Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Do not be discouraged by the problems that stem from the economic crisis, remembering even in the current situation there are always those who are worse off, and help young people to extricate themselves from the culture and models that currently is being offered them in order to follow the path of the Gospel and authentic freedom. This was Benedict XVI’s message to the faithful of Romano Canavese, a village in the province of Turin where Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was born. This is the first public outing for Benedict XVI since his arrival at Les Combes, in Introd, in the mountains of Valle d'Aosta for a period of rest. It is also his first public appearance since an accident on Thursday night during which he fractured his right wrist , that was operated on and put in a plaster cast. "I am somewhat 'limited," said the smiling Pope, who thanked the doctors of Aosta: "I have been treated with skill and courtesy."
Benedict XVI arrived in Romano Canavese by helicopter. There to greet him three times the three thousand inhabitants of the small town, on the entrance to which a large banner read: "Welcome Holy Father. The entire diocese celebrates”. The white-yellow colours of Vatican flags hung from the windows of the houses and adorned the small stage set up before the Church of Saints Peter and Soluter – of whom the Pope "confessed" meagre knowledge, adding that he is always happy when he learns of the Saints - from where he recited the Angelus. The Pope’s day will continue with lunch at the birthplace of Cardinal Bertone, along with his family. In the afternoon he will return to Les Combes.
"Dear friends, do not be discouraged! Providence always helps those who do good and are committed to justice; it helps those who think not only of themselves but also of those who are worse off”. Benedict XVI wanted to bring some encouragement to the Northern Italian region, once a flourishing centre for technology industries, now experiencing the difficulties of the global economic crisis, while at the same time urge the community not to forget those who find themselves in even more difficult circumstances. The Pope pointed out that the problem of unemployment is one of the themes of his Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate” - hopefully, he commented that “it will mobilize positive forces"- in this land "from which your grandparents were forced to emigrate for lack of work, but then knew economic development and prosperity, so that others immigrated here from Italy and abroad. "
"The fundamental values of family and respect for human life, attention to social justice, the ability to tackle hard work and sacrifice, the strong bonds with the Christian faith through parish life and especially participation in the Mass have been down through the centuries - he continued - your true strength. These same values will allow the generation of today build their own future with hope, giving rise to a truly united and fraternal society, where all the different aspects, the institutions and the economy are imbued with the spirit of the Gospel. "
"In a special way – he continued - I speak to young people, of whom we must think in an educational perspective. Here, as everywhere, we must ask ourselves what kind of culture are they being proposed; what kind of examples and models are proposed to them, and we must assess whether they are likely to encourage them to follow the ways of the Gospel and of real freedom. Young people are full of resources, but they must be helped to overcome the temptation of the easy and deceptive paths to find the path of true and full life. Dear brothers and sisters! In this land of yours, full of Christian traditions and human values, many male and female vocations have flourished, in particular for the Salesian Family, like that of Cardinal Bertone, who was born in your own parish, was baptized in this church, and grew up in a family where he assimilated a genuine faith. Your diocese owes much to the sons and daughters of Don Bosco, for their fruitful and widespread presence throughout the area since the years the when Holy Founder was still alive. This is a further encouragement for your diocesan community to increasingly engage in the context of education and vocation”.
The right wrist in plaster forced Benedict XVI in to greet crowds with his left hand, but he blessed them with his right. In this regard, the Director of the Vatican Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said that "of course the Pope is ‘learning’ to live with the right wrist in ‘plaster’ and the disadvantages that this entails. For him the most painful aspect is having to give up writing by hand, which he had intended to do frequently these days”, as well as having to give up playing the piano.
Benedict XVI’s program will continue unchanged: his period of rest will be interrupted Friday for the recitation of Vespers in the cathedral of Aosta and the Sunday Angelus in Les Combes.