from issue no.04 - 2005


The speech of Pope Wojtyla on his visit to an ordinary sitting of the Italian Parliament in Montecitorio

 Mr President of the Italian Republic, Honourable Presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate, Mr President of the Council of Ministers, Honourable Deputies and Senators, 1 I am deeply honoured by the marvellous welcome given me today in this illustrious seat of government, in which you are the worthy representatives of the Italian people. To each and every one of you I extend my warm and respectful greeting, fully aware of the special significance to be attributed to the presence of the Successor of Peter in the Italian Parliament. I thank the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the President of the Senate of the Republic for the noble words with which they have expressed your shared sentiments, giving voice also to the millions of your fellow citizens whose affection I experience daily in my many meetings with them. That affection has always been with me from the very first months of my election to the See of Peter. On this occasion therefore I again wish to voice my deepest gratitude to the Italian people. Already in my days as a student in Rome and later during my periodic visits to Italy as a Bishop, especially during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, I learned to admire your country, where the proclamation of the Gospel, begun in apostolic times, gave rise to a civilization marked by a wealth of universal values and a marvellous flourishing of the arts, which have portrayed the mysteries of the faith in works of incomparable beauty. How often have I touched with my own hand, as it were, the splendid traces which the Christian religion has impressed on the customs and culture of the Italian people! This can be clearly seen also in countless men and women Saints, whose charism has had an extraordinary impact upon the peoples of Europe and of the world. It suffices to recall Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine of Siena, the Patrons of Italy... See the entire article in the summary

The speech of Papa Wojtyla to the participants at the 69th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union

Mr President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. 1 I appreciate particularly your presence here, on thc occasion of the important Conference which the noble institution of which you are members is holding here in Rome. And I thank you for your visit. My venerable predecessors have not neglected to show their interest in and even to proffer their encouragement to the Interparliamentary Union. For example, Pope Pius XII, on 9 September 1948, emphasizcd the permanence and the opportuneness of such an association. And ten years ago, at the Union’s Conference here in Italy, Pope Paul VI praised your work as parliamentarians. After describing the context for your political action, one which includes executive powers, the new “powers” of intermediary bodies and of technocrats, Paul VI diagnosed a certain crisis of identity and function of the Parliament, but he hoped justly that as part of a necessary evolution, this institution would even more effectively fill its role, beyond partisan quarrels and beyond fruitless political machinations. Such a Parliament contributes to the safeguardíng of democracy. Does not experience show every day what a nation risks when the governmental authorities on the one hand and pressure groups on the other no longer allow a just possibilíty for the representatives of that society, elected democratically and acting freely, in all conscience, to respond to the legitimate aspirations of their compatriots, with a view to attaining the common good of the nation while taking into account the concrete realities as well as the fundamental rights of individuals and their associations?... See the entire article in the summary

The address of greeting by the President of the Italian Republic to the Holy Father, on the occasion of the official visit to the Vatican

Holiness, I am grateful for your paternal concern for Italy. I am grateful too for the kindness and warmth of your welcome and for the other occasions on which we met before this official visit of mine as president of the Italian Republic. It coincides with the start of the XXII year of your Pontificate and I have vivid memories of the hopes in all our hearts that October 16, 1978 and which you have fulfilled in these years of your mission. The people of Italy admire your spiritual force, the firmness of your propositions, the profundity of values, the vitality contained in your message of faith which speaks to the conscience of every man. The people listen to your urgings for the most complete forms of justice and solidarity, to your constant appeals to the fundamental value of the human person... See the entire article in the summary

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