Clerical stiffness is harmfulDomenico Agasso JR
Vatican InsiderLink to Original
One attitude opens up our horizons and makes us free, the other closes our hearts and is harmful. The first is hoping in God’s mercy, the second is clerical stiffness, Pope Francis said in this morning’s homily at the daily mass in St. Martha’s House.
In the Gospel, the chief priests question Jesus and ask with what authority he acts: “they have no horizons,” Francis said. “They are men who are locked in their calculations, they are slaves to their rigidity”. “Human calculations,” the Pope said, “close hearts and shut out freedom”, whilst “hope gives us levity”.
With the recently inaugurated Jubilee in mind Francis pointed out that “in this Year of Mercy there are these two paths: one of those who hope in God’s mercy and know that God is the Father; and then there are those who take refuge in the slavery of rigidity and know nothing of God’s mercy. These people were doctors, they had studied, but their science did not save them.”
Francis ended his homily by describing something that happened to him at a mass [sic] for the sick in Buenos Aires, in 1992: he had spent hours listening to people’s confessions, when an 80-year-old woman came up to him, “it was as if here eyes could see beyond, she had eyes full of hope. So I said: ’Grandma, are you here for confession?’ Because I was about to leave. ‘Yes’ she answered and I said: ‘you have not sinned’. She said: ’Father, we have all sinned – But God forgives all’. ‘How do you know?’ I asked. ’Because if God did not forgive all, the world would not exist’,” was her reply. So – Pope Francis said: “before these two persons - the free one, the one with hope who brings God’s mercy, and the closed, legalistic slave of his own rigidity, let us remember the words of the old lady and the lesson she gave me: God forgives all, He is just waiting for you to get close to Him.”