October 10, 2011. (Romereports.com)
About 50,000 people welcomed the pope to the region of Calabria in southern Italy. It's an area that's facing a high unemployment and crime rate. During his homily, the pope said the combination of the two can lead to a sense of “a continuous state of emergency.” To prevent this, the pope encouraged residents to not be pessimistic.Benedict XVI
“I'm sure you will be able to overcome today's challenges which will lead to a better future. Don't yield to the temptation of pessimism and selfishness.”
Part of the solution, said the pope, could be the creation of a school or foundation that focuses on the “Social Doctrine of the Church.” It would be one of several ways to strengthen the political future of the region. Benedict XVI
"I sincerely hope that these initiates can prepare a new generation of men and women who can learn to not promote their own interests, but rather, the common good.”
The pope also said that even when faced with hardships, one should be generous. Benedict XVI
“We are all invited to the Lord's banquet, to go and enter with faith. But we must wear and care for the 'wedding robe' which symbolizes charity and love for God and our neighbor.”
During his visit, Benedict XVI had lunch with local bishops. But others, also enjoyed that very menu... homeless people from the area who receive help from Caritas on a daily basis, received that same menu, courtesy of the pope.