Vatican City (Fides Service) – “The way to defeat and prevent all forms of violence is to work to build the "civilisation of love"... How can we fail to think of the family as the principle place in which to achieve a "civilisation of love" ? The family represents the human space in which the person, from the beginning of life, can experience warmth of affection and grow harmoniously.” Pope John Paul II said this to the Administrators of Lazio region, and Rome city and province: whom he received in audience on January 15 in the Sala Clementina in the Vatican.
“Precisely for this reason political and administrative decisions to support the family nucleus, seen as ‘a natural society founded on matrimony’ to quote the Constitution of Italy, are regarded favourably” the Pope said recalling the primary role of the family in the education of children. “In this regard the school is still of fundamental importance. The Church is happy to contribute with its scholastic institutes which play an appreciated social role and have, for this reason, a right to be supported.” Among other areas of social life in need of concrete intervention John Paul II mentioned people in need, old people living along, minors in a state of abandonment, the weakest sectors of society including many immigrants. “I think of young people looking with confidence to the future waiting to be educated to justice, solidarity and peace. Parishes, religious communities, Catholic institutions and voluntary work will continue to offer Rome, the Province and all over the regional territory, their capillary contribution putting at disposal all their human and spiritual resources.”
At the beginning of his address the Pope offered his visitors “a heartfelt call to have confidence and to unite in solidarity” to face the difficult times that the world is living: “It is indispensable for each one to contribute towards building a more just and fraternal society. It is necessary to overcome tensions and conflicts; it is necessary to fight together against terrorism which unfortunately has not failed to affect this beloved city of ours.”
(S.L.) (Fides Service 15/1/2004 – lines 28; words 380)