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Saturday, 6 November 2004


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I welcome you today with great pleasure on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Roma's foundation. I welcome each one of you and your families. I extend my cordial greeting to all who work in the various centres and branches of your Credit Institute. In particular, I salute and thank your President, who has expressed your common sentiments. He wanted to recall the spirit that from the beginning has animated and continues to sustain the many good initiatives promoted by your Bank in Lazio and in other parts of Italy.

2. When the Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Roma was started 50 years ago, it was very clearly intended by your founders as a means to offer society solidarity and mutuality, inspired by the principles and teachings of the Church's social doctrine. Your Bank has grown considerably today, and so many prospects are opening for its future. My heartfelt wish is that, thanks to the contribution of all, it can carry on, keeping in mind the requirements of the common good.

3. I would like to express particular thanks to you, Mr President, and to your collaborators, for the attention that your Credit Institute pays to the Ecclesial Communities, to the parishes, especially rural ones, and to the works for human advancement run by ecclesiastical entities or by Religious Communities. By helping the activities of the Church, you contribute to spreading the Gospel and consolidating the culture of love. Continue to carry out your activities, treasuring the mature experience in Catholic structures of the Credito Cooperativo. As believers, always be aware that, in order to faithfully accomplish your work, you must assiduously cultivate personal contact with Christ.

In every time, but especially in our age, Christians must be in every field the ferment of authentic social renewal and the yeast of evangelical hope. To this end, the recently published Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church can also be helpful for your formation and Christian witness.

Dear brothers and sisters, I entrust each one of you, your families and the many activities of your Bank to Mary. For my part, I assure you of a remembrance in prayer, while I bless you all from the heart.

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