Pope Francis delivers a speech in Piazzetta Reale during his visit in Turin

ANSA - ANTONINO DI MARCO

Pope Francis Arrives in Turin

Meets With Workers and Employees Affected by Economic Downturn

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Pope Francis arrived in Turin this morning, making his first stop at a meeting with workers and representatives of various industries in the city’s Piazzetta Reale (Royal Square).

Prior to his address, the Holy Father heard the experiences of two people: Alexandra, a wife and mother who recalled her struggles during the economic crisis and Fabrizio, a husband and father who recounted his experience losing his family owned business to a flood.

The Holy Father began his discourse by expressing his closeness to the people of Turin, especially those who have experienced difficulty in finding work.

“My visit in Turin begins with you. And first of all, I express my closeness to the unemployed youth, to those who are in furlough or precariousness; but also employers, artisans and to all the workers of various sectors, and above all those who struggle most to go forward,” he said.

The Pope said that work was not only necessary for the economy, but also to maintain a person’s dignity and inclusion in society. Highlighting the effects of the economic crisis in Turin, the Jesuit Pope named lack of work, economic and social equality, and health are just some of the issues faced by many. He also addressed the sensitive issue of immigration in the country.

“Immigration increases competition, but migrants are not to blame, because they are victims of inequality, of this throwaway economy and of war,” he said. “It makes one weep to the see the spectacle of these people who are used as merchandise.”

The 78 year old Pontiff called on those present to “say no” to a throwaway economy that excludes children, the elderly and youth. He also said the people are called to reject the idolatry of money and of corruption.

“We are called to say ‘no’ to corruption, which is so widespread that it seems to be a normal attitude, behavior,” he said. “Not only with words, but with deeds. ‘No’ to the collusion of the Mafia, of fraud, bribes, and things of that nature.”

The Pope said that the city of Turin is called to be a frontrunner in a new area of economic and social development. However, he said that this can only be possible if they invest in training, to reverse the trend of so many youth who leave school.

Concluding his address, Pope Francis called on them to be courageous. “It does not mean resign yourselves, but on the contrary, to dare, to be courageous! I pray for this and accompany you wholeheartedly,” he said.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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