Pope Francis On…


…as the Church’s one and only indivisible magisterium, the pope and the bishops in union with him carry the gravest responsibility that no ambiguous sign or unclear teaching comes from them, confusing the faithful or lulling them into a false sense of security.
—Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, former prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; First ThingsApril 20th, 2018


THE Pope can be confusing, his words ambiguous, his thoughts incomplete. There are many rumours, suspicions, and accusations that the current Pontiff is trying to change Catholic teaching. So, for the record, here is Pope Francis…


On his vision for the future Pope (who turned out to be him):

Thinking of the next Pope, he must be a man that from the contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to come out to the existential peripheries, that helps her to be the fruitful mother who lives from the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing. —Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, shortly before being elected the 266th pope; Salt and Light Magazine, p. 8, Issue 4, Special Edition, 2013

On abortion:

[Abortion is the] murder of an innocent person. —Sept. 1st, 2017; Catholic News Service

Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.Gaudete et Exsultate, n. 101

Here I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being.Amoris Laetitian. 83

How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.Laudato si’n. 120

In the last century, the entire world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to ensure the purity of the race. Today we do the same, but with white gloves. —General Audience, June 16th, 2018; iol.co.za

Getting rid of a human being is like resorting to a contract killer to solve a problem. Is it just to resort to a contract killer to solve a problem? …How can an act that suppresses innocent life be therapeutic, civil or even human? —Homily, October 10th, 2018; france24.com

On Paul VI and Humanae Vitae:

…his genius was prophetic, as he had the courage to go against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to apply a cultural brake, to oppose present and future neo-Malthusianism. —interview with Corriere della Sera; Inside the VaticanMarch 4th, 2014

In accord with the personal and fully human character of conjugal love, family planning fittingly takes place as the result a consensual dialogue between the spouses, respect for times and consideration of the dignity of the partner. In this sense, the teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae (cf. 1014) and the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (cf. 14; 2835) ought to be taken up anew, in order to counter a mentality that is often hostile to life… Decisions involving responsible parenthood pre-supposes the formation of conscience, which is ‘the most secret core and sanctuary of a person. There each one is alone with God, whose voice echoes in the depths of the heart’ (Gaudium et Spes, 16)…. Moreover, “the use of methods based on the ‘laws of nature and the incidence of fertility’ (Humanae Vitae, 11) are to be promoted, since ‘these methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favour the education of an authentic freedom’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370).Amoris Laetitian. 222

On euthanasia and end-of-life issues:

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats to families worldwide…The Church, while firmly opposing these practices, feels the need to assist families who take care of their elderly and infirm members.Amoris Laetitian. 48

True compassion does not marginalize, humiliate or exclude, much less celebrate a patient passing away. You know well that would mean the triumph of selfishness, of that ‘throwaway culture’ that rejects and despises people who do not meet certain standards of health, beauty or usefulness. —address to health professionals from Spain and Latin America, June 9, 2016; Catholic Herald

The practice of euthanasia, which has already been legalized in several countries, only apparently aims to encourage personal freedom. In reality, it is based on a utilitarian view of the person, who becomes useless or can be equated to a cost, if from the medical point of view, he has no hope of improvement or can no longer avoid pain. If one chooses death, the problems are solved in a sense; but how much bitterness behind this reasoning, and what rejection of hope involves the choice of giving up everything and breaking all ties! —Speech to the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Sept 2nd, 2019; Catholic News Agency

On genetic experimentation with human life:

We are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment. Making children rather than accepting them as a gift, as I said. Playing with life. Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator, who created things this way. —address to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors, Nov. 16th, 2015; Zenit.org

There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development… a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.Laudato si’n. 136

On population control:

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development.”Laudato si’n. 50

On redefinition of marriage and family:

We cannot change it. This is the nature of things, not just in the Church but in human history. —Sept. 1st, 2017; Catholic News Service

The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life. —speech in Manila, Philippines; Crux, Jan. 16th, 2015

‘as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’ It is unacceptable ‘that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.’New York TimesApril 8th, 2016

To say that a person has a right to be in their families… does not mean to “approve homosexual acts, in the least”…. “I have always defended doctrine. And it is curious, in the law about homosexual marriage … It’s a contradiction to speak about homosexual marriage.”Crux, May 28th, 2019

On March 15th, 2021, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a statement that Pope Francis approved stating that “gay unions” cannot receive the “blessings” of the Church. 

