Pope Francis says "It is essential to maintain freedom, in order to be truly at the service of people, of the common good" to Radio Media Group



Paul VI Hall
Saturday, March 26, 2022


 Dear friends, good morning and welcome!

I thank the President for the introductory words, which recalled the history of your association in Italy: thank you. 

You too are part of the vast and multifaceted movement of Italian volunteering, which I never cease to appreciate and which deserves to be encouraged and supported. It was one of my surprises here in Italy: strong volunteering. Your Federation, in particular, last year turned 50: congratulations!

You put your passion as radio amateurs at the service of society. You have made it an effective tool of civil protection and solidarity with the most needy and fragile people and with the most vulnerable social groups. This is very beautiful: a personal passion that becomes social service. It is the principle of gifts, talents, made to bear fruit for the common good.

One of your characteristics is that of the speed of intervention, thanks to the radio itself, which overcomes barriers, but also thanks to your network. In fact, it is not an individual action, your strength lies precisely in the widespread presence on the territory and in the possibility of circulating news and information very quickly and everywhere. And another essential aspect is freedom, independence. We think how this can become decisive where a regime or another center of power wants to control communications. It is essential to maintain freedom, in order to be truly at the service of people, of the common good.

I have heard that you are pledging to make your contribution also to the service of the many brothers and sisters who fled Ukraine because of the war. I thank you for that. We hope and pray that this war - shameful for all of us, for all humanity - ends as soon as possible: it is unacceptable; every day adds more deaths and destruction. Many people mobilized to help the refugees. Ordinary people, especially in neighboring countries, but also here in Italy, where thousands of Ukrainians have arrived and continue to arrive. Your contribution is precious, it is a concrete, artisanal way of building peace. And I agree with what the President said, speaking of European Civil Protection: Europe is giving its response to this war, as well as at the level of the higher institutions, also on the level of civil society, of voluntary associations like yours. This way of reacting is fundamental and indispensable, it regenerates the human and social fabric in the presence of a wound as serious and as great as that caused by war. We must help the Ukrainian refugees, not only at this moment, but then, later on, when the memory of the war fades, because at that time they will have more difficulties than now: because now we are all together, and then ... We need to think about the future , and it's not easy.

Dear friends, thank you for your visit. I wish you all the best for your business. Always keep freedom and solidarity together. And aim for the common good, never at partisan interests. Only one preference: the poor, the defenseless, the marginalized: in first place. I bless all of you and your families. And please, I ask you to pray for me. Thank you!