LETTER OF HIS
HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI,
From the Vatican, 14 November 2012
For the ceremony on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s Visit to the Italian Parliament, the Holy Father Benedict XVI wishes to address to Your Excellencies and to all the Senators and Deputies his cordial Greeting which he extends with affection to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The meeting in a common public session on 14 November 2002 in the Hall of Montecitorio marked a memorable page in the history of relations between Italy and the Holy See. The event was enhanced by the authority of the venerable figure of the Blessed Pontiff, who strongly desired that meeting, despite the already precarious condition of his health. The unanimous warm welcome that he received on entering the Hall and the consensus expressed at the end of his Discourse remain impressed on all the witnesses of that day.
Ten years later, in a social context burdened by the consequences of the economic crisis then already being felt, it is necessary to remember the invitation to draw from the lifeblood of Christianity, which gives life to the social and cultural identity of Italy and its mission in Europe and in the world. Even in difficult times this spiritual and ethical patrimony can always offer appropriate resources for the renewal of consciences and for a harmonious orientation to the common good, in the first place by those who are called to be members of this Parliament.
For this reason, the Supreme Pontiff expresses the hope that the constant cooperation between Italy and the Holy See, as well as between the State and the Church in Italy, may continue to sustain the Italian Nation on its journey and, in particular families, in their primordial educational and social role, and all the citizens, especially in their sense of civil responsibility. To this end he assures you of his remembrance in prayer and warmly invokes upon you, upon every Member of the two houses of Parliament and upon their respective work an abundance of heavenly blessings.
As I express my personal good wishes for their lofty service to the good of the country, I avail myself of the occasion to renew to Your Excellencies the assurance of my highest consideration.
+ Tarcisio Card. Bertone
Secretary of State