…it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex… [The Church cannot] approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God… He does not and cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of His plan of love and allow himself to be changed by Him. He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are”. — “Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex”, March 15th, 2021; press.vatican.va

On “gender ideology”:

The complementarity of man and woman, summit of divine creation, is being questioned by the so-called gender ideology, in the name of a more free and just society. The differences between man and woman are not for opposition or subordination, but for communion and generation, always in the “image and likeness” of God. Without mutual self-giving, neither one can understand the other in depth. The Sacrament of Marriage is a sign of the love of God for humanity and of Christ’s giving himself for his Bride, the Church. —address to Puerto Rican Bishops, Vatican City, June 08, 2015

‘Gender theory, he said, has a “dangerous” cultural aim of erasing all distinctions between men and women, male and female, which would “destroy at its roots” God’s most basic plan for human beings: “diversity, distinction. It would make everything homogenous, neutral. It is an attack on difference, on the creativity of God and on men and women.”‘The TabletFebruary 5th, 2020

On persons struggling with their sexual identity:

During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the Catechism says… A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. —American Magazine, Sept. 30th, 2013, americamagazine.org

On homosexuality in the priesthood:

The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates [for the priesthood], if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church. It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or consecrated life is not his place. —December 2nd, 2018; theguardian.com

On Interreligious Dialogue:

It is a visit of fraternity, of dialogue, and of friendship. And this is good. This is healthy. And in these moments, which are wounded by war and hatred, these small gestures are seeds of peace and fraternity. —Rome Reports, June 26th, 2015; romereports.com

What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another.Evangelii Gaudium, n. 251; vatican.va

…the Church “desires that all the peoples of the earth be able to meet Jesus, to experience His merciful love… [the Church] wishes to indicate respectfully, to every man and woman of this world, the Child that was born for the salvation of all. —Angelus, January 6th, 2016; Zenit.org

Baptism gives us rebirth in God’s own image and likeness, and makes us members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.  In this sense, baptism is truly necessary for salvation for it ensures that we are always and everywhere sons and daughters in the house of the Father, and never orphans, strangers or slaves…  no one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother (cf. Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl., 6). Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism: as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20).  This mission is part of our identity as Christians; it makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realize their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognize their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death. Today’s rampant secularism, when it becomes an aggressive cultural rejection of God’s active fatherhood in our history, is an obstacle to authentic human fraternity, which finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person. Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity within the human race. —World Mission Day, 2019; vaticannews.va

On the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood:

On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last word is clear. It was given by St. John Paul II and this remains. —Press Conference, Nov. 1st, 2016; LifeSiteNews

The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion…Evangelii Gaudiumn. 104

The question is no longer open for discussion because the pronouncement of John Paul II was definitive.The TabletFebruary 5th, 2020

On Hell:

Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures. Such a life—frequently proposed and imposed—risks leading to Hell. Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us. —Homily, Mass of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, May 13, 2017; Vatican Insider

Look upon us with mercy, born of the tenderness of your heart, and help us to walk in the ways of complete purification. Let none of your children be lost in the eternal fire, where there can be no repentance. —Angelus, November 2nd, 2014; Ibid. 

