Italian Bishop: Ethics in Politics Is Urgent

Youth Day Participants Are Hope for the Future

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ROME, AUG. 29, 2011 ( The president of the Italian Episcopal Conference says that the question of morals in legislation is «grave and urgent.»

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said this today during a Mass at the Shrine of the Madonna della Guardia, on celebrating the anniversary of the first apparition in 1490.

«The moral issue in politics, as in all other realms of public and private life, is grave and urgent, and does not refer only to persons but also to structures and legislation,» he said.

«There is need of a great cultural and social conversion,» the cardinal stated, «and those who have particular responsibilities in public life, in any way and at any level, but also those who have economic powers and interests, have an imperative need — more than others — knowing that, through their actions, they propose cultural models that are destined to become dominant.»

Cardinal Bagnasco acknowledged that many politicians and officials are generously committed and upright.

Nevertheless, he pointed to the issues not only in politics but also in culture and education.

«In the first place, it is not about doing something differently, but of thinking differently, in a more true and noble way, if the air is to be purified and our young people are not to be poisoned in spirit,» he stressed. «Although the task is arduous, because it entails affecting old practices and interests … it is possible because people are asking for it and because it is right.»

«Whoever has public responsibilities today and tomorrow has this primary duty and honor: To make careful and courageous decisions so that ‘the culture of the easy’ and egoistic life gives way to the ‘culture of seriousness,'» the cardinal declared.

He said the whole of society needs to become a place «where values are breathed.»

Cardinal Bagnasco proposed as the sign of hope the 2 million young participants in World Youth Day: Young people who do not yield to anger, but who find hope in Christ; young people who «do not want to be deceived, who know that life is not about enjoyment, but that the way of fulfillment and joy is that of duty, of sacrifice and of a stable and fruitful family.» 

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