Cardinal Stresses Faith's Power to Mold Society

Urges State Authorities to Protect Soul of the People

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GENOA, Italy, DEC. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Genoa is underlining the importance of faith to mold society around values and give shape to authentic humanity.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco stated this Wednesday during a homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

He affirmed, “No one is unaware how the vision of man and of the world, in the light of the Catholic faith, creates a common feeling about the important things of living and dying, generates an original way of being together, nourishes a personal ethos that reverberates in the entire society, molds it and gives it shape in the sign of a genuine and full humanity.”

“We intuit that the world of faith is more concrete than the one that falls under our senses,” the prelate said.

He added, “We feel that being in relationship with God, the Madonna, the saints, helps us to be with others, to see them not as strangers but close, not only similar because of our human nature, but more than that, as brothers.”

The cardinal pointed out that “the more the points of reference are diluted and first values are cast into doubt — life, the family, religious and educational liberty — or the more man distances himself from God, wishing to build himself on his own, the more the clouds are dense and faith appears as an incomparable fortune.”

In this light, he said, “the decisive and inalienable contribution of Christianity emerges.”

Cardinal Bagnasco noted that every state, which is comprised of a community of persons, has “a spiritual and ethical order, it has, that is, a soul.”

He continued: “This is its backbone, and if the latter is corrupted, then the people become fragile, and the state weakens and is perverted. This happens when the awareness of common values fails, the awareness of one’s cultural identity.”

The prelate urged the state authorities to “be attentive to preserve it and not damage it in any way, because it is the foundation of the dynamic unity of a society.”

He reminded his listeners that “we are here for others, for all, for the society in which we live, which we love, and which we must serve loyally.”

“The first way to serve it is to reinvigorate the soul,” the cardinal stated, “to maintain and nourish this lofty and noble concept of man, of life, of true liberty, of fraternal charity, of the distinction between good and evil, which has generated the ‘spirit’ of our people, which has woven our history, and which still animates fundamentally the living of our country.”

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31201?l=english

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