-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pontiff Congratulates President of the Italian Republic
Giorgio Napolitano, 88, Re-elected During Parliamentary Elections
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, April 22, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis congratulated Giorgio Napolitano on the occasion of his re-election as president of the Italian Republic.
Napolitano's re-election comes at a difficult time in Italian politics as February's government elections ended in a stalemate. Despite expressing his intention of not continuing as president, the 88 year old head of state accepted in the interest of the nation.
Pope Francis noted that Napolitano's acceptance was with "great openness and a spirit of sacrifice" and offered his "most sincere and cordial congratulatory expressions."
"As I wish for you to continue your enlightened and wise work supported by everyone's responsible cooperation, I invoke constant divine assistance on your behalf and for your great service to the country."
The Pope concluded his message conveying to Napolitano and "to the beloved Italian nation the apostolic blessing as an encouragement to build a future of concord, of solidarity and of hope."
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