Pope Francis exhorts Christians not to “compromise with the Gospel”

Pope Francis exhorts Christians not to “compromise with the Gospel”

Pope Francis advised Christians not to “compromise with the Gospel” on All Souls’ Day and to take seriously what Jesus said about how we would be judged by how we treat the underprivileged.

“We often have a tendency to soften or dilute Jesus’ teaching out of convenience or comfort. Let’s face it, we’re really adept at compromising the Gospel,” the pope said on November 2 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“From simple disciples of the Master we become masters of complexity, who argue much and do little, who seek knowledge more before the computer than before the Crucifix, on the internet rather than in the eyes of our brothers and sisters; Christians who comment, debate, and expound theories but do not know even a poor person by name, have not visited a sick person for months, have never fed or dressed someone, have never made friends with someone in need,” he said.

On All Saints’ Day, Pope Francis said Mass for the souls of more than 150 dead bishops and cardinals who passed away in the previous year.

The pope’s homily centered on the following quote from Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “For I was an orphan and you took care of me; I was a thirsty man and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was ill and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.”

The pope said that these verses from the gospel serve as a preparation for passing away and the last judgment. God is “waiting for us among the impoverished and injured of the globe,” the speaker said. There is a persistent danger, the pope said, of “putting the expectations of the world above the anticipation of God” and “losing sight of what counts.”

“All will go in an instant, everything, the finest professions, the biggest successes, the most distinguished titles and accolades, the amassed money and worldly gains,” he stated.

All Souls’ Day, according to the pope, is a good time to consider “if our ambitions have anything to do with paradise.”

The Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica was held in memory of the 148 bishops and archbishops as well as the 9 cardinals who passed away between October 30, 2021, and October 17, 2022.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the former archbishop of So Paulo, Brazil, who played a significant role in the 2019 Amazon Synod, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Vatican secretary of state, and Cardinal Antonios Naguib, the former patriarch of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Catholic Church, were among the deceased cardinals listed in a booklet that was distributed at the Mass.

Among the bishops who passed away in the previous year were Bishop Emeritus Lawrence Donald Soens of Sioux City, Iowa, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Anthony Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, Texas, Archbishop Emeritus Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa, Poland, and Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Cheng Tsai-Fa of Taipei, Taiwan.

Pope Francis paid a quiet visit to a cemetery within Vatican City after the Mass. People of German, Austrian, and Swiss heritage, as well as those from other German-speaking countries, in particular members of the Archconfraternity of Our Lady, are buried at the Teutonic Cemetery, which is close to St. Peter’s Basilica.

The cemetery was constructed on the location of Nero’s Circus, where early Christians in Rome, including St. Peter, were crucified.

The Church takes a particular effort to remember, respect, and pray for the deceased on All Souls’ Day and during the whole month of November. The custom of visiting graves is one of the numerous diverse cultural customs associated with this time period that is constantly observed.

On All Souls’ Day of the previous year, Pope Francis paid a visit to a military cemetery in Rome. In the Laurentino Cemetery outside of Rome, in the Garden of Angels cemetery for dead children and unborn children, Pope Francis said Mass in 2018.

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