President of the Union of Cities

La Pira spent the last years of his life among the young, a guest of the Opera per la Gioventù Youth Organization). It was the new generations  which had chiefly been at the centre of all he had to say.
After 1965, though he was no longer mayor of Florence, La Pira remained at the centre of a web of international contacts, and as president of the Federation of the Union of Cities he was invited to give speeches and attend conferences all over the world. He was actively committed to the cause of peace and disarmament and for improving international relations in Europe (. At the same time, within the Church, he worked for ecumenical dialogue and for making the Catholic laity more aware and responsible.

Moreover the national political scene called on him for fresh commitments. La Pira was in the front line in the battles over the referendums on abortion and divorce, strongly defending  the value of life, of the person, of the family. In 1976, in a tense political climate in which possibilities of dialogue between the progressive forces in Italy were at risk, in his opinion, of being reduced to mere tactical tricks, the Christian Democrats again asked him to stand as candidate . He was elected deputy, but his health was swiftly worsening. One of his long-time friends, Paul VI, expressed his close friendship in a moving letter.


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