for you and your daily work. With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and gladly extend it to your families and to all who live and work in Rome, in its Province and throughout Lazio.
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