Milan Ready to Welcome Pope at World Meeting of Families

Concert in La Scala Is Dedicated to the Victims of the Earthquake

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MILAN, May 31, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In a press conference held in Milan, delegates from the World Meeting of Families expressed their enthusiasm with the international event. The Holy Father is expected to arrive tomorrow to participate in the celebrations.

The archbishop emeritus of Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, illustrated the meaning of the theme of the 7th World Meeting of Families. “Workers often live through tragedies, but it is from the family that signs of hope and confidence in the future are born. The universality of the 7th World Meeting of Families must be a push to find what can possibly unite among the great diversities.”

Also present was Bishop Joao Carlos Petrini of Bahia, president of the Life and Family Commission of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, who said: “It is an extraordinary event. We must recognize in Europe, as well as in Brazil and Latin America, that the Christian family is more alive than ever and that it represents the hope of society.”

Intervening in view of the Holy Father’s visit to Milan, which will begin tomorrow, were Stefane Lissner, superintendent and artistic director of La Scala of Milan and Gian Valerio Lombardi, prefect of Milan. The maestro said he was “honored and moved” to welcome the Holy Father at La Scala, referring to the pontiff as a great music expert.

Lissner also announced that tomorrow’s concert will be dedicated to the victims of the earthquake that recently struck the region of Emilia-Romagna.

Finally, Lombardi illustrated the impressive plan of transport, security and health care for the expected thousands of pilgrims. He said that the effort was “to accommodate a great popular event such as this one with the necessary security measures.”