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Pope praises Roman group for charitable work, spiritual focus

Catholic World News - February 24, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI praised the charitable work of the Circolo di San Pietro during a private audience with members of the group on February 24.

The Circolo di San Pietro was formed in 1869 by young members of Rome’s leading families who pledged to defend the Pontiff against the anti-clerical forces that were sweeping through Italy at that time. More recently the group has turned its attention to charitable work with the poor in Rome; it now operates 3 soup kitchens, serving 50,000 meals a year. The Pope thanked the group for those efforts, and for its annual contribution to the papal charities.

A genuine love for one’s neighbors, the Pope remarked, can be “measured in terms of the concern and solicitude we effectively strive to show towards others, especially the weak and the marginalized.” He added that this concern should extend to caring for the spiritual welfare of those in need. “Although modern culture seems to have lost a sense of good and evil,” the Pope said, “we must reaffirm that goodness exists and it triumphs.”

The Pontiff’s mention of both the physical and spiritual care for the needy appeared to refer to the hospice that the Circolo di San Pietro established in the Sacred Heart clinic in Rome, to provide compassionate care and prayerful support for the terminally ill.

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