Italian Politicians Encouraged to Work Together Against Terrorism

Pope Also Highlights a Means to Combat Violence

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II pointed out to a group of regional politicians the importance of overcoming tensions and conflicts and of being united in the struggle against terrorism.



The Pope also recommended the building of the "civilization of love" as a way to overcome all forms of violence, when he met authorities of the region of Latium, and of the municipality and province of Rome, for a traditional exchange of New Year greetings.

"The difficulties that characterize the present situation of the world are also evident in this land of ours," the Holy Father said.

It is precisely in difficult moments "that the positive energies of a people and their representatives can and must arise more clearly," the Pope said to those present. The political leaders on hand included Francesco Storace, president of the assembly of the Latium region; Walter Veltroni, mayor of Rome; and Enrico Gasbarra, president of the province of Rome.

"It is to you, therefore, that I am pleased to renew a warm invitation to confidence and solidaristic cohesion, which, on repeated occasions, I have addressed to the Italian people," John Paul II continued. "The contribution of each one is indispensable to construct a more just and fraternal society."

He added: "It is necessary to overcome the tensions and conflicts; it is necessary to struggle united against terrorism which, unfortunately, has not failed to affect our beloved city also."

The Holy Father then pointed out the way to defeat and prevent forms of violence, exhorting his listeners to commit themselves "to construct the civilization of love," especially by supporting the family, where a person "can experience the warmth of affection and grow in a harmonious way."