A friend of David Sassoli, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi presided over the celebration in the Roman Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs.
The state funeral of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, was held this friday in Rome. The highest institutional authorities of Italy and the European Union were present, including the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“I believe that we all carry in our hearts the smile of David, which is the first way of welcoming and respecting others, without complacency, and with simplicity. David was a serene believer, he was a partisan man, but in favour of all, because his side was that of the person”. This is a passage from Cardinal Matteo Zuppi’s homily, delivered at the state funeral of David Sassoli, held Friday in Rome in the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs.
The President of the European Parliament, who died last Tuesday at the age of 65, knew the prelate from their days at the Lyceum Classico, which they both attended in the same years in Rome. The Mass was concelebrated by the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Cardinal Archbishop of Florence – Sassoli’s birthplace – Giuseppe Betori, the Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Monsignor Massimiliano Boiardi and Father Francesco Occhetta.
A serene Christian of all
A “serene believer”, Cardinal Zuppi continued, “but without avoiding doubts and difficult questions, trusting in the love of God, the root of his commitment, always shared with others, as it should be, because the Christian, like every man, is not an island, but always has a community with which to live the commandment to love one another”.
I must say – the Cardinal added – that “seeing how much love has gathered around David and his family in these days, I understand more clearly that joy comes from what one gives to others and then, only after having given it, one receives it, always, because joy is in being and not in having, in thinking for and not in seeking one’s own interest”.
Of the politician Sassoli, the Archbishop of Bologna recalled that for the President of the European Parliament, democracy was “always inclusive, humanitarian and humanist”. That is why, he concluded, he wanted a united Europe with founding values, which he served to make its institutions work, which he loved because he was the son of the generation that had seen war and the horrors of genocide and Nazi and Fascist pagan violence. For him, therefore, “they are not ideologies, but ideals; they are not calculations, but a vision, because Europe cannot live for itself either, because Christianity is not an idea, but a person, Jesus, who passes through people and in history”.
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