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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks Catholics not to build the image of an unmerciful God

The pope's bodyguards have to be in tip-top shape to keep up with him; running alongside his car, and hoisting up children of all ages and sizes so they can reach the pope. On Wednesday, Pope Francis also got off his car to greet a group of sick people. In the steps, the Pope was greeted by this group of Italian Medieval reeenactors. In his catechesis on Wednesday, the pope talked about a passage in the Gospel in which John the Baptist is surprised because Jesus does not behave as he thought the Messiah would: rewarding the good and punishing the evil. That is why he sent his disciples to see if he was truly the Messiah. Jesus answered with acts of mercy towards the sick and the forgotten.  POPE FRANCIS "The blind, the lame, the lepers and the deaf recover their dignity, and are no longer excluded because of their illness; the dead live again and the Gospel is proclaimed to the poor. This is the way of Jesus, and how he makes God's will visible and tangible.â? The pope regretted that some build a false image of God which prevents them from experiencing his real presence.  He criticized those who reduce God to an idol, to justify personal interests, or those who see him as a master of ethical rules. Those thoughts, Pope Francis said, prevent people from letting God touch their conscience or become closer to them. POPE FRANCIS "The message the Church receives from this episode in the life of Christ is clear. God did not send his Son to punish sinners and crush the wicked.â? "Let us renew our commitment to remove every obstacle that prevents us from experiencing the merciful works of our Father, and let us ask him for an ever deeper faith so that we may be signs and instruments of his mercy.â? During General Audiences many bring gifts for the pope, or they ask him to bless their religious objects, like this bishop who asked him to bless a a statue of the Virgin Mary. JMB/AG CTV ? - BN Up: ag