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Support families, encourage youth, Pope urges Italian government officials

Catholic World News - January 12, 2012

In an annual address to local officials of Rome and the surrounding Lazio region, Pope Benedict XVI said that government policies should reflect and promote a new, stronger sense of community.

Today’s economic crisis, the Pope said, has been caused in large part by a philosophy of radical individualism, with each person “concerned first and foremost with satisfying his own needs and desires, with scant concern for others.” The results have been damaging to all of society, but especially to those in need. Along with sheer economic need, the Pope said, the crisis has caused a loss of confidence, especially among younger people, reflecting “the increasing difficulty for young people to gain entry to the world of work.”

To build a more just and hopeful society, the Pope said, the first step is to recognize the importance of human relationships. This will begin, he said, with a recognition of man’s relationship with God. From that base, he said, people will build relationships with others, noticing and caring for their needs. He remarked: “There is a need for charity and justice in difficult times so those who have more take care of those living in difficult conditions."

The Pontiff encouraged political leaders to work for a restoration of confidence among the young by working toward and expansion of employment opportunities. To solidify family life, he recommended “grants and tax breaks that encourage a positive birth rate.”

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