9 June 2022 | Address of His Holiness


Clementine Hall

[…] Sicily is not excluded from this change; on the contrary, as has happened in
the past, she finds herself at the centre of the historical pathways drawn by
continental populations. She has frequently received the passage of these peoples,
some as rulers, some as migrants, and by welcoming them, has integrated them
into her fabric, developing a culture of her own. I remember when, around forty
years ago, I was shown a film on Sicily: “Kaos”, it was called. There were four tales
by Pirandello, the great Sicilian. I was struck by that beauty, that culture, that
“continental insularity”, let’s call it… But this does not mean that it is a happy
island, since the condition of insularity profoundly affects Sicilian society, and ends
up highlighting the contradictions we carry within ourselves. It is true that in Sicily
we witness behaviour and gestures both of great virtue and of cruel brutality. Just
as, alongside masterpieces of extraordinary artistic beauty, we witness scenes of
mortifying neglect. And equally, next to men men and women of great culture,
many children and young people skip school and remain left out of a dignified
human life. Sicilian daily life takes on strong hues, such as the intense colours of
the sky and flowers, fields and the sea, which shine in the strength of the sun’s
radiance. Not by chance, a great deal of blood has been shed at the hand of the
violent, but also through the humble and heroic resistance of the saints and the
just, servants of the Church and of the State.
The current social situation in Sicily has been in sharp regression for years; a
precise sign is the depopulation of the island, due both to the falling birth rate and
the massive emigration of young people. Distrust in institutions reaches high levels
and the dysfunction of services hinders the performance of daily tasks, as well as
the efforts of valid and honest people, who would like to engage and change the
system. It is necessary to understand how and in what direction Sicily is
experiencing the epoch change and what paths she could take, in order to proclaim,
in the fractures and joints of this change, the Gospel of Christ. […]