05/31/2012 02:22 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2012

In Such a Tragic Moment It's Hard to Talk About Anything

Today I was supposed to be in Florence to attend the press conference for VFNO, which this year will be held, besides Milan and Rome, in Florence.

But we couldn't have possibly dealt with merry events on a day like this. Words, we all know, are useless, and only actions can truly help. And I thought this was the least we could do to show our respect towards so many people in grief.

In agreement with the mayor of Florence, Mr. Renz decided to postpone the conference and we are also considering, alongside with the mayors of the other two cities, the idea of using the proceeds from the sales of the products expressly created for VFNO to support the population stricken by the earthquake.

It really seems that our country is being affected by all kinds of tragedies. And for this reason I really cannot see why we should spend the public money right now. I cannot make decisions on behalf of anyone, yet the parade of June 2 seems unfair due to the waste of resources that could instead help out families and entire towns. Besides, as you will remember, when the earthquake struck the Friuli region in 1976, the parade of June 2 was called off and not held with more "sobriety."

It's true, the Festa della Repubblica celebrates so many people who have sacrificed their lives for our country. But today a dignified silence, without a costly parade, could be a sign of solidarity and a valuable financial support. It would be in any case a generous way to honor our Republic and all those who have died for the cause.

Those concerned will decide, yet we keep on hoping, while our mind goes to the countless displaced people without a home and without a country. This is not the right time to waste money, this is the time for silence and respect and concrete support. Therefore I believe that the government and the Vatican would do the right thing if they were the first to take action in this direction.