On the devil:

I believe that the Devil exists… his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe that he doesn’t exist. —then, Cardinal Bergoglio, in the 2010 book On Heaven and Earth

He is evil, he’s not like mist. He’s not a diffuse thing, he is a person. I’m convinced that one must never converse with Satan—if you do that, you’ll be lost. He’s more intelligent than us, and he’ll turn you upside down, he’ll make your head spin. He always pretends to be polite—he does it with priests, with bishops. That’s how he enters your mind. But it ends badly if you don’t realise what is happening in time. (We should tell him) go away! —interview with Catholic television channel TV2000; The TelegraphDecember 13th, 2017

We know from experience that the Christian life is always prone to temptation, especially to the temptation to separate from God, from his will, from communion with him, to fall back into the webs of worldly seductions… And baptism prepares and strengthens us for this daily struggle, including the fight against the devil who, as St. Peter says, like a lion, tries to devour and destroy us. —General Audience, April 24th, 2018, Daily Mail

On education:

…we need knowledge, we need truth, because without these we cannot stand firm, we cannot move forward. Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing. Lumen Fidei, Encyclical Letter, n. 24

I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people. The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of “only one form of thought” … A week ago a great teacher said to me… ‘with these education projects I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’… —message to members of BICE (International Catholic Child Bureau); Vatican Radio, April 11th, 2014

On the environment:

…a sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves. Laudato si’,  n. 34

Each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources. The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. — Laudato si’, n. 21

There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good. Laudato si, n. 188

On (unfettered) capitalism:

Time, my brothers and sisters, seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home… The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea – one of the first theologians of the Church – called “the dung of the devil”. An unfettered pursuit of money rules. This is the “dung of the devil”. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home, sister and mother earth. —address to The Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, July 10th, 2015; vatican.va

The true strength of our democracies – understood as expressions of the political will of the people – must not be allowed to collapse under the pressure of multinational interests which are not universal, which weaken them and turn them into uniform systems of economic power at the service of unseen empires. —Address to European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, Nov. 25th, 2014, Zenit

A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power… In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule. Evangelii Gaudium, n. 56

Marxist ideology is wrong… [but] trickle-down economics… expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power… [these theories] assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist.religion.blogs.cnn.com 

On consumerism:

This sister [earth] now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). —Laudato si, n. 2

Hedonism and consumerism can prove our downfall, for when we are obsessed with our own pleasure, we end up being all too concerned about ourselves and our rights, and we feel a desperate need for free time to enjoy ourselves. We will find it hard to feel and show any real concern for those in need, unless we are able to cultivate a certain simplicity of life, resisting the feverish demands of a consumer society, which leave us impoverished and unsatisfied, anxious to have it all now.Gaudete et Exultate, n. 108; vatican.va

On immigration

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions…. we must not be taken aback by the numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to this situation; to respond in a way which is always human, just, and fraternal… let us remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. —address to U.S. Congress, September 24th, 2015; usatoday.com

If a country is able to integrate, then they should do what they can. If another country has a greater capacity, they should do more, always keeping an open heart. It is inhumane to shut our doors, it is inhumane to shut our hearts… There is also a political price to pay when imprudent calculations are made and a country takes in more than it can integrate.  What is the risk when a migrant or a refugee are not integrated? They become ghettoised! They form ghettoes. A culture that fails to develop with respect to other cultures, that is dangerous. I think fear is the worst counsellor for countries who tend to close their borders. And the best counsellor is prudence. —in-flight interview, Malmö to Rome on November 1, 2016; cf. Vatican Insider and La Croix International

On migrants vs. refugees:

We also need to distinguish between migrants and refugees. Migrants must follow certain rules because migrating is a right but a well-regulated right. Refugees, on the other hand, come from a situation of war, hunger or some other terrible situation. The status of a refugee requires more care, more work. We cannot close our hearts to refugees… However, while being open to receive them, governments need to be prudent and to work out how to settle them. It is not just a matter of accepting refugees but of considering how to integrate them. —in-flight interview, Malmö to Rome on November 1, 2016; La Croix International

