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Building the city of man

· The Pope visits Arezzo and Sansepolcro but cancels his visit to La Verna ·

May Italy overcome the temptation of discouragement and persevere on a path of spiritual and ethical renewal

Arezzo and Sansepolcro -- two communities that for centuries have embodied the model of the “city of man” built in the image of  “The City of God” -- welcomed Benedict XVI on Sunday, 13 May, on his first visit to Tuscany. The Pope had also planned to visit the Franciscan Shrine of La Verna, but was canceled at the last minute due to bad weather. To the faithful of Arezzo, he entrusted the “precious legacy” of a Church distinguished in the course of history for her sense of “freedom and her capacity for dialogue among different social components”. In her “work for peace within society for the common good” shows, according to the Pontiff, that it is still possible to realize the Christian ideal of love towards every one, with “attention to the weak, respect for the dignity of each one”. During the Mass in Arezzo the Pontiff stressed that during this time of crisis the need to overcome materialist views with extra attention and solidarity towards the needy. Without giving in to the “temptation of discouragement” -- he said during the Regina Caeli -- but persevering on a path of “spiritual and ethical renewal, that can alone lead to the authentic advancement of social and civil life”.  The “enlightened lay faithful” -- he reaffirmed in Sansepolcro -- are capable of contributing to the emergence of “new public ethics”  through their witness.

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