Pope Francis called on all Catholics to welcome, serve and respect life, whether still unborn or approaching its natural end.
While Christian unity will be a gift from God, it won’t drop miraculously from the sky but will be given to the followers of Christ step by step as they walk together and work together, Pope Francis said.
Addressing the Vatican court primarily responsible for hearing requests for marriage annulments, Pope Francis said judges on church tribunals should show “imperturbable and impartial balance” as well as the “delicacy and humanity proper to a pastor of souls.”
Like the good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travelers along today’s communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said.
There are too many “defeated Christians” in the church who do not fully believe in the faith handed down to them by way of tradition and who do not completely trust in God, Pope Francis said.
Christians must love through concrete actions, not words, which are just whisked away in the wind, Pope Francis said.
Baptism isn’t just some formal ritual, it profoundly changes people, giving them unwavering hope and the strength to forgive and love others, Pope Francis said.
Welcoming in a new year, Pope Francis said it was time to stop provoking and ignoring violence, tragedy and conflict in the world, and begin building peace at home.
Just as people must never ignore the plight of today’s immigrants and refugees, they must also remember today’s “hidden exiles” — the elderly and other relatives who are abandoned or forgotten by their own families, Pope Francis said.
In his first annual message for the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis writes that peace and social justice are impossible without a spirit of fraternity based on recognition that all men and women are children of God — a relationship fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
People must stand united against the scandal of hunger while avoiding food waste and irresponsible use of the world’s resources, Pope Francis said.
In another wide-ranging interview with an Italian journalist, Pope Francis denied he was a Marxist but said he took no offense at the label; dismissed the notion of women cardinals; and reflected on Christmas as an occasion of joy, tenderness and hope.