The truth is that just [250 miles] from Sicily there is an incredibly cruel terrorist group. So there is a danger of infiltration, this is true… Yes, nobody said Rome would be immune to this threat. But you can take precautions. —interview with Radio Renascenca, Sept. 14th, 2015; New York Post

On war:

War is madness… even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a Third War, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction… Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep. —September 13th, 2015; BBC.com

…no war is just. The only just thing is peace. —from Politique et Société, an interview with Dominique Wolton; cf. catholicherald.com

On fidelity to the Catholic Faith:

Fidelity to the Church, fidelity to its teaching; fidelity to the Creed; fidelity to the doctrine, safeguarding this doctrine. Humility and fidelity. Even Paul VI reminded us that we receive the message of the Gospel as a gift and we need to transmit it as a gift, but not as a something of ours: it is a gift that we received. And be faithful in this transmission. Because we have received and we have to gift a Gospel that is not ours, that is Jesus’, and we must not—he would say—become masters of the Gospel, masters of the doctrine we have received, to use it as we please. —Homily, Jan. 30th, 2014; Catholic Herald

Confess the Faith! All of it, not part of it! Safeguard this faith, as it came to us, by way of tradition: the whole Faith! Zenit.org, January 10th, 2014

[There is a] temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals…” The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei ” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! —Closing address at Synod, Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014

Certainly, to understand properly the meaning of the central message of a [biblical] text we need to relate it to the teaching of the entire Bible as handed on by the Church.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 148

The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”. —closing remarks on the Synod; Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014

On evangelization:

We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out with Christ in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered. —General Audience, March 27th, 2013; news.va

On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” …It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 164

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time… The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the Church must be ministers of mercy above all.  americamagazine.org, September 2013

We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow. americamagazine.org, September 2013

On God’s Word:

All evangelization is based on that Word, listened to, meditated upon, lived, celebrated and witnessed to. The Sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization. Consequently, we need to be constantly trained in hearing the Word. The Church does not evangelize unless she constantly lets herself be evangelized.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 174

The Bible is not meant to be placed on a shelf, but to be in your hands, to read often – every day, both on your own and together with others… —Oct. 26th, 2015; Catholic Herald

I love my old Bible, which has accompanied me half my life. It has been with me in my times of joy and times of tears. It is my most precious treasure…Often I read a little and then put it away and contemplate the Lord. Not that I see the Lord, but he looks at me. He’s there. I let myself look at him. And I feel—this is not sentimentality — I feel deeply the things that the Lord tells me.Ibid.

It is indispensable that the Word of God “be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity.” God’s Word, listened to and celebrated, above all in the Eucharist, nourishes and inwardly strengthens Christians, enabling them to offer an authentic witness to the Gospel in daily life…  —Evangelii Gaudiumn. 174

…always keep with you a handy copy of the Gospel, a pocket edition of the Gospel, in your pocket, in your purse… and so, every day, read a short passage, so that you become used to reading the Word of God, understanding well the seed that God offers you… —Angelus, July 12th, 2020; Zenit.org

On the Sacrament of the Eucharist:

The Eucharist is Jesus who gives himself entirely to us. To nourish ourselves with him and abide in him through Holy Communion, if we do it with faith, transforms our life into a gift to God and to our brothers… eating him, we become like him. —Angelus August 16th, 2015; Catholic News Agency

…the Eucharist “is not a private prayer or a beautiful spiritual experience”… it is a “memorial, namely, a gesture that actualizes and makes present the event of the death and resurrection of Jesus: the bread is truly his Body given, the wine is truly is Blood poured out.”Ibid.

