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Pope Francis: Find new ways of mercy, seek answers to world’s problems

Archbishop Villegas: Be not afraid to fight culture of death with mercy
/ 08:52 PM January 17, 2017
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Pope Francis. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA — Pope Francis has called on the Catholic faithful to continue finding new ways to share God’s mercy with their fellow man, as well as search for answers to today’s social problems.

The Pontiff’s message was delivered by papal legate Philippe Cardinal Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, France, at the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy held in Manila.

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“He (Pope Francis) asks you to carry on seeking and finding new ways to express God’s mercy,” said Barbarin at the Mass he presided over at the University of Santo Tomas on Tuesday night.

The papal legate added that the Pontiff also “wants you to look for appropriate answers to the social problems of our time.”

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The message was addressed to around 5,000 delegates of different nationalities who attended the second day of the WACOM 4 at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Barbarin presided over the concelebrated Mass, while Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Socrates Villegas delivered the 12-minute homily.

In his homily, Villegas dared the delegates not to be afraid to show mercy to others.

“Do not be afraid to have nothing, I dare you to be merciful. Do not be afraid to be merciful, it is by the power of our mercy, patterned after the Almighty. That peace, new life that we have been looking for all these years,” he said.

He lamented that Catholics have become afraid to be left with nothing if they show mercy to others, and have become afraid of being opposed.

He added that instead of propagating mercy, terror, revenge and the death penalty have been propagated, in apparent reference to the death penalty bill being pushed in Congress.

“The gospel of mercy will disturb the promoters of the culture of death,” Villegas said.

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The archbishop added: “We are afraid to look at mercy in the eyes and we are afraid that mercy will challenge us to be merciful and we are not ready.”

Villegas challenged Christians not to be afraid to be martyrs of mercy, and to learn how to wait for God’s time.

“Love is patient and love always wait. Do not be afraid to wait even if it takes forever. Do not be afraid to keep quiet and allow the Lord to speak. Do not be afraid to be soft and do not be afraid of being opposed,” he said.  SFM

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TAGS: 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, Catholic Church, culture of death, Death Penalty, faith, Holy Mass, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Love, Mercy, Philippe Barbarin, Philippe Cardinal Barbarin, Pope Francis, Religion, revenge, social problems, societal problems, Socrates Villegas, spirituality, terror, University of Santo Tomas, UST Quadricentennial Pavilion
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