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Pope Francis thanks religious men and women for their work with the disabled

2015-09-21

During his meeting with seminarians, religious, and priests, Pope Francis was set to speak about unity and joy. But without any warning, he made a decision that he's become known for: He decided to improvise.

POPE FRANCIS
"I am going to give the Homily to Cardinal Jamie to bring to you and publish it and afterward you can meditate on it. And now let's chat a bit about what these two prophets said.”

The two prophets were Cardinal Jaime Ortega and a woman religious. They spoke about poverty and mercy, two issues that deeply moved the Pope.

POPE FRANCIS
"Cardinal Jaime said an uncomfortable word, very uncomfortable, extremely uncomfortable. It goes against the cultural structure of the world. He said poverty.”

Poverty, he explained, is a word that the world fears and tries to avoid at all costs. And when that fear gets into the heart of a Christian...

POPE FRANCIS
"You are lost. You're not like Jesus...We always try to avoid poverty. It can be for reasonable things, but I am talking about avoiding it in the heart.”

Pope Francis was touched by the testimony of a sister who spoke about working in a center for the physically and mentally disabled.

POPE FRANCIS
"You cried because you were young. You thought that in a school you could do more things, you could organize future for youth. And they sent you there, to the home of mercy...Taking care of those who the world threw out, who the world despises, who the world prefers not exist.”

The Pope thanked her and all the other religious for their work with people the world considered "throwaway material.” He said they are just as precious as anyone in God's eyes.

POPE FRANCIS
"But that is nice to God. For example, the smile of a spastic who does not know how to smile correctly. Or when they want to kiss you but they spit on your face. That is the tenderness of God.”

Speaking of mercy, the Pope also shared some advice for confessors. He said that when hearing confessions, they cannot forget that they are sinners too. And they must never grow tired of forgiveness.

After this improvised address, the Pope went to the last major event of the day: a meeting with young people.


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