By Devin Watkins
As the National Federation Italy-China marks its 10th anniversary, Pope Francis has expressed his support for cultural initiatives that seek to foster dialogue between the two nations.
At an audience in the Vatican on Friday, the Pope said their efforts help overcome the challenges “posed by cultural integration, education, and the promotion of shared values.”
He also thanked the organization for its generous commitment.
“As the Italian and Chinese communities come to know each other better, this can lead to greater mutual acceptance and fraternal spirit,” he said.
The Pope was treated to a folkloric dance performed by the Chinese Martial Arts Academy of Vercelli, inspired by the Lion and the Dragon.
He said the acrobatic dance routine expresses the hope that the new year will be prosperous and productive.
“The sight of these acrobatics leads me to encourage all of you to keep taking risks on the path of dialogue,” concluded Pope Francis, “and in this way to become ‘acrobats of peace and fraternity’.”