Rome

Pope tells Italian parliament to focus on 'common good'

Message marks 10th anniversary of John Paul's visit to House

Pope tells Italian parliament to focus on 'common good'

Rome, November 14 - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday called on the Italian parliament to always aim their efforts towards "the common good" as his predecessor John Paul II called them to do. In a message marking the 10th anniversary of John Paul's visit to the House, the pontiff called on Italian lawmakers to "renew his invitation to tap the heart of Christianity, a spiritual heritage that offers adequate resources," in order for those in public office to aim towards "the common good". His message came as protesters in a pan-European austerity demonstration gathered outside the parliament and other government offices. Clashes with hardline student protesters had led to at least three police injuries outside the premier's office, while over 100 demonstrations were taking place around the country and countless more around the EU after the European Trade Union Confederation called to walk out on the job Wednesday. Benedict said John Paul's message was even more urgent today "given the difficult social context surrounding the crisis".

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