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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis at General Audience: Like St. Paul, Church welcomes everyone

At the General Audience, the pope joked with various pilgrims. He tried on the skullcaps the people brought him. He also drank some mate tea and stopped to talk to some people.

In his catechesis, he announced the end of this cycle of reflections on the Acts of the Apostles, the book which relates the early Church's first steps. He talked about St. Paul's time in Rome, where he was a prisoner, yet still enjoyed a certain degree of freedom.

He was under arrest, under house arrest. Paul doesn't have the freedom to move around, but he is free to speak because the Word is not chained.

The pope spoke of how the apostle took advantage of the opportunity he received to live in his own house and not in prison. That way, he was able to welcome people and preach the Gospel.

The Roman house of the apostle, open to everyone who looked for and wanted to receive the Gospel and know Jesus, is the image of the Church. Despite being persecuted, misunderstood, sinful and chained, it does not tire of welcoming, with a mother's heart, every man and woman.

The pope also made an important observation regarding the Acts of the Apostles. He said the protagonist is not St. Paul, but the Holy Spirit.

The Acts of the Apostles don't conclude with Paul's martyrdom, but with the abundant harvest of the Word of God.

Pope Francis didn't say anything about the controversy surrounding Card. Robert Sarah's book about priestly celibacy.

Javier Romero
Translation: Claudia Torres