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Rome Reports

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Pope explains God is a tender father, not a terrible tyrant

The pope took several minutes greeting many people before beginning the General Audience.

This girl gave him a drawing.

While these young men offered him mate tea.

This group, on the other hand, was carried away by enthusiasm. Because of that, the pope worried that someone would get hurt.

In his catechesis, Pope Francis commented on the most important word in the Lord's Prayer. He recalled that on several occasions the Gospel uses the Aramaic term "Abba," instead of father.

"Calling him 'Abba' is something much more intimate and moving than calling God 'Father.' That's why, some suggested translating this Aramaic word to 'Dad' or 'Daddy.' Instead of saying 'Our Father,' say, 'Dad.' We keep saying 'Our Father,' but in our hearts we are invited to say 'dad.' It's to have a relationship with God, like a child has with his or her father."

He also recalled that recognizing God as a father is not a secondary element of Christianity, but a fundamental characteristic.

"After meeting Jesus and hearing his preaching, a Christian no longer considers God a scary tyrant. He or she no longer fears Him, but feels that trust in God is born in his or her heart. He or she can talk to the Creator, calling Him 'Father.'"

The pope also recalled that Friday begins the week of prayer for the unity of Christians. All confessions participate in this ecumenical celebration. The pope asked Catholics to also participate and help all Christians be united as one family.