Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pope on a train...

Ed. Note: This photo has not been edited.  What?

Pope Francis traveled by high speed train in Korea.

He rejected the helicopter and took public transportation.*  Though in first class, he mingled with those in economy class.  The pope misses being close to ordinary people, so he breaks down barriers of protocol and joins the ordinary folk.  I love that so much.  I also like what he said to the Jesuits to whom he made a surprise visit.
Later in the day, after speaking to young Asians at the Shrine of Solmoe, he surprised again by making a stop at Sogang University on his way back to the nunciature. The institution was founded by the Jesuits in Seoul in 1960.
Present at the encounter was Father Antonio Spadaro, director of La Civilta Cattolica who told Vatican Radio, there was "an incredible simplicity: a sense of home, of family, of normality.”
The relaxed and informal meeting was like a big celebration, Father Spadaro said, and the Jesuit Pope talked about the need for priests to bring consolation to people, rather than castigate them for their sins.
God’s people are seeking and needing to be consoled, Pope Francis stressed, and noted that the Church has many wounds, some of them caused by priests and practicing Catholics.
Often, he said, “our clerical attitudes have done much damage to the Church.”
But, he added, “there are no wounds that cannot be consoled by the love of God and priests are called to tend to these wounds, with the certainty that God will always bring forgiveness and hope."
The Holy Father reflected: “Priests are not state altar boys, but they are pastors” and he urged those present “to act like pastors with people who come to Confession. Be merciful, he exhorted them, and always remember that God never tires of forgiving us.” - Zenit

"Always remember that God never tires of forgiving us.”  

I'm crying.

*Though the change of plan was said to be due to the presence of fog, a spokesman for the visit’s organizing committee, Hur Young-yup, didn't rule out another motivation: that by taking the train, the Holy Father had the opportunity to meet locals.

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