During his Friday homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope said human weakness and those who sin should be understood, but without compromising or selling short the truth of God.
"But there is hardness of heart, there is sin, something can be done: forgiveness, understanding, accompaniment, integration, discernment of these cases…Always…The truth is never sold. And Jesus is capable of stating this very great truth, and at the same time being so understanding with sinners, with the weak.”
Pope Francis explained the Gospel passage in which the Pharisees try to undermine the authority of Jesus, asking whether it is permissible for a man to divorce a woman. He said that Christ exceeds that simple vision of humanity.
At the Mass, there were eight couples celebrating their 50-year anniversary.
EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"But Jesus is so merciful, He is so great, that he never, never, never, closes the door to sinners. And so He does not limit Himself to proclaiming the truth of God, but goes on to ask the Pharisees what Moses had established in the Law. And when the Pharisees responded that Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce, Jesus replied that this was permitted 'because of the hardness of your hearts.' Jesus always distinguished between the truth and 'human weakness' without 'twisting words.'"
"In the world in which we live, with this culture of the provisional, this reality of sin is so strong. But Jesus, recalling Moses, tells us: "But there is hardness of heart, there is sin, something can be done: forgiveness, understanding, accompaniment, integration, discernment of these cases… Always… The truth is never sold. And Jesus is capable of stating this very great truth, and at the same time being so understanding with sinners, with the weak."
"The two things that Jesus teaches us: truth and understanding. This is what the 'enlightened theologians' fail to do, because they are closed in the trap of 'a mathematical equation' of 'Can it be done? Can it not be done?' and so they are 'incapable both of great horizons, and of love' for human weakness. It is enough to see, the Pope concluded, the 'delicacy' with which Jesus treated the adulteress woman who was about to be stoned: 'Neither do I condemn you: Go forth, and sin no more.'”
"May Jesus teach us to have at heart a great adhesion to the truth, and also at heart a great understanding and accompaniment for all our brothers who are in difficulty. And this is a gift, this is what the Holy Spirit teaches us, not these enlightened doctors, who to teach us need to reduce the fullness of God to a casuistic equation. May the Lord give us this grace."