Pope's improvised speech to Bulgarian Catholics: be a Church with open doors

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As Pope Francis traveled in the popemobile, he greeted pilgrims waiting for him outside St. Michael the Archangel church in Rakovsky, Bulgaria.

Before entering the church, he greeted the sick and elderly outside, as well as the parish priests.

As he entered inside the Church he was received by this Bulgarian family. The pope gave each of them a rosary.

He then prayed in silence before the relics of St. John XXXIII, who lived in this country for almost 10 years.

The bishop of Sofia and Plovdiv thanked him for the visit on behalf of everyone.  

“Holy Father, it is a great joy to have you here in our Catholic community in Bulgaria.”

Coincidentally, it was the bishop's birthday. The pope took the opportunity to congratulate him.

“We can't begin without congratulating our bishop! Today is his birthday and his saint, a round of applause for him!”

The pope heard the testimony of a religious woman, priest and a Bulgarian family. They explained to him how God has changed their lives.

These children then did a traditional dance for the pope who, it seems, enjoyed it. 

Pope Francis then delivered his speech full of improvisations and concrete proposals. For example, telling people not to judge or label others.

“We must be attentive, we have fallen into the culture of the 'adjective.' This person is this, they are this. God does not want this. No adjectives. Let God be the one to put the adjectives.”

The pope said the doors of the Church must always be open to all. He asked them to maintain a positive attitude.

“A house with open doors. The Church is a house with open doors because the Church is a mother.”

Finally, he asked young people to face challenges without fear and to approach the elderly, for they are the roots for building the future.

“The future is in your hands. You have to write the book of the future. The future is yours. Do not get tired of being a Church that continues to generate.”

At the end of Pope Francis speech, he received a standing ovation. Some people even approached the pope to give him their gifts.

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