Make Rome a city of fraternity and peace – Pope
Pope Francis has urged residents of Rome to make the Eternal City a place of solidarity, peace and a “home for all”.
The Pope made his plea at the opening ceremony for the 150th anniversary of the declaration of ‘Rome Capitale’, which was read out by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
The occasion was held on Monday, February 3 at the Opera Theatre in the presence of Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella.
“Rome is a great resource for humanity,” he said, calling the city a “unique beauty” which must be renewed “in openness to the world and in the inclusion of all”.
Pope Francis mentioned how Rome has changed over the course of a century and a half, and that the Church has “shared in the joys and trials of Romans”.
He said the Church offered refuge to many Roman Jews between 1943 and 1944, welcomed hundreds of Council Fathers between 1962 and 1965 plus offered Rome as a “home for all”.
The Holy Father claimed Rome could “promote unity and peace in the world”, and become “a fraternal city”.
Pope Francis to visit Malta and Gozo in May
The Holy Father will visit the islands of Malta and Gozo on May 31 this year, the Vatican announced on February 10.
The one-day trip is the first and only international journey officially on the Pope’s schedule for 2020 so far.
Malta is named in the Acts of the Apostles as the site where St Paul was shipwrecked on route to Rome in 60 AD. The theme of the papal trip is taken from chapter 28 of the book of Acts: “They showed us unusual kindness.”
“The hospitality of the Maltese islanders is repaid by the miracles of healing that God works through St Paul on the island.
“If the people of Malta were a sign of God’s Providence for the Apostle, he too bore witness to God’s merciful love for them,” said the Pope.
The Vatican’s announcement on Monday coincided with the feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck, a major public holiday in Malta.
More than 80% of the island’s population of 493,559 are Catholic. However, Mass attendance has fallen in recent decades in the traditionally Catholic country.
New two-day Vatican event set for 2021
The Vatican has approved of a new two-day event which aims to create a global alliance for the future of humanity and our common home.
The ‘Global Compact on Education’ initiative, which is scheduled to take place in spring 2021, seeks to raise awareness and create responsibility for the common good of humanity.
Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, will be in charge of coordinating the event.
He explained that the event is an opportunity for “giving value” to what many people and institutions are doing in the world.
Dr Zani said: “It [the event] is a starting point for setting out and sharing objectives in order to give life to new projects that promote models of coexistence that offer an alternative to those of an individualistic society that is poor in human values and prospects of hope.”
Pope Francis has invited people from all walks of life to the Vatican on May 14 to help shape the future of humanity by forming mature individuals who can overcome division and care for the planet.