David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, has died at the age of 65, on Tuesday (11 January) at a hospital in Italy. JESC expresses its sorrow for the passing of this sincere, courageous, amiable politician and journalist.
We would like to remember him with the words of gratitude written for us by Francesco Occhetta SJ, an Italian Jesuit who is the director and founder of the association Comunità di Connessioni and who greatly assisted President Sassoli in training young people in leadership for service.
“David Sassoli has been a gentle leader and a generous travelling companion. He believed in the White Rose to say that freedom is stronger than any dictatorship.”
He measured his words and listened before deciding. He was mild in manner but firm in his ideas and plans for the voiceless. He spoke even when his position was uncomfortable, he always bet on the education of young people and the reconstruction of the social memory of a past that could return. He put the other person at the center, called to see how you were doing, always answered despite busy schedules.
His death represents a great loss for the Catholic world, for the promotion of democracy in Italy, for the European movement and for the development of peace.
His staff wrote: ‘You can live and die in many ways’. He has left us but his presence will continue to be felt beyond death. Europe, however, has a moral duty to take up his legacy.”
Francesco Occhetta SJ
Director and founder of the association Comunità di Connessioni