Catholics should go to confession, the pope said, because everyone needs forgiveness for their sins, for the ways “we think and act contrary to the Gospel.”
Real fasting isn’t just restricting food choices, it must also include cleansing the heart of all selfishness and making room in one’s life for those in need and those who have sinned and need healing, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington — where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra — but probably no other stops.
Mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.
In every age and in every culture, people seek God just as the Three Kings did and, in every age, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they find him in the surprising humility of a baby born in a manger, Pope Francis said.
Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors “from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world.”
The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how well people have used the time and gifts God has given them — especially how well people have helped the poor, Pope Francis said.
The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.
Preceded by a procession of flags from the nations of the Americas and the recitation of the rosary in Spanish, Pope Francis and thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Vatican.
Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church must consider various ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the Church — not merely allowing them to receive Communion, but letting them serve as eucharistic ministers and godparents — and to make it easier for Catholic families to accept their homosexual members.