Pope to Visit Milan for 3 Days for Family Conference

Event to Consider How Work, Celebration Affect Family Life

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MILAN, Italy, FEB. 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be in Milan for three days, from Friday, June 1, to Sunday, June 3, for the 7th World Meeting of Families (May 30-June 3, 2012).

Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, announced this during a press conference for the presentation of the program of the Pope’s visit to Milan. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, was also at the conference.

«A three-day visit is an event of an extraordinary character, exceptional for a trip in Italy,» said Cardinal Scola. «The Pope wished to meet Milan, and 27 years after the visit of his predecessor John Paul II, he makes this gift to us: a gift to the city of Milan and to the churches of Lombardy.»

The Pontiff’s arrival in the Lombard capital is planned for Friday, June 1, at the Milan-Linate airport. After a first public meeting in Duomo Square, the Pope will attend a concert in La Scala Theater directed by maestro Daniel Barenboim, and the following day, meet with candidates for Confirmation.

«For several months preparations have been made on the theme ‘The Family: Work, Celebration’ and there are many initiatives planned: catecheses have been translated into 11 languages among which are Portuguese, Arabic, Polish and Russian,» noted Cardinal Antonelli. «Then, to facilitate the arrival of families from poor countries, fundraisers have been held.»

At the center of the reflection is the style of the Christian family that lives the time of work and celebration and how the conditions of work influence the lived experience of the family.

The president of the Milan 2012 Families Foundation, Monsignor Erminio De Scalzi, then focused on three words that express the style of the 7th World Meeting of Families: transparency, sobriety and eco-sustainability. «The Meeting will be held in Parco Nord, which is one of the most beautiful citizens’ parks; we are working for a sustainable event and to reduce to the minimum the generation of trash: for example, once the platform is dismantled, the materials will be used to build benches for the park,» explained the prelate.

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