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A Church that reaches out to all

· On the Solemnity of Pentecost the Pope celebrates the Day of movements, new communities, associations and lay groups ·

A Church not closed in on itself but open to meeting everyone and commited to being alongside the poorest of the poor in the “outskirts of existence” of the world. This is what Pope Francis proposed to the movements, the new communities, associations and lay groups on the Feast of Pentecost. On the day dedicated to them during the Year of Faith, the Pope met twice, in a matter of hours, the leaders of these ecclesial realities arriving in crowds at St Peter's Square. At the prayer vigil, presided over Saturday evening, the Bishop of Rome spoke at length answering four questions on the issues of faith and personal testimony. “I prefer a damaged Church a thousand times more”, he said, “than a Church that is sick because it is closed”. Hence his call to “come out of ourselves” because there is a need for authentic witnesses, and not for “starched Christians”. Also the presence of Paul Batthi was acknowlged, brother of Pakistani Minister Shabbaz who was slain in 2011. “There are more martyrs today than there were in the early centuries of the Church”. The next day, celebrating Sunday Mass, the Pope returned to this theme in his Homily, urging everyone to be “open to the surprises of God”. Finally, at the Regina Caeli he summed up the two days, calling them a “celebration of faith... A renewed Pentecost that transformed St Peter’s Square into an Upper Room beneath the open sky”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 20, 2019

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