Pope gives advice as Italians prepare for bitter campaign
ROME (REUTERS) - Pope Benedict sent a political Christmas greeting to Italians on Tuesday as they head into an election campaign expected to be brutal and bitter: think, cooperate for the common good and don't discard values when making big choices.
The pope, in his Christmas greetings in 65 languages, said in his special message to Italians that he hoped the spirit of the day would "make people reflect, favour the spirit of cooperation for the common good and lead to a reflection on the hierarchy of values when making the most important of choices".
Italy holds national elections on Feb 24 to 25 to choose a new parliament and a new government.
Given that Italy's Catholic Church has turned its back on former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - who is trying to make a comeback even though his previous terms were mired in sex scandals and judicial woes - Benedict's words could be far less general and casual than they appear at first glance.