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Make everyone feel that the Church exists

· Comments from the Cardinals ·

“Pope Francis feels he is Bishop of Rome and he told me this from the very first”. He perceives the relationship with the Diocese of Rome as a spousal bond that will bind the whole of his ministry”. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome said this in an interview with Paolo Rodari, published in the 15 March issue of La Repubblica. What the Cardinal Vicar stressed above all was the new Pope's “great simplicity”. He is “a profoundly spiritual man who feels love for God and for men and women, who lives out his passion for the Gospel and at the same time wants to serve the Church in a way that corresponds with the requirements of  the times. Pope Francesco said further that man needs deep spirituality, so I think that he will certainly measure up to these expectations”.

Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, asked “all the faithful of Milan” in a message to “intensify your prayers in these days for the mission of Pope Francis”. And he assured them that he would “convey to  the Pontiff  “joy, prayers and affection, his own and that of the Ambrosian [Milanese] Church, on his election to the throne of Peter”.

“Enthusiasm and pleasure” were expressed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi in an interview with Marco Gazone, published by the 15 March issue of Corriere della Sera. “I was behind him”, the journalist wrote, “and from the square I saw the new atmosphere coming into being and rising, the people  who were taking part understanding and reacting – I have to say, in a way far from  unexpected – from the very moment in which the Holy Father appeared on the balcony”.

Pope Francis “is a very approachable, friendly person with a great sense of humour and very quick”, said Cardinal Seán O'Malley to the Associated Press television news. “It was beautiful to see”, he added how successful he was in keeping hundreds of thousands of people perfectly silent. Then the emotion of two simple prayers like the Our Father and the Hail Mary . I almost wept”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 22, 2019

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