Pope visits Italian town where his father grew up

Pope visits Italian town where his father grew up
Photo: Nacho Arteaga - Unsplash

Pope Francis has been made an honorary citizen of the Italian town of Asti, the place from which his father left to move to Argentina.

Francis met with the mayor of Asti, Maurizio Rasero, who told RaiNews how the pope had said to him that he had “always carried Asti in my heart”. 

As the Pope visited the town he was met by a huge crowd, before attending the city’s cathedral to give mass. During the mass he spoke of how his father had left the town to go to Argentina, and how he had “come back to rediscover the flavour of my roots”. 

During the mass, Francis called on the faithful to avoid being indifferent about things that are wrong in the world, even in the Church. He said “it’s up to us to choose whether to be spectators or involved” and pointed to how one of the reasons for the problems we face in the world is a “lack of participation”. 

He also spoke of the need to recruit more young priests and said the Church needed young people who were “non-conformist” and “are not slaves to a cell phone, but change the world like Mary, bringing Jesus to others, taking care of others, building fraternal communities with others, realizing dreams of peace”. 

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