Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, advocated a cultural revolution centered on the family, in an article entitled “Family Factor,” published in the column Dialogues of the Italian weekly edition of L’Osservatore Romano of August 10-17, 2017.
Here is our complete translation of the summary of the article, published on the Website of the Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve.
The news of the event of the National Conference thus represents “a positive fact because it makes possible to address the reality with a bit more hope” and especially because it will serve to put at the center of the public discussion a question of “exceptional importance”: namely, “the relation between family and work.”
“A theme of this nature can’t be eluded as if it were an argument uniquely dear to Catholics and consequently a side issue of the country’s public agenda. No, the relation between family and work is a central theme – pastoral, cultural and political – for the Italy of today and of tomorrow,” wrote the Archbishop of Perugia. Among other reasons because it seems that Italy is divided in two: “between those that work too much and those that are unemployed,” continued the Cardinal. On one hand, there are the “productive nomads,” constrained to impressive rhythms of work and to live, essentially, far from their families, and on the other, the precarious who, without sure work, can’t furnish hope to their nuclear family.”
To address this difficult question, there must be without a doubt “an effective organization of work for the economy and, above all, to succeed in furnishing the most precious good for today’s families: time. A time that parents can dedicate to their children, to the elderly, to leisure, to voluntary work and to prayer. A necessary time to build and nourish inter-personal relations without which a society dries out or dies.”
“Consequently, to balance in an optimal way the hours of work with those of the family means not only to render work more efficient, but it means above all to put the human person in the first place, to repeat a sacrosanct evangelical principle: work is at the service of man and not the contrary. A society that, on the contrary, evaluates a person’s dignity only on the basis of the social status of his professional activity – and hence in relation his salary and the well-being that ensues – is, in fact, an unhappy and essentially poorer society,”
For all these reasons, Italy is in urgent need “not only of policies for the family, but of a radical change of perspective. In sum, of a veritable cultural revolution: a revolution centered on the family,” concluded Cardinal Bassetti.