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In Tuscany, Pope speaks of solidarity

Catholic World News - May 14, 2012

During a May 13 visit to the Italian region of Tuscany, Pope Benedict XVI said that during the current economic crisis, Christians should “show concrete signs of solidarity with those in need, sharing resources, promoting simpler lifestyles, going against an ephemeral culture which has disappointed many and determined a profound spiritual crisis.”

The Holy Father traveled to Tuscany by helicopter, arriving first in Arezzo, where he celebrated Mass in a park outside the cathedral. In his homily he encouraged the faithful of Arezzo to be “ferment in society,” spreading the Gospel message.

The Pope reminded the people of Tuscany that their region was “the birthplace of great Renaissance personalities,” whose influence confirmed a Christian vision for Europe. Today, he said, Christians should ask themselves “what vision of man we are proposing to the new generations.”

The Pontiff mentioned some of the principles that Christians should promote in contemporay European society. "Bearing witness to the love of God by caring for the weakest is tied to the defense of human life,” he said, adding that “the defense of the family” is also a key element of protecting society.

Pope Benedict had been scheduled to travel next to the shrine of the Holy Wounds in La Verna, the place where, according to tradition, St. Francis of Assisi received the stigmata. But inclement weather forced a change in the Pontiff’s flight plans, and he traveled directly to Sansepolcro, where he had originally planned to arrive later in the day.

In Sansepolcro—where residents are celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of their community—the Pope again spoke of the importance of solidarity in times of economic trouble. “The common good is more important than the good of the individual,” he said, “and Christians too must contribute to the growth of a new public ethic.”

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