The ceremony to celebrate the Treaty of Rome will be remembered for posterity as one of the dwarfs on the shoulders of giants. Today, the Europe built on the rubble of the Second World War finds itself in the hall of the Horatii and the Curiatii at Campidoglio, submerged in the rhetoric of peace while the refugee phenomenon at our borders reminds us that new wars are creating new rubble.
So many events were scheduled in Rome, but on Saturday afternoon the piazzas were empty, leaving the streets occupied by policemen, like never seen before, on every corner of the old town. And of course the massive deployment of law enforcement was covered by every newspaper and television station, which was a tremendous deterrent to wider participation.
So the heart of the popular presence Saturday was not in the vaulted Rome that hosted the European leaders, but it was in Milan where hundreds of thousands of people welcomed the visit of Pope Bergoglio in his pastoral journey through the suburbs to speak of poverty and work, inviting people to “embrace their boundaries.”