Vatican City, Apr 30, 2010 / 09:15 am
The President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, offered a concert on Thursday evening in commemoration of the five year anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate. In his address beforehand, the president was clear in his support for the Pope and his appreciation for priests throughout the nation.
The event took place in Paul VI Hall within the Vatican and was attended by thousands of guests who had the rare opportunity to park their cars in St. Peter's Square.
Before the orchestra played, President Napolitano greeted the Pope, welcoming the music as "an offering of serenity in the difficult and often harsh times that we live."
He went on to express the "intense, affectionate closeness" of the goverment and the Italian people to the Pope and recognized the contribution of priests, through their spiritual and social commitment, to the "pursuit of good and harmony" in Italy.