Special responsibility for Italy, the Church and all of humanity

Pope Francis believes in the global importance of the city of Rome

Rome - Rome is more than the capital of Italy: because of its history – and the worldwide church that has its centre there. The Pope recalled the global significance of the "Eternal City" at a historic location.

Published  on 10.06.2024 at 14:16  – 

Pope Francis has emphasised the universal significance of the city of Rome. In a speech to the Roman City Council on the Capitoline Hill on Monday, the Pope said that the expected "enormous influx of pilgrims, tourists and migrants" in the Holy Year emphasised the uniqueness of Rome. The city has a special responsibility for Italy, for the Church and for all of humanity.

He hoped that the city of Rome would then show its true face, said the Pope: a face of hospitality and generosity. The unavoidable difficulties caused by the Holy Year should not be seen as a burden. Every problem in Rome is the flip side of the city's splendour and can become an opportunity for better development. Francis emphasised that the "Giubileo" would affect the entire city and lead to improvement and beautification, both in the centre and on the periphery. As Bishop of Rome, he is particularly close to the people there.

Focus not only on pilgrims and tourists

Charity and hospitality are not only for pilgrims and tourists, but also for the poorest, the lonely, the sick, prisoners and the marginalised, said the Pope. Those responsible in state and church have a special duty to them. Local politicians from all parties gave Francis' speech a standing ovation.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mayor Roberto Gualtieri had spoken of the "universal dimension of Rome". The Holy Year will leave the city an extensive "legacy of ethical and social values". Gualtieri also addressed the structural changes and emphasised: "The Holy Year will make Rome better." He made special mention of the major construction site in Piazza Pia between St Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo. The green square that is being created there will be a new symbolic meeting place between the Vatican and the city. - The Holy Year 2025 will officially open on Christmas Eve 2024. According to the organisers, they are expecting around 32 million visitors to the "Giubileo". (KNA)