ROME (Reuters) – As Italian President Sergio Mattarella tries to build a new economic and political consensus, he has a lot on his mind: his first international visit since taking office last year, a visit to the Philippines, and the countrys first-ever trip to the Vatican.
The former prime minister of Italy and current head of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Mattarella’s visit to Manila is aimed at bringing the pontiff into a state of syncretism, a rare phenomenon in modern politics.
It will also be a chance for the Vatican to unveil a new set of transitional type fonts for use by government agencies and institutions, a move that has been pushed by Mattarella, who wants to create a new “social capital” that will allow Italians to feel at home in a country that is still recovering from a devastating economic crisis.
The pope’s first visit to a foreign country will be a major test for Italy, which is struggling to re-establish a grip on a post-industrial economy, while simultaneously building an international profile that can help attract foreign investment and attract the Pope’s flock.
But the pope is also a populist, an iconoclast, and a defender of social and economic rights in the name of social justice.
Mattarella, a liberal who has been widely perceived as an ally of Pope Francis, has been trying to push his reforms at the expense of those on the right who want to see the state go in a more populist direction, especially since his election in 2016.
In recent years, the Pope has also used his visits to the Middle East to push an agenda on human rights, which has included the opening of prisons, the closure of the notorious death row in Italy, and changes to immigration law.
Italy’s social-liberal Pope Francis greets a crowd during a welcome ceremony for refugees at Camp Sobrino in the city of Rome, Italy, February 8, 2021.
Mattias first visit, which will be accompanied by a special assembly of Italian civil society, will be held on February 12, 2019.
Mattiolos trip will be an opportunity for the pontifical academy to unveil some of the new typefaces the Pope is planning, including the typefaces Retro and Vogue, which are transitional versions of the Italian typeface transitional typestyle.
Mattiares decision to unveil the new transitional typefonts comes in the midst of a crisis in the country, in which a series of political assassinations have left five people dead, the worst such attack in Italian history.
Mattiacono’s predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, was assassinated in 2016 after years in power and was replaced by Matteo Salvini, a former interior minister who was also the country’s economy minister.