The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful.
Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.
For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war.
Challenges exist to be overcome! Let us be realists, but without losing our joy, our boldness and our hope-filled commitment. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary vigour!
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!
I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ.
Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.
Religious life ought to promote growth in the Church by way of attraction. The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! It is possible to live differently in this world.
I wish to extend an invitation to solidarity to everyone, and I would like to encourage those in public office to make every effort to give new impetus to employment, this means caring for the dignity of the person, but above all I would say do not lose hope.
The Gospel calls individual Christians to live lives of honesty, integrity and concern for the common good.. to create circles of integrity.., networks of solidarity which can expand to embrace and transform society by their prophetic witness.
Politics is noble; it is one of the highest forms of charity, as Paul VI used to say. We sully it when we mix it with business. The relationship between the Church and political power can also be corrupted if common good is not the only converging point.
Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ crucified and risen.
Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but by attraction.
Such self-denial 'may appear demanding,' but it will allow you, so to speak, to be and to breathe within the heart of the church.
Let us keep the flame of faith alive through prayer and the sacraments: let us make sure we do not forget God.
Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death.
The great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor. It bids us break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities.
Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.
Filipinos everywhere are known for their love of God, their fervent piety and their warm devotion to Our Lady and her rosary.
Mary joins us, she fights at our side. She supports Christians in the fight against the forces of evil. Especially through prayer, through the rosary. Hear me out, the rosary... Do you pray the Rosary each day?
Together with the social responsibility of businesses, there is also the social responsibility of consumers. Every person ought to have the awareness that 'purchasing is always a moral-and not simply an economic-act.
Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It's against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take.
Trade unions have been an essential force for social change, without which a semblance of a decent and humane society is impossible under capitalism.
Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met...I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.
Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency, will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters.
To follow Jesus means putting him first, and stripping ourselves of all the things that oppress our hearts.
You cannot be a conscious Christian without St. Paul. He translated the teachings of Christ into a doctrinal structure that, even with the additions of a vast number of thinkers, theologians and pastors, has resisted and still exists after two thousand years.
Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the church's credibility.
Every expression of true beauty can be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus.
Following Jesus means taking up one's own cross to accompany him on his path, an uncomfortable path that is not one of success or earthly glory, but which leads to true freedom, the freedom from selfishness and sin.
Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.
The true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible.
Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful -- such as the unborn child -- or no longer needed -- such as the elderly.
The proclamation of Jesus is not a veneer: the proclamation of Jesus goes straight to the bones, heart, goes deep within and change us. And the spirit of the world does not tolerate it, will not tolerate it, and therefore, there is persecution.
I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs to all of humanity!
Each person, and every people hungers and thirsts for peace; therefore, it is necessary and urgent to build peace!
Dear young people, Christ asks you to be wide awake and alert, to see the things in life that really matter.
If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian.
We are far from the so called 'end of history,' since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.
God does not reveal himself in strength or power, but in the weakness and fragility of a newborn babe.
Preparation for marriage is very important. It's very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church it has not valued much.
Putin has big plans for Russia...Hats off to the Russians. I think I would just get along very well with Vladimir Putin.
Some people believe that -- pardon my language -- in order to be good Catholics, we should be like rabbits. No.
I want to say one word to you and this word is Joy. Wherever there are consecrated people, seminarians, men and women religious, young people, there is joy, there is always joy!
In the poor and outcast we see Christ's face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ.
Soccer must play a socio-cultural role. We reach 1.6 billion people, thanks to the positive emotions that soccer triggers, FIFA is more influential than any country on Earth and any religion. We move masses. We want to use that to create more peace, justice and health in the world.
It's like in soccer: you have to deal with the penalties where they fall; you can't choose where they're going to land. Life is like that, and you have to deal with it even if you don't like it.
We are all sinners. But may the Lord not let us be hypocrites. Hypocrites don't know the meaning of forgiveness, joy and the love of God.
And with the grace of Baptism and of Eucharistic Communion I can become an instrument of God's mercy, of that beautiful mercy of God.
I don't like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy... this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law... and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!
We are not alone. We have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help. And we too, because of this, we feel more like brothers and sisters because we helped each other.
The fragility of our era is this, too: we don't believe that there is a chance for redemption; for a hand to raise you up; for an embrace to save you, forgive you, pick you up, flood you with infinite, patient, indulgent love; to put you back on your feet. We need mercy.
To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person and face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, in the face of Jesus.
I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think... They seek peace, encounter.
May Christ the Savior give peace to Nigeria, where more blood is being shed and too many people are unjustly deprived of their possessions, held as hostages or killed.
I want to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines who have been struck by a strong earthquake, and I invite you to pray for that dear nation, which in recent days has suffered different calamities.
The Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ.
The one thing that the Catholic Church desires, and that I seek as Bishop of Rome, the Church which presides in charity, is communion with the Orthodox Churches.
Abortion is without a doubt one of the greatest moral evils within modernity. As the Advocate of Christian Memory, a pope must take up the mantle of defending the culture of life -- a defense the Early Church held against the pagans of Rome.
People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens.
Brothers and sisters, good evening. You all know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him... but here we are.
Do not be afraid to help one another. The devil is looking for rivalry, division, gangs. Keep working to make progress ... I have seen how pain does not stifle the hope deep within the human heart and how life goes on, finding new strength even in the midst of difficulties.
Let's return to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.
Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.
The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes.
Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have a daily relationship with the Lord.
Accept the risen Jesus into your life. Even if you have been far away, take a small step towards Him. He awaits you with open arms.
Auschwitz cries out with the pain of immense suffering and pleads for a future of respect, peace and encounter among peoples.
Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start anew than to begin, to be reconciled than to get along.
The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love.
There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders.
Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one's life.
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.
I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time.
I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here.
The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ's name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them.
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!
Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
I like it when someone tells me 'I don't agree.' This is a true collaborator. When they say 'Oh, how great, how great, how great,' that's not useful.
Despite the slowness, the infidelity, the errors and sins it committed and might still commit against its members, the Church, trust me, has no other meaning and goal but to live and witness Jesus.
From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.
A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon, must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation.
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. The teaching of the church is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
Truth, according to the Christian faith, is God's love for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, truth is a relationship.
If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God.
Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.
We must always walk in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, always trying to live in an irreprehensible way.
If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons, not so much as a universal option.
Among us, who is above must be in service of the others. This doesn't mean we have to wash each other's feet every day, but we must help one another.
In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today's hypocrites. Those who clericalize the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation.
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
Abortion isn't a lesser evil, it's a crime. Taking one life to save another, that's what the Mafia does. It's a crime. It's an absolute evil.
Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.
The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord's mercy motivates us to do better.
The Roman Curia has its defects, but it seems to me that people often overemphasize its defects and talk too little about the health of the many religious and laypeople who work there.
We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a church becomes like this, it grows sick.
Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church's credibility.
Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.
An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it's beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth... Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.
Sin, also for those who don't have faith, exists when one goes against one's conscience. To listen to and obey it means, in fact, to decide in face of what is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision pivots the goodness or malice of our action.
Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists -- they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.
Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord.
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn't marginalise people for this. They must be integrated into society.
God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.
Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.