So we see that in Sicily, certain behaviors and gestures are marked with great virtue and also heinous cruelty. Additionally, alongside masterpieces of extraordinary beauty, we see scenes of extreme neglect.
In the face of sophisticated men and women, many children and young people skip school, being cut off from the chance of a decent life.
The everyday life of Sicilians take on very strong hues, such as the intense colors of the sky and flowers, the fields, and the sea, which glow from the strength of the sun's radiance.
It is no coincidence that so much blood was shed at the hands of violent people, but blood was also shed by the humble and heroic resistance of the saints and the just, servants of the Church and of the State.
The current social situation in Sicily has been in sharp decline for years; one obvious sign of this is the depopulation of the island, due both to the decrease in births—this demographic winter that we are all experiencing—as well as the massive emigration of young people.
Distrust in institutions has skyrocketed and dysfunctional services limit the performance of daily practices, despite the efforts of good and honest people who would like to engage and change the system.
It is essential to understand how and in what direction Sicily is experiencing the changing time and what paths could it take to proclaim, in spite of the cracks and breaks this change has caused, the Gospel of Christ.
This task, while entrusted to all God's people, specifically asks us priests and bishops full, total and exclusive service. In light of this great challenge, the Church also faces a decline in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, but even more so a growing detachment of young people.
Young people are struggling to find help in their search for the meaning of life in their parishes and ecclesial movements.
They do not always see that there is an obvious transition from the old erroneous and even immoral ways of acting to the resolute path of justice and honesty.