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Pope Francis at Santa Marta: “If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian.”

2015-09-10

Pope Francis focused his Thursday morning Homily at Casa Santa Marta on forgiveness and what it means for Christians to be merciful. He said that those who can't pardon other people cannot call themselves Christian.

POPE FRANCIS
"If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian.  You may be a good man, a good woman…but you are not doing what our Lord did.  What’s more, if you can’t forgive, you cannot receive the peace of the Lord. And every day when we pray the ‘Our Father:’ Forgive us as we have forgiven those...It’s a condition. We are trying to ‘convince’ God that we’re good, that we’re good by forgiving: in reverse. It’s just words, right? As that beautiful song went: ‘Words, words, words,’ wasn’t it? I think it was the Italian singer Mina who sung it. Words! Forgive one another! Just as the Lord has forgiven us, you do likewise.”

The Pope also said that priests who struggle with being merciful should not hear confessions. He said that Christians must understand people and not condemn them. 

EXCERPTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"There are also many men and women who work hard --  really hard – in order to manufacture lethal weapons, arms that eventually become bathed in the blood of so many innocent people, so many of them. There are wars (being waged)!  There are these wars and there is also that wickedness of preparing for war, of making weapons (to be used) against other people in order to kill! Peace saves us, peace makes you live, it makes you grow: war annihilates you, it drags you down.”  

"If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian.  You may be a good man, a good woman…. but you are not doing what our Lord did.  What’s more, if you can’t forgive, you cannot receive the peace of the Lord. And every day when we pray the ‘Our Father:’ Forgive us as we have forgiven those…...It’s a condition. We are trying to ‘convince’ God that we’re good, that we’re good by forgiving: in reverse.  (It’s just) words, right? As that beautiful song went:   ‘Words, words, words,’ wasn’t it?  I think it was (the Italian singer) Mina who sung it. Words! Forgive one another! Just as the Lord has forgiven us, do likewise.”

"If you are a priest and you can’t manage to be merciful, tell your bishop who will give you a job in administration but please don’t go into the confessional box!  A priest who is not merciful does a lot of harm in the confessional box! He beats people. ‘No, Father, I am merciful but I’m a bit stressed….? It’s true…. Before going to hear confessions, go to your doctor who will give you some pills to make you less stressed! But show mercy!  And also show mercy among ourselves. ‘But this person did that….  What have I done?’ ‘That person is more of a sinner than me!’  Which of us can say this, that the other person is more of a sinner than me?  None of us can say this!  Only our Lord knows this.”


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