Time for Seriousness and Sacrifice, Says Cardinal Bagnasco

Leader of Italy’s Bishops Calls for Fresh Outlook

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ROME, SEPT. 27, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco says the trend in public behavior is not only mortifying but also intrinsically sad.

The president of the Italian Episcopal Conference made this observation Monday when he gave an introductory lecture to the bishops’ Permanent Council.

He said the «deterioration of customs and public language» is sad, because it corrupts the very civic sense.

«Mortifying above all is to have to witness behavior not only contrary to public decorum but intrinsically sad and vacuous,» the cardinal noted.

He spoke of styles of life that are «hardly compatible with personal dignity and the decorum of institutions and public life,» and said that citizens look «with dismay» at public figures, while the international reputation of Italy is harmed.

Cardinal Bagnasco warned that politics without morals propagates «the culture of an easy and pleasure-loving existence.» What is needed instead, he said, is «the culture of seriousness and sacrifice, essential to learn to live life responsibly.»

The prelate called on public figures to take seriously their duties to be transparent and economically upright, «if for no other reason, than to respect the citizens and not humiliate the poor.»

To get out of the country’s problems, Cardinal Bagnasco appealed to the Italian people that «gives the best of itself in difficult moments.»

«Italy has a mission to accomplish,» he said. «It must not denigrate itself! Hence it is necessary to react with a fresh outlook and new enthusiasm, without which it is difficult to re-launch any growth, to purse any development.»

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