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Rome Reports

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Pope in General Audience: Injunction against killing

During his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis continued to explain the Ten Commandments. This time focusing on the 'injunction against killing.' 

Pope Francis stressed how every evil is 'caused by a disregard for life.' He said this can come in many forms such as war, exploitation, and suppression of the 'vulnerable, elderly and unborn.'

He added this is due to fear that 'gives rise to the rejection of life.' He used the example of parents caring for their sick child as a sign of how they are 'God's gift;' and how fear of life should be challenged by welcoming the other. 

The pope recalled how Jesus 'embraced the rejected, weak, poor and sick throughout his life and upon the cross.' He reminded people that Christ seeks everyone's heart 'in order to reveal to us the joy of love.'


Dear brothers and sisters: 

In our continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we now consider the injunction against killing. 

We could say that every evil is caused by a disregard for life. Assaults upon life occur in many situations, from war and exploitation to the suppression of the vulnerable, elderly and unborn. Ultimately it is fear that gives rise to the rejection of life. 

To welcome the other, however, challenges such fear. We see the attitude that welcomes rather than rejects life in the heart-rending concern of parents for a sick child. Their desire to protect and save is a sign of life’s precious value, seen above all in those who suffer, who are in fact God’s gift, and who help us to grow in his love.

God’s love is the only authentic measure of life, whose secret is revealed by Jesus, who embraced the rejected, weak, poor and sick throughout his life and upon the cross. 

In the midst of our weaknesses, Christ seeks our hearts in order to reveal to us the joy of love. As the Gospel reminds us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Canada, Curaçao and the United States of America. 

Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!