ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL I
TO THE MAYOR OF ROME
Saturday, 23 September 1978
I am deeply grateful to you for these respectful and sincere expressions which, on behalf of the Municipal Government and all the citizens of Rome, you have kindly addressed to me on my way from the Vatican residence to the Cathedral of St John Lateran.
This intermediate stop at the foot of the Capitol hill has a special significance for me not only because of the host of historical memories which intermingle here and which concern both civil Rome and Christian Rome, but also because it enables me to have a first, direct contact with those in charge of civic life and of its sound organization. It is, therefore, a propitious opportunity to extend to them my cordial greeting and good wishes.
The problems of Rome, to which you referred with motivated concern, find me particularly attentive and sensitive because of their urgency, their seriousness and, above all, the hardships and human and family dramas of which they are not infrequently the manifest sign. As Bishop of the City, which is the original See of the pastoral ministry entrusted to me, I feel these painful experiences more acutely reflected in my heart, and am urged by the to availability, collaboration and to that contribution of a moral and spiritual nature, corresponding to the specific nature of my service, in order to be able at least to relieve them. I say this, not only in a personal capacity, but also on behalf of the sons of the Church of God here in Rome: of the bishops my collaborators, the priests and religious, members of the Catholic associations and the individual faithful engaged in various ways in pastoral, educational, charitable and scholastic action.
The hope which I heard with pleasure echoed in your kind address, is for us believers—as I recalled at the General Audience last Wednesday—an obligatory virtue and an elect gift of God. May it serve to reawaken energies and resolutions in each of us and, as I trust in all fellow citizens of goodwill; may it serve to inspire initiatives and programmes, in order that those problems may have a suitable solution and Rome may remain faithful, in actual fact, to those mistakably Christian ideals which are called hunger and thirst for justice, an active contribution for peace, the superior dignity of human respect and love for brothers, and unfailing solidarity with regard to the weakest.
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