Pope Francis spoke at length interspersing a prepared discourse with many off-the-cuff remarks that highlighted the pain caused by the clerical sexual abuse scandal that is rocking the Church .
He revealed his own feelings of grief and said he shares with his brother priests “the pain and unbearable punishment that the wave of scandals of which the newspapers of the whole world are now full, is causing in the whole ecclesial body.”
Pope Francis also had words of hope and encouragement for the clergy saying “Let us not be discouraged, the Lord is purifying his Bride”. He said He is converting us all to Himself, He is putting us to the test and making us understand that without Him we are dust. He is saving us from hypocrisy, from the spirituality of appearances. He is blowing his Spirit “to restore beauty to his Bride”.
Read full version; https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-03/pope-francis-meeting-rome-clergy-lent.html
His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks. Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.
“…On the journey of life, do I seek the way forward? Or am I satisfied with living in the moment and thinking only of feeling good, solving some problems and having fun? What is the path? Is it the search for health, which many today say comes first but which eventually passes? Could it be possessions and wellbeing? But we are not in the world for this. Return to me, says the Lord. To me. The Lord is the goal of our journey in this world. The direction must lead to him.”
“…Today we have been offered a sign that will help us find our direction: the head marked by ash. It is a sign that causes us to consider what occupies our mind. Our thoughts often focus on transient things, which come and go. The small mark of ash, which we will receive, is a subtle yet real reminder that of the many things occupying our thoughts, that we chase after and worry about every day, nothing will remain. No matter how hard we work, we will take no wealth with us from this life. Earthly realities fade away like dust in the wind. Possessions are temporary, power passes, success wanes. The culture of appearance prevalent today, which persuades us to live for passing things, is a great deception. It is like a blaze: once ended, only ash remains. Lent is the time to free ourselves from the illusion of chasing after dust. Lent is for rediscovering that we are created for the inextinguishable flame, not for ashes that immediately disappear; for God, not for the world; for the eternity of heaven, not for earthly deceit; for the freedom of the children of God, not for slavery to things. We should ask ourselves today: Where do I stand? Do I live for fire or for ash?”
Read full Papal’s Homily here; http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/03/06/190306e.html
After praying the noonday Angelus with the crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on February 24, 2019, Pope Francis reflected on the just-concluded abuse summit on The Protection of Minors in the Church, held February 21-24, at the Vatican.
The Holy Father stressed the importance of handling the crisis in a collegial manner, having Church leaders from around the world address the issue. As a result of the meeting, he said there is a greater understanding of the responsibility of the entire Church to eradicate abuse.
Read full article here: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-francis-at-angelus-church-must-be-safe-place-for-minors/
“Where is your brother?” This is the question that God asks each one of us in our hearts regarding our brother who is sick, in prison or hungry. Pope Francis made this the reflection of his homily at Mass, Monday morning, in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
“Where is your brother who is hungry?” the Lord asks us. And to save our skin, we answer, “Surely he is at lunch with the parish Caritas group that is feeding him.”
“What about the other, the sick…?” “Oh well, he is in the hospital!” “But there’s no place in the hospital! And did you give him any medicine? ” “But, that’s his business, I cannot meddle in the life of others … and besides, he will have relatives who give him medicine “. And so I wash my hands of him.
“Where is your brother, the prisoner?” “Ah, he deserves and is paying for it.” We are tired of seeing so many criminals on the street.
Perhaps, the Pope said, you never hear such answers from the Lord. “Where is your brother, your exploited brother, the one who works illegally, nine months a year… with no security, no holiday …?”
Read the full Homily: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2019-02/pope-francis-mass-santa-marta-brother-cain-abel.html
In a new interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Cardinal Gerhard Müller stated that Pope Francis allows himself to be “dependent” upon his counselors who have “base motives.” He also said that when he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), he had “the statistically perfect overview” over the clerical sex abuse cases, pointing out that “far more than 80% of the victims of sexual abuse under 18 were young men in puberty or post-puberty.” Furthermore, Cardinal Müller responded to the recent harsh criticism coming from Cardinal Walter Kasper over his Manifesto of Faith, calling the criticism a “commissioned work.”
Further commenting on the Pope, Müller added: “Unfortunately, he is surrounded by people who have little understanding of theology and of the Church’s social teaching, but who do not wish to abandon the century-old mentality of a courtier.”
Read full article; https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/vaticans-former-doctrine-chief-pope-francis-is-surrounded-by-people-who-don
“Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.” This is the harsh “message”, the “warning” as Pope Francis calls it, that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews addresses to the Christian community in today’s liturgy. The Pope warns that the Christian community, in all its components – “priests, nuns, bishops” – runs this danger of “slipping towards a perverse heart”.
We can ask ourselves: Do I have a hard heart, do I have a closed heart? Do I let my heart grow? Am I afraid that it will grow? And we always grow with trials, with difficulties, we grow as we all grow as children: we learn to walk [by] falling. From crawling to walking, how many times we have fallen! But we grow through difficulties. Hardness. And, what amounts to the same thing, being closed. But who remains in this? “Who are they, father?” They are the fainthearted. Faintheartedness is an ugly attitude in a Christian, he lacks the courage to live. He is closed off…
Read the full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2019-01/word-of-god-is-not-ideology-it-is-life-that-makes-us-grow.html