Cardinal Encourages Politicians to Pray

Stresses Need to Protect Soul of the People

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ROME, DEC. 20, 2010 ( The president of the Italian Episcopal Conference is urging politicians to strengthen their dialogue with God, in order to promote a spirit of dialogue among all people in society. 

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, stated this Thursday in a homily during a Mass he presided over in the Italian senate.

«In the mystery of the Incarnation one sees how important each one is for the heart of God,» the prelate affirmed. 

He noted, «The Lord Jesus comes in search of man, shares his life, offers his friendship, and today leads our discussion by posing to us two questions.» 

«First of all he asks how many of us will accept his invitation: It is the insistence of humility and love that stands at the door of our heart and waits,» the cardinal observed. «If God has placed himself in dialogue with us, are we in dialogue with him?» 

«Do we seek the light of his word, the strength of prayer?» he asked. 

Cardinal Bagnasco urged his listeners to ask the questions in prayer: «Where am I going on my journey? What are the things that count and for which I spend my energy, time and life?» 


«Looking at Bethlehem, at the nativity scene in our homes, we will see a light that illumines and warms the soul and will help us to respond with honesty and trust,» he affirmed. 

The cardinal noted that «there is a second question: How does each one of us relate to others?» «The political world, in the complexity of its articulation, is called to be, by virtue of its nature, a point of reference for the art of dialogue,» he stated, «an exemplary place for society, an arena of encounter, of the confrontation of ideas, of reasonableness, of rigor.» 

The prelate affirmed that the political world should be a place «of that spiritual nobility that is born of honest, clear and linear thinking, as well as of the awareness of being representatives of the people, who wish to look at their representatives with trust and legitimate expectations.» 

He underlined the «common sense, this underlying character, which constitutes the soul of our people, the soul that is born of the Gospel and that is nourished in the Christian communities that are like innumerable points of light, stretching from one end of our splendid country to the other.» 

«This soul is not generated by the state, but rather it precedes the state,» Cardinal Bagnasco pointed out. «However, the state has the task of preserving and promoting it, because it flows in the people’s veins, it is at the root of our history, it inspires virtuous practices.» 

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