Pope to new cardinals: practice compassion, be open to all

Pope Francis celebrates a Mass for newly-elected cardinals, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. Pope Francis welcomed 20 new cardinals Saturday into the elite club of churchmen who will elect his successor and immediately delivered a tough-love message to them, telling them to put aside their pride, jealousy and self-interests and instead exercise perfect charity. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday exhorted 20 new cardinals to reach out to all those who have been shunned, physically or spiritually, by the church or society.

Celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica with the men he installed as cardinals a day earlier, Francis told them that their mission must be one of “welcoming,” and of “rolling up our sleeves and not standing by and watching passively the suffering of the world.”

The red-hatted “princes of the church” elect pontiffs and help the pope to shape and implement policy. Francis told the cardinals “the way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity.” He urged them “to go out in search of those who are distant, those on the outskirts.”

Elected pope in 2013, Francis has sought to make church hierarchy less judgmental and less dominated by its Vatican-based bureaucratic workings.

His picks for cardinals included some from far-flung place such as Myanmar and Tonga.

One new cardinal, Archbishop John Dew, from New Zealand, recommended in an interview with Vatican Radio that prelates working in the Curia, the Vatican’s Rome-based administration, be assigned to the field, in dioceses. There he said, they can “meet people who are very often struggling in life” and obtain “real on-the-ground experience.”

Many Catholics will be watching to see if Francis’s determination to lead a more merciful church impacts their lives. Divorced Catholics who remarried are hoping Francis will change policy so they will be able to receive Communion instead of being seen as “living in sin.” Homosexual Catholics are wondering if his leadership will result in more openness toward them. Church teaching condemns homosexual activity.

Francis told the cardinals the Church must not be a “closed caste.” He instructed them to “see the Lord in every excluded person … even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith.”

1 thought on “Pope to new cardinals: practice compassion, be open to all


    Practicing playing a piano makes for a better piano player. Practicing basketball will lead to becoming a more accomplished player. Practicing most things is a good thing. Practicing sin leads to forfeiting entrance to the kingdom of God.

    Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. )NKJV)

    The clear message is that Christians were washed clean from sin and that they need to stop practicing sin.

    If you are a Christian or not a Christian you need to stop practicing sin. How much practice is necessary to be a competent sinner?

    Non Christians need to have their sins washed away. How? By Faith: John 3:16 Repentance: Acts 2:38 Confession: Romans 10:9 Water Immersion: Acts 2:38. Then, they need to stop practicing sin.


    1 John 1:7-10 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from sin. 8 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him liar, and His word is not in us. (NKJV)

    Being a Christian, who on occasion, sins is not the same as continuing to practice sin. God says those who practice sin will not inherit the kingdom of God.


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