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24 October 2017

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05/11/2017 VATICAN

Pope: God's People, and everyone one of us, is on a journey "towards the fullness of time"

This path is "to understand, to deepen our understanding of the person of Jesus, to deepen our faith" and also to "understand morality, the commandments." And something that "once seemed normal, that it was not a sin, it is a mortal sin today", such as slavery or is "inadmissible", such as the death penalty or religious wars.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The People of God, in history, is always on the move, and each of us is also on a journey to "the fullness of our own time" towards our encounter with God, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the First Reading, drawn from the Acts of the Apostles, in which Saint Paul speaks of the story of salvation to Jesus.

During the course of history, Pope Francis said, many of our conceptions have changed. Slavery, for example, was a practice that was accepted; in time we have come to understand that it is a mortal sin. “God has made himself known throughout history” he said, “His salvation” goes back a long way in time. And he referred to Paul’s preaching in the Acts of the Apostles when he tells the God-fearing children of Israel about the journey of their ancestors from the Exodus from Egypt until the coming of the savior, Jesus. The Pope said salvation has a great and a long history during which the Lord “guided his people in good and in bad moments, in times of freedom and of slavery:  in a journey populated by “saints and by sinners” on the road towards fullness, “towards the encounter with the Lord”. At the end of the journey there is Jesus, he said, however: “it doesn’t end there”.

In fact, Francis continued, Jesus gave us the Spirit who allows to “remember and to understand Jesus’ message, and thus, a second journey begins. This journey undertaken "to understand, to deepen our understanding of Jesus and to deepen our faith” serves also, Francis explained, “to understand moral teaching, the Commandments.” He pointed out that some things that “once seemed normal and not sinful, are today conceived as mortal sins: "Think of slavery: at school they told us what they did with the slaves taking them from one place and selling them in another…. That is a mortal sin” he said. But that, he said, is what we believe today. Back then it was deemed acceptable because people believed that some did not have a soul.

It was necessary, the Pope said, to move on to better understand the faith and to better understand morality.  And reflecting bitterly on the fact that today “there are no slaves”, Pope Francis pointed out there are in fact many more of them…. but at least, he said, we know that to enslave someone is to commit a mortal sin.

The same goes for the death penalty: “once it was considered normality; today we say that it is inadmissible” he said. The same concept, he added, can be applied to “wars of religion”: as we go ahead deepening our faith and clarifying the dictates of morality "there are saints, the saints we all know, as well as the hidden saints."  The Church, he commented, “is full of hidden saints”, and it is their holiness that will lead us to the “second fullness” when “the Lord will ultimately come to be all in all”.

Thus, Pope Francis said "The people of God are always on their way”. When the people of God stop, he said, “they become like prisoners in a stable, like donkeys”. In that situation they are unable to understand, to go forward, to deepen their faith - and love and faith do not purify their souls. And, he said, there is a third “fullness of the times: ours”. Each of us, the Pope explained, “is on the way to the fullness of our own time. Each of us will reach the moment in which life ends and there we must find the Lord. Each of us is on the go.” “Jesus, he noted, has sent the Holy Spirit to guide us on our way” and he pointed out that the Church today is also on the go.

Pope Francis invited the faithful to ask themselves whether during confession there is not only the shame for having sinned, but also the understanding that in that moment they are taking a “step forward on the way to the fullness of times”.

“To ask God for forgiveness is not something automatic” he said. “It means that I understand that I am on a journey, part of a people that is on a journey” and sooner or later “I will find myself face-to-face with God, who never leaves us alone, but always accompanies us” he said.  And this, the Pope concluded, is the great work of God's mercy.






See also

23/10/2014 VATICAN
Pope for the abolition of the death penalty, against life in prison, a "concealed death penalty"
In a speech before a delegation of the International Association of Penal Law, Francis expressed his opposition to pre-trial detention "when it abusively anticipates imprisonment before conviction". Slavery is not just "treason against humanity;" is a crime that cannot be committed "without the complicity, by commission or omission, of states." For the pontiff, "Corruption is an evil greater than sin."

12/10/2017 12:34:00 VATICAN
Pope says doctrine shouldn’t be kept in moth balls, it is a living reality that progresses

Speaking at the meeting for the 25 years of the Catechism, Francis said that "It is not enough to find a new language to speak of the same faith; faced with the new challenges and perspectives that open to humanity, the Church urgently needs to express the novelties of the Gospel of Christ which, although contained in the Word of God, have not yet come to light."  The death penalty is "inadmissible".



20/03/2015 VATICAN
Pope says death penalty "is unacceptable," offends the dignity of life and "contradicts God's plan"
Francis writes to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty. For the rule of law it "represents a defeat, because it forces people to kill in the name of justice" and thus "loses all legitimacy" faced with the possibility of judicial errors. Yes to a "universal moratorium" on executions, "in view of the abolition of capital punishment." Life imprisonment "can be considered a hidden death penalty.

21/02/2016 18:50:00 VATICAN
Pope terms Mexico, a journey of transfiguration, calls for an end to death penalty

Before the Angelus prayer, Francis recalls his recent visit to Latin America: "The center of gravity was the Virgin of Guadalupe”. Special thanks to the Trinity for the meeting with Russian Patriarch Kirill: "A prophetic light of the Resurrection, of which today’s world has more need than ever. The Holy Mother of God will continue to guide the path of unity. " After the Angelus, a call for a moratorium on executions during the Holy Year. Those present in the square gifted the "Misericordina", a rosary and a picture of Jesus.



24/10/2014 INDIA - VATICAN
Indian activist: The Pope's words on the death penalty and life in prison, a stimulus for reform
Arun Ferreira spent four years in prison on false charges: he was tortured and learned about the terrible reality of the judicial system. He tells AsiaNews: "Francis powerfully told the truth, making it clear that life imprisonment is a death sentence in disguise. Hopefully his words will give strength to the Indian Church, which must address the issue of reform of the judicial system."


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