Milan Cardinal Calls for Holy Politics

Laments Societal Wound of Grave Loneliness

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By Serena Sartini

MILAN, Italy, SEPT. 9, 2010 ( The archbishop of Milan is calling for holiness in every aspect of society, even politics and economics.

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi made this appeal Wednesday while addressing the faithful of the Ambrosian Church. The Ambrosian rite is celebrated mainly in the Milan Archdiocese.

The cardinal presented a letter for new pastoral year, titled, «Saints by Vocation,» in which he challenged the faithful to follow the example of St. Charles Borromeo in a particular way on the 400th anniversary of his canonization.

«Holiness in our Church is hidden but real,» the prelate said. «Goodness is more widespread than is said.»

«We have great need of sanctity, above all the Church has need of it,» he stated.
Cardinal Tettamanzi continued: «Society must also be holy, even in a secular key; society must be strong, rich in goodness, open, attentive to lacerating situations.

«The economy and finance must also be holier. There is an ethic that constitutes the stimulation of the economy, which must be at the service of man.

«And I will dare to say that politics also must be holy; it must look to the common good and to concrete problems.»

«Politics must not have its eyes fixed on the problems of the here and now but on tomorrow,» he explained, «with a farsighted look.»

«This would be the salvation of politics,» the prelate asserted. «Such politics would save the country.»

The cardinal spoke about the controversial proposal of constructing a mosque in Milan. He clarified that in this debate he had been misrepresented: «Things are said which I have never said, and things are not said that I have said.»

«I have never used the term mosque,» he explained «but that of a Muslim place of worship, and I have spoken of legality, of rights, but also of duties — and this was not said.»
Cardinal Tettamanzi observed that Milan is «a rich city with so many resources» but with «diverse wounds,» among which the most concerning are «loneliness» and «the lack of integration — of immigrants, but also in other realms.»
«I find a world of positive energy, of so much good that is done, of so many persons who are committed to making the city healthy and not sick, but I recognize also that there are diverse wounds,» he said.
The prelate acknowledged «grave loneliness, one of the deepest wounds, which is the fruit of too much individualism and egoism.»

He added, «Whoever lives loneliness lives an imposed loneliness.»

The cardinal continued: «The second wound is the lack of integration. I am thinking in particular of immigrants but also of other realms where the process of integration has yet to begin, or where it has ceased or is too exhausting to continue (in prisons, in hospitals).

«There is no one who is not poor and wounded.»

Family meeting
In view of the World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Milan in 2012, Cardinal Tettamanzi spoke briefly on the topic of family policy. «Unfortunately, family policy is the tail ender — there is great negligence not only at the top levels but also at the local level,» he said.
The cardinal then announced that the Family Work Fund, established in 2008 to help families that lose their jobs, will be extended again, by a year, to 2011. The fund has collected more than €8 million ($10 million) in donations, which has enabled it to support over 4,000 families.
Speaking again about the World Meeting of Families, the prelate added: «We are already in motion; shortly the Pope’s letter will be issued.» He noted that there will be initiatives to help members of Church worldwide to participate in the gathering.

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