It’s not just a memory, no, it’s more: It’s making present what happened twenty centuries ago. —General Audience, CruxNov. 22nd, 2017

The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 47

…preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist. This means that the words of the preacher must be measured, so that the Lord, more than his minister, will be the centre of attention.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 138

We must not get used to the Eucharist and go to Communion out of habit: no!… It is Jesus, Jesus alive, but we must not get used to it: it must be every time as if it were our First Communion… The Eucharist is the synthesis of the entire existence of Jesus, which was a single act of love for the Father and his brothers. –Pope Francis, Corpus Christi, June 23rd, 2019; Zenit

On the Mass:

This is Mass: entering in this Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus, and when we go to Mass, it is as if we go to Calvary. Now imagine if we went to Calvary—using our imagination—in that moment, knowing that that man there is Jesus. Would we dare to chit-chat, take pictures, make a little scene? No! Because it’s Jesus! We would surely be in silence, in tears, and in the joy of being saved… Mass is experiencing Calvary, it’s not a show. —General Audience, CruxNov. 22nd, 2017

The Eucharist configures us in a unique and profound way with Jesus… the celebration of the Eucharist always keeps the Church alive and makes our communities distinguished by love and communion. —General Audience, Feb. 5th, 2014, National Catholic Register

In order for the liturgy to fulfil its formative and transforming function, it is necessary that the pastors and the laity be introduced to their meaning and symbolic language, including art, song and music in the service of the mystery celebrated, even silence. The Catechism of the Catholic Church itself adopts the mystagogical way to illustrate the liturgy, valuing its prayers and signs. Mystagogy: this is a suitable way to enter the mystery of the liturgy, in the living encounter with the crucified and risen Lord. Mystagogy means discovering the new life we have received in the People of God through the Sacraments, and continually rediscovering the beauty of renewing it. —POPE FRANCIS, Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, February 14th, 2019; vatican.va

On Vocations

Our paternity is at stake… Regarding this concern, rather, this haemorrhage of vocations… it is the poisoned fruit of the culture of the temporary, of relativism and the dictatorship of money, which distances the young from consecrated life; alongside, certainly, the tragic reduction in births, this “demographic winter”; as well as the scandals and lukewarm witness. How many seminaries, churches and monasteries will be closed in the coming years due to a lack of vocations? God knows. It is sad to see that this land, which has for long centuries been fertile and generous in producing missionaries, nuns, priests full of apostolic zeal, is entering along with the old continent in a vocational sterility without searching for effective remedies. I believe that it searches for them but we are not managing to find them! —talking points for the Italian Episcopal Conference’s 71st General Assembly; May 22nd 2018; pagadiandiocese.org

On Celibacy

I am convinced that celibacy is a gift, a grace, and following in the footsteps of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, I strongly feel an obligation to think of celibacy as a decisive grace that characterizes the Latin Catholic Church. I repeat: It is a grace.The TabletFebruary 5th, 2020

On the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day! Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests—Jesus receives you. He will receive you with so much love! Be courageous, and go to confession. —Audience, Feb 19, 2014; Catholic News Agency

God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.Evangelii Gaudiumn. 3

Someone can say, ‘I confess my sins only to God.’ Yes, you can say to God, ‘forgive me,’ and say your sins. But our sins are also against our brothers, against the Church. This is is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness of the Church and of our brothers, in the person of the priest. —Audience, Feb 19, 2014; Catholic News Agency

It is a sacrament that leads to “forgiveness, and a change of heart.” —Homily, Feb 27, 2018; Catholic News Agency

On prayer and fasting:

In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could lead to a hardness of heart, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of the boundless love of God, in order to experience his tenderness. —Ash Wednesday Homily, March 10th, 2014; Catholic Online

Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.Ibid.

