Lay Catholics should “personally participate in public life” and “cultivate a spirit of sincere and loyal assistance with the State,” Pope Benedict XVI told the bishops of Italy on the 150th anniversary of the country’s founding.
“Do not hesitate to hearten the lay faithful to overcome any spirit of close-mindedness, distraction and indifference and to personally contribute in public life,” the Pope said.
He urged the bishops to facilitate formation for the laity to enable them to efficiently operate within the public square.
“Encourage training initiatives enthused by the social doctrine of the Church, so that those who have political and administrative responsibilities do not fall victim to the enticement to exploit their position for personal gain or the thirst for power,” the Pope said.
Pope Benedict was union the Italian bishops at St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome to pray the Rosary and ask for “the maternal protection of Mary” upon “this beloved nation.”