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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis in Medellín: “The Church isn’t customs, it has its doors open to all”

The pope arrived at Enrique Olaya de Medellín Airport an hour and a half later than expected due to bad weather. Not even the wait or the rain could pacify the souls of the million Colombians who were awaiting him there.

Before beginning the mass, he apologized for the delay.

“Unfortunately, there was a significant delay on the trip and you all had to wait longer. Thank you for your patience, for your perseverance and for your courage.”

He focused his homily on the important role of the disciples. He explained that they were an example of how to follow Jesus because they didn’t cling to established rules, but rather they followed him freely. 

Pope Francis revealed the guidelines to being a good disciple: going to the essential, renovation and getting involved.

“Going to the essential doesn’t mean breaking away from everything that grounds us, because Jesus didn’t come to abolish law, but rather to bring it to its peak. In Colombia there are so many situations that demand Jesus’ lifestyle of his disciples, particularly his love instead of violence, reconciliation and peace.”

Pope Francis said that the Church must always be in constant renovation and open to all, as much to the good people as to the bad. He reminded everyone that no one can stop someone else from finding Jesus.

“The Church isn’t a customs checkpoint, it wants its doors open because the heart of God isn’t only open, but also exceeding, because of the love that he made from pain. We can’t be Christians that put up the ‘cannot cross’ banner.’”

He specifically used the example of St. Peter Claver, the Jesuit missionary who dedicated his life to helping slaves. 

He invited the Colombian people to dedicate themselves with greater intensity to the formation of missionaries that can see reality without an inherited short-sightedness, but from the eyes and heart of Jesus. 

To conclude, the archbishop of Medellín showed his appreciation for the pope’s visit by giving him an image of the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of the Candlemas.