Another good way to grow in friendship with Christ is by listening to his Word. The Lord speaks to us in the depths of our conscience, he speaks to us through Sacred Scripture, he speaks to us in prayer. Learn to stay before him in silence, to read and meditate on the Bible, especially the Gospels, to converse with him every day in order to feel his presence of friendship and love. —Message to Young Lithuanians, June 21st, 2013; vatican.va

On Mortification

Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to “devour” everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts. Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy. Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us.Message for Lent, vatican.va

On the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary:

During the course of the second vote during the conclave that elected him, Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) was praying the Rosary, which gave him…

…great peace, almost to the point of insentience. I have not lost it. It is something inside; it is like a gift.National Catholic Register, Dec. 21, 2015

Twelve hours after his election, the new Pope paid a quiet visit to the papal basilica St. Mary Major to venerate the famous icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman People).  The Holy Father placed a small bouquet of flowers before the icon and sang the Salve Regina. Cardinal Abril y Castelló, the archpriest of St. Mary Major, explained the significance of the Holy Father’s veneration:

He decided to visit the Basilica, not only to thank the Blessed Virgin, but — as Pope Francis said to me himself — to entrust Her with his pontificate, to lay it at Her feet. Being deeply devoted to Mary, Pope Francis came here to ask Her for help and protection. —Inside the VaticanJuly 13th, 2013

Devotion to Mary is not spiritual etiquette; it is a requirement of the Christian life. The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman, is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman.Catholic News AgencyJanuary 1st, 2018

Mary is exactly what God wants us to be, what he wants his Church to be: A Mother who is tender and lowly, poor in material goods and rich in love, free of sin and united to Jesus, keeping God in our hearts and our neighbor in our lives.Ibid

In the Rosary we turn to the Virgin Mary so that she may guide us to an ever closer union with her Son Jesus to bring us into conformity with him, to have his sentiments and to behave like him. Indeed, in the Rosary while we repeat the Hail Mary we meditate on the Mysteries, on the events of Christ’s life, so as to know and love him ever better. The Rosary is an effective means for opening ourselves to God, for it helps us to overcome egotism and to bring peace to hearts, in the family, in society and in the world. —Message to Young Lithuanians, June 21st, 2013; vatican.va

On the “end times”:

…hear the voice of the Spirit speaking to the whole Church of our time, which is the time of mercy. I am sure of this. It is not only Lent; we are living in a time of mercy, and have been for 30 years or more, up to today. —Vatican City, March 6th, 2014, www.vatican.va

Time, my brothers and sisters, seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home. —speech in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; newsmax.com, July 10th, 2015

…worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us to abandon our traditions and negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful. This… is called apostasy, which… is a form of “adultery” which takes place when we negotiate the essence of our being: loyalty to the Lord. —Homily, Vatican Radio, November 18th, 2013

Still today, the spirit of worldliness leads us to progressivism, to this uniformity of thought … Negotiating one’s fidelity to God is like negotiating one’s identity… He then made reference to the 20th-century novel Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson, son of the Archbishop of Canterbury Edward White Benson, in which the author speaks of the spirit of the world that leads to apostasy almost as though it were a prophecy, as though he envisioned what would happen.” —Homily, November 18, 2013; catholicculture.org

It is not the beautiful globalization of unity of all Nations, each one with their own customs, instead it is the globalization of hegemonic uniformity, it is the single thought. And this sole thought is the fruit of worldliness. —Homily, November 18th, 2013; Zenit

Speaking to reporters on the flight from Manila to Rome, the Pope said that those who read the novel on the Antichrist, Lord of the World, “will understand what I mean by ideological colonization.” —Jan. 20th, 2015; catholicculture.org

In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule. —Evangelii Gaudiumn. 56 

On himself:

I do not like ideological interpretations, a certain mythology of Pope Francis. The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps peacefully, and has friends like everyone else. A normal person. —interview with Corriere della Sera; Catholic Culture, March 4th, 2014




Der Spiegel: Is Pope Francis a heretic, a denier of dogma, as some few princes of the Church insinuate?

Cardinal Gerard Müller: No. This Pope is orthodox, that is, doctrinally sound in the Catholic sense. But it is his task to bring the Church together in truth, and it would be dangerous if he were to succumb to the temptation of pitting the camp that boasts of its progressivism, against the rest of the Church… —Walter Mayr, “Als hätte Gott selbst gesprochen”, Der Spiegel, Feb. 16, 2019, p. 50


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