INAUGURATION OF THE JUDICIAL YEAR OF THE VATICAN CITY STATE COURT
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Hall of Blessing - Saturday, March 27, 2021
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to meet you for the inauguration of the 92nd judicial year of the Vatican City State Court. I address my cordial greeting to all of you, I thank Doctor Pignatone and Professor Milan and I am grateful to the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Government, Mario Draghi, for his presence. And I cannot forget to mention the late Prof. Giuseppe Dalla Torre, who passed away last year.
The demands posed by the pandemic led to today's ceremony being held in this "Hall of Blessing", located between St. Peter's Basilica and the square. From here the Popes impart to the faithful, on the main solemnities, the Urbi et Orbi blessing, in Rome and in the world. On the opposite side, the Hall overlooks the central nave of the Basilica, in the visual perspective of the glory of the Holy Spirit, which illuminates the apse. A position - physical and spiritual - central, between the open space and at the same time collected by Bernini's Colonnade, and that of the faith professed and celebrated around the tomb of Peter. And I am reminded of the courage of Pius XI to want to return to this balcony to give the blessing, because between the curtains and the balcony there was a warehouse and when he asked to give this blessing, they had to wait to clean up a bit. this warehouse after over seventy years, so that the Pope could look out onto the square.
In this singular location one could recognize the meaning and the task of the Church, constituted and sent by Christ the Lord to fulfill the mission of supporting the truth and - as the Second Vatican Council teaches - to "spread humility and self-denial "(Const. Lumen gentium , 8), with God's own style: closeness, compassion, tenderness. With this mandate the Church enters history and becomes a place of encounter between peoples and reconciliation between men, to lead them, with the Word and the Sacraments, with Grace and examples of life, to faith, freedom and peace. of Christ (cf. Decr. Ad gentes , 9).
This is the second consecutive year in which I participate in the opening of the judicial year. I am animated by a feeling of gratitude and gratitude, because I know how demanding, at times arduous your activity is, which you carry out every day to foster the order of interpersonal and social relationships, which find balance in the work of justice.
The legislative changes, to which the Promotor of Justice referred, have characterized the Vatican system in recent years. They will be able to gain more effective incisiveness to the extent that they are accompanied by further reforms in the criminal field, especially for the fight and repression of financial crimes, and by the intensification of other activities aimed at making international cooperation between Vatican investigative bodies easier and faster. and similar institutes of other nations, as well as by the initiatives taken by the judicial police of our State.
In this regard, it now appears that it cannot be deferred to identify and introduce, by means of specific rules or memoranda of understanding, new and more incisive forms of cooperation, as requested by the supervisory institutions of the financial markets operating internationally. In this context, I hope that an interlocution at the competent level can soon be reached, in order to make collaboration more prompt and effective. The results achieved to date encourage us to continue in the work undertaken, to overcome practices that do not always meet the needs of timeliness required by investigative dynamics.
I urge everyone, so that the initiatives recently launched and those to be taken for the absolute transparency of the institutional activities of the Vatican State, especially in the economic and financial field, are always inspired by the founding principles of ecclesial life and, at the same time, take due account of the parameters and "good practices" current at the international level, and appear exemplary, as is required of a reality such as the Catholic Church.
All the operators in this sector, and all the holders of institutional offices, therefore have a conduct which, while denoting an effective repentance - where necessary - with regard to the past, is also irreproachable and exemplary for the present and the future.
On this point, in perspective it will be necessary to take into account the priority need that - also through appropriate legislative changes - in the current procedural system, equality between all members of the Church and their equal dignity and position emerge, without privileges dating back over time and no longer. consonant with the responsibilities that each belongs to in building the Church. This requires solidity of faith and coherence of behavior and actions.
In this perspective and with these ends, the fact of being marginal in the dynamics of economic relations does not exempt us, both as a community of the faithful and as individuals, from a particular duty of witness. We are called to witness, concretely and in a credible way, in our respective roles and tasks, the immense patrimony of values that characterizes the Church's mission, its being "salt and light" in society and in the international community, especially in times of crisis like the current one.
I urge you to reflect on the fact that, by carrying out your hidden and patient work day by day, you offer a precious contribution so that the Church, in this tiny state of Vatican City, can give a good example of what she teaches in her social teaching.
Therefore, I invite all who are called to work for the cause of justice - an eminent cardinal virtue - not to be afraid of wasting time dedicating an abundance of time to prayer. In prayer, and only in it, we draw from God, from his Word that inner serenity that allows us to fulfill our duties with magnanimity, fairness, foresight.
The language of painting and sculpture often represents Justice intent, with one hand, to weigh opposing interests or situations with the scales, and ready, with the other hand, to defend the right with the sword. Christian iconography then adds to the previous artistic tradition a detail of no small importance: the eyes of Justice are not blindfolded, but turned upwards, and look at Heaven, because only in Heaven does true justice exist.
To all of you I express my heartfelt wish that this awareness will accompany you and inspire you, for the year we are inaugurating today, in your daily action at the service of justice. For this I pray and accompany you with my blessing. And you too, please, pray for me. Thanks!
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