Pope Francis discussed natural disasters, refugees and jobs with the Italian president last week. With recent earthquakes causing havoc in central Italy and large amounts of refugees entering the country from the Middle East the Italian administration have been under intense pressure.
There has also been a scramble to create jobs, especially for young people.
Pope Francis made a formal visit last Saturday to the Quirinal Palace, Italy’s presidential residence. He said that “the dignity of the person, family and work” have inspired generations of Italians. Using those values to “transform challenges into occasions for growth,” the Pope told the President, is seen particularly in “the welcoming of the numerous refugees who have landed on your shores”, the rescue work in the Mediterranean carried out by Italian ships and the vast network of volunteers who assist the newly arrived migrants.
However the Pontiff added that there needed to be international cooperation to re-settle refugees.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella invited 200 young people from regions devastated by earthquakes to join him for the Pope’s visit.