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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis finishes spiritual exercises, returns by bus to Rome

Pope Francis has completed his spiritual exercises, five days of prayer in a house just outside of Rome. 

When Fr. José Tolentino de Mendonça gave his final meditation, the pope thanked him on behalf of everyone.

“Thank you also for having asked us not to belittle our people with our bureaucratic mundanity. Thank you for having reminded us that the Church is not a cage for the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit also flies out and works outside.”

In addition, the pope asked him to continue praying for those who had participated in the spiritual exercises. 

“Thank you, Father. Keep praying for us. As the Mother Superior used to say to her nuns, 'We're men, we're all sinners.' Thank you, Father, may the Lord bless you.”

The Holy Father returned to the Vatican on a bus with the rest of the cardinals and bishops. He prayed before reaching the highway.

Once in the Vatican, Pope Francis bid farewell to each of the clergy as they got off the bus.