To be an example of moral integrity in society—this is what Pope Francis asked High Council for the Italian Magistrature. He called on judges to exemplify a set of virtues, but most importantly to show prudence.
"It's not a virtue based on staying still. It's not about saying, 'I'm prudent, so therefore I won't act. No! It's a virtue of government, a virtue to move things along. A virtue that pushes one to consider, calmly, the laws that rule the case.”
The Pope then reminded them that society expects a lot from them, especially now that values are eroding.
"Italian society expects much of the magistrature. especially in the current context characterized by the progressive erosion of our heritage of values and the evolution of democratic structures.”
He also mentioned two late magistrates, who exemplified Christian values, despite the challenges. One of them, Vittorio Bachelet, who was killed during a period of civil unrest in the country, and the other Rosario Livatino, who was killed by the mafia and whose cause for beatification is open.
The original meeting was scheduled for Monday morning, but the Pope canceled, because of a fever. The Pope apologized for the inconvenience and for re-scheduling their appointment for Tuesday.