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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ITALY: A MODEL OF COLLABORATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE

VATICAN CITY, 28 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, yesterday delivered an address at the Italian embassy to the Holy See in the course of a ceremony called to mark the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. The event was attended by the president of the Italian Senate, the president of the Constitutional Court, a number of ministers and other public authorities.

Archbishop Becciu recalled how Benedict XVI had sent a message for the anniversary of unification to Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic, and had presided at a prayer for Italy at the papal basilica of St. Mary Major. "The Church in Italy", said the archbishop, "has dedicated her energies with great conviction to affirming ... the vitality of that spirit of loyal collaboration for the promotion of man and the good of the country which characterises relations between the Church and the political community in Italy".

In this context Archbishop Becciu referred to the Lateran Pacts of 1929 and to their 1984 revision which, as the Pope wrote in his message to President Napolitano, "are clear indications of dialogue between the Holy See and Italy, ... and of the harmonious and supportive collaboration between the Church and the political community, in support of the individual and the common good".

"The Italian experience of relations between Church and State, each in its distinct field and with fruitful mutual collaboration, could profitably be shared with other countries", the archbishop concluded.
SS/ VIS 20110928 (260)

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