“To me, I say this humbly, the strongest message of the Lord is mercy,” he said. “The Lord never gets tired of forgiving.”
Watch the Pontiff’s words on Forgiveness: See from 1.05 to 1.25
Telegraph UK Video
And now a photo for my friends who are missing the ‘spectacle’ expected from a new Pontiff, this picture provides a hint of hopefully more to come when we see photos of Francis’ Inauguration as Bishop of Rome. One of my friends is waiting for the ‘Triple Crown’, but I doubt that. This is not a Coronation.
To my Australian friends; in this photo, Archbishop Georg looks a lot like Malcolm Turnbull.
Click arrow below crest to watch a 1-minute excerpt from Pope Francis’ homily on what is a recurring theme in his addresses – ‘God’s Mercy and Forgiveness’.
See 37.00 – 41.00 for interiors of St Peter’s Basilica
Latin America’s first pontiff said he felt “close” to those people who “do not recognise themselves in any faith but are in a search for truth, for goodness and for beauty, which is God.”
Francis said “Christian joy isn’t born from possessing a lot of things but from having met Jesus. That same joy should keep people young”, he said. “From seven to 70, the heart doesn’t age if one is inspired by Christian joy“, said the 76-year-old pontiff.
When we have a heart of stone it happens that we pick up real stones and stone Jesus Christ in the person of our brothers and sisters
Posted on 22 March 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
From L’Osservatore Romano:
The Pope’s Mass
with Vatican gardeners and cleaners
When we have a heart of stone it happens that we pick up real stones and stone Jesus Christ in the person of our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest of them. Pope Francis said this, commenting on the day’s Readings during the Mass he celebrated on Friday morning in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
It was a simple celebration to which the Pope invited employees of the garden and cleaning services of the Governorate of Vatican City State. He gave them a brief homily, focused in particular on the Gospel passage of John which recounts the episode of the Jews who wanted to stone Jesus.
Francis on Celibacy & Civil Unions for Gay Couples
Faced with the near certain passage of the gay marriage bill, Cardinal Bergoglio offered the civil union compromise as the “lesser of two evils,” said Sergio Rubin, his authorized biographer. “He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society.”
In the end, though, a majority of the bishops voted to overrule him, his only such loss in his six-year tenure as head of Argentina’s bishops’ conference. But throughout the contentious political debate, he acted as both the public face of the opposition to the law and as a bridge-builder, sometimes reaching out to his critics.
“He listened to my views with a great deal of respect,” said Marcelo Márquez, a gay rights leader and theologian who wrote a tough letter to Cardinal Bergoglio and, to his surprise, received a call from him less than an hour after it was delivered. “He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.”
Here’s what impresses me: the call back to a gay rights activist. Dialogue. Empathy. I do not expect the Magisterium to change switly on homosexuality – but if we could only have a dialgoe, a discussion, some kind of glasnost on the subject, what an amazing change that would be! If Berguglio had succeeded in persuading the Argentine church to back civil unions, can you imagine how he would have been seen at the Conclave? Can you imagine Benedict’s conniption? Sometimes you need a straight Pope to deal honestly with gay issues.
Then this striking flexibility on priestly celibacy, in an interview last year, after retelling a story of falling head over heels in love as a young man:
Bergoglio admits he was able to choose his path as a priest over the girl but realizes that not all priests can do this. Bergoglio added, “When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest.
“In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those Churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests. In Western Catholicism, some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue. For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm. Some say, with a certain pragmatism, that we are losing manpower. If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option.”
He continued, “If a priest tells me he got excited and that he had a fall, I help him to get on track again. There are priests who get on track again and others who do not…The double life is no good for us. I don’t like it because it means building on falsehood. Sometimes I say: ‘If you can not overcome it, make your decision’.”
Yes, yes, yes: confirmation bias, wishful thinking, you name it. But there is nothing unchangeable about the celibacy requirement. Half of Catholic Christendom has married priests. My old parish in England, where I first received Holy Communion, now has a married priest – a former Anglican. These are management, not doctrinal decisions. Francis understands that, it seems. These procedures can change. For the sake of the survival of the church in the West, they must.
Pope Francis's Easter services could hint at Vatican reform
By David Perlich, special to CBC News
Posted: Mar 29, 2013 5:45 AM ET
Pope Francis has earned global praise, now he must modernise church
The great question for the church to resolve is its stance toward modernity.
Dialogue between people with different world views, like learning another language, takes discipline and practice. The difficulty rests on both sides: many moderns would like to see the church turn to dust. But to see the church through modern eyes is to miss her beauty.
The church must dwell in the modern imagination. As St Jerome understood, its wisdom must be translated into the languages – and world views – of the day. Absent this, the message that “love heals” cannot be shared. In this task the church is failing. High time its leaders learned the languages of modernity by heart. Catholicism cannot afford to become a separated ghetto of nostalgic piety.
The century calls for an expansion of ecumenism to include modernity. This would require the church to become both more ancient, and more modern. Not in pursuit of the shallow liberalism of permissiveness and identity, but to meet the deepest yearnings of humanity for community, freedom and love.
Only a few words are necessary to understand God's message.
Only a few words are necessary to understand God’s message.
Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent.
And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness.