Pope Francis: Let Spirit of Fraternity Triumph over Self-Centeredness, Individualism, and Pride

Pope Francis, via the Vatican:

As we look around us, how many men and women, young people and children are suffering and in utter need! This is not part of God’s plan. How urgently Jesus calls us to die to our self-centredness, our individualism and our pride! In this way, we can allow the spirit of fraternity to triumph – a spirit born from the pierced side of Jesus Christ, in which we are born as God’s family – and in which everyone can feel loved because understood, accepted and appreciated in his or her dignity….

Together we can resist all those forms of idolatry that make us think only of the deceptive securities of power, career, money and of the search for human glory.

The demands that Jesus sets before us cease to be burdensome as soon as we begin to taste the joy of the new life that he himself sets before us. It is the joy born of knowing that he is the first to seek us at the crossroads, even when we are lost like the sheep or the prodigal son.


Pope Francis: Poverty is Not Inevitable, Never Stop Fighting It

via the Vatican:

Let us say it forcefully: poverty is not inevitable!…

At its foundations, we find a living faith translated into concrete actions capable of “moving mountains”. A faith that made it possible to see opportunity in place of insecurity; to see hope in place of inevitability; to see life in a place that spoke only of death and destruction…..

You have come to understand that God’s dream is not only for our personal development, but essentially for the development of the community, and that there is no worse form of slavery, as Father Pedro reminded us, than to live only for ourselves….

Never stop fighting the baneful effects of poverty; never yield to the temptation of settling for an easy life or withdrawing into yourselves.



Pope Francis Talks about Ideologues, Schismatics, Xenophobia, Witness, Ecology, and Children in Latest Press Conference

Here are some highlights from the pope’s in-flight press conference:

Africa is full of life….The people who raised their children in the air, as if to say, “this is my treasure, this is my victory, my pride”. Children are the treasure of the poor. But they are the treasure of a homeland, of a country….

Xenophobia is a disease. It is a disease that is “justifiable”, for example, to maintain the purity of the race – just to mention a form of xenophobia from the last century. And very often, xenophobia rides the waves of political populism. I said last week, or the one before, that sometimes in some places I hear speeches being given that sound similar to those made by Hitler in ’34. It’s as if they wanted to return to the past in Europe….

We must fight against this: both the xenophobia of one country towards another, and internal xenophobia, which in the case of some places in Africa and along with tribalism, leads to tragedies such as that of Rwanda….

We need to go forward strengthening the international institutions: the United Nations, that they might take in hand once again their role; that the European Union might become stronger, not in the sense of domination, but in the sense of justice, of fraternity, of unity for all….

Proclamation comes before testifying. First live like a Christian and if they ask you, speak. Testifying is the first step and the protagonist of evangelization is not the missionary but the Holy Spirit who leads Christians and missionaries to bear witness. Then questions will come or won’t come, but what counts is the witness of life….

When is communication at the service of destruction? When it defends inhuman projects. Let’s think of the propaganda of the dictators of the last century. They were dictators who knew how to communicate well, but they instigated war, division and destruction…..

We need to defend ecology, biodiversity, that is our life; to defend the oxygen, that is our life…..

I am not afraid of schisms, I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people’s spiritual health…..

The schismatics always have one thing in common: they separate themselves from the people, from the faith of the people of God….. A schism is always an elitist separation stemming from an ideology detached from doctrine….

The social things that I say are the same things that John Paul II said, the same things! I copy him. But they say: the Pope is a communist… Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism….

The pastors must lead their flock between grace and sin, because this is evangelical morality. Instead, a morality based on such a pelagian ideology leads you to rigidity, and today we have many schools of rigidity within the Church, which are not schisms, but pseudo-schismatic Christian developments that will end badly. When you see rigid Christians, bishops, priests, there are problems behind that, not Gospel holiness.


Pope Francis Meets with ‘Living Saint’ Fr. Pedro Opeka, Given Ecstatic Welcome in Madagascar

Embed from Getty Images
via Reuters:

Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated a former student of his who is now sometimes called Madagascar’s “living saint” for having changed the lives of thousands of poor people who once lived in garbage dumps.

Thousands of former slum dwellers, many of them children, gave the pope an ecstatic welcome, leaving him seemingly overwhelmed by the experience, who only hours earlier defended the poor in the homily of a huge open-air Mass..

Francis taught Father Pedro Opeka theology at the Colegio Máximo de San Miguel in Buenos Aires in 1968 while Francis was completing his own studies for the priesthood.

Over the last 30 years, an organization founded by Opeka, whose parents emigrated to Argentina from Slovenia, has built homes for 25,000 people, 100 schools, six clinics and two football stadiums across the island nation. Next year, he plans to build a college for paramedics.


Archbishop Etienne Won’t Live in Mansion: ‘The House Doesn’t Represent Who I Am’

via CNS:

Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said he will not live in the 9,000-square-foot mansion that many of his predecessors called home.

In a letter sent to archdiocesan priests and deacons Sept. 3 — his first day as leader of the Archdiocese of Seattle — the archbishop wrote: “While the Connolly House has been home to the archbishops since 1920, it will not be home for me.”

“I prefer to live a more simplified life,” he explained, adding that he was “exploring options on church properties” and hoped to find an alternative soon….

“The house doesn’t represent who I am,” Etienne said in an interview with Northwest Catholic, news magazine and website for the Archdiocese of Seattle. “I think the days of bishops living in a manner that’s a lot nicer than the majority of their people live, those days are gone, and they should be.”

“I am a pastor, not a prince,” he added, “and I want to live in a manner that’s more reflective of how my people live.”

Etienne said the “model and message of Pope Francis” influenced him….

“Bishops face a challenge today of reclaiming our credibility,” he added.

Etienne said his decision not to live in the mansion reflects who he is, how he thinks a bishop is called to live and his concern for the environment.

“One guy doesn’t need that large of an ecological footprint,” he said.