- Nov 24, 2020
A sovereign can exercise their role, as the Queen and Prince Philip have traditionally done, in the Victorian manner: Stiffly and courteously, with good grace but shyly, shunning intimacy, putting the institution first. Or they can exercise them as Diana did, putting the institution at the service of the poor.
“I believe that many Catholics believe themselves to be perfect and despise others. This is sad,” the pope said in an off-the-cuff remark during his weekly general audience. “We who are used to experiencing the forgiveness of sins, perhaps a little too ‘cheaply’, should sometimes remember how much we cost the love of God.”
Friday marks the end of a special jubilee year devoted to Padre Pio, which began last July 28 on the 100th anniversary of his arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo. Despite some surface incongruities, Padre Pio may be a perfect Pope Francis-era saint in the way he incarnates popular religion, concern for the poor and the primacy of mercy — showing that being a “Francis priest” isn’t about politics but pastoring.
“Mercy, in short, commits us all to being instruments of justice, of reconciliation and peace. Let us never forget that mercy is the keystone in the life of faith, and the concrete form by which we give visibility to Jesus’ resurrection,” Pope Francis said.
The concreteness of faith “leads to frankness, to giving witness to the point of martyrdom; it is against compromises or the idealization of faith,” Pope Francis said during his morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Pope Francis often appears to see himself as the “world’s parish priest,” and during the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday he passed along some pastoral “best practices” to his fellow Catholic priests around the world — including brief homilies, regular days and hours for meeting ordinary folks, and a strong devotion to the Madonna, all adding up to a priesthood expressed in “particulars.”