The Vatican secretary of state celebrated Mass for members of the lower house of the Italian Parliament and told them that faith "can never be reduced to a private matter."
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone delivered that message Wednesday during the Eucharistic celebration for the members of the Chamber of Deputies. The Mass was celebrated in the Church of St. Gregory Nazianzen, which is next to the Chamber.
The Vatican official prayed during the Mass of preparation for Easter so that the politicians who filled the small church would be able to give "testimony in the world."
"Our presence in the world, including those who have the task of political representation, can never be reduced to a private matter, since that in which we believe should not be hidden, but shared," the cardinal said.
He referred to Igino Giordani (1894-1980), an Italian political figure who was the first married lay person to consecrate himself to God in the Focolare Movement.
Giordani, who is in the process of being beatified, once wrote that the Church fulfills its mission "of life against death, not just in churches of four walls, or in sacristies, or in convents, but also in homes, on the streets, in offices, in fields, even in banks and in parliament."
The cardinal then quoted Blessed Giuseppe Tovini (1841-1897), a lawyer and banker, who said, "Our children without faith will never be rich; with faith, they will never be poor."