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Pope speaks of weariness in a wounded church

Pope Francis speaks Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during a sermon at Santa Maria la Antigua Cathedral in Panama City on World Youth Day, about the weariness that currently exists in religious communities and that sometimes it makes the church seen at its worst. EFE-EPA/Ettore Ferrari

Pope Francis speaks Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during a sermon at Santa Maria la Antigua Cathedral in Panama City on World Youth Day, about the weariness that currently exists in religious communities and that sometimes it makes the church seen at its worst. EFE-EPA/Ettore Ferrari

EFE

Pope Francis spoke Saturday about the weariness that currently exists in religious communities and that sometimes it makes the church seen at its worst, during a sermon at Santa Maria la Antigua Cathedral in Panama City where he was taking part in World Youth Day (WYD).

Francis cited in his homily the exhaustion of some religious “from long hours of work, which leave little time to eat, rest and be with family,” and even from “toxic working conditions and relationships that lead to exhaustion and disappointment.”

At this Mass to consecrate the altar of the newly restored Santa Maria la Antigua, the pontiff again referred to what he called “this weariness of hope” for some in the clergy, which “comes from looking ahead and not knowing how to react to the intense and confusing changes that we as a society are experiencing,” and even “calls into question the energy, resources and viability of our mission in this changing and challenging world.”

For Francis, “weariness of hope comes from seeing a Church wounded by sin, which so often failed to hear all those cries that echoed the cry of the Master: ‘My God, why have you forsaken me?’”

It causes, he said, “one of the worst heresies possible in our time” thinking that the Lord and our communities have nothing to say or contribute to this new world that is taking shape.

And so it happens that what once rose up to be the light of the world ends up offering its worst version, he said.

And so to combat this wearied hope, Francis preached the need “to return without fear to the deep well of our first love, when Jesus passed our way, gazed at us with mercy and asked us to follow Him.”

“A wearied hope will be healed when it is unafraid to return to the place of its first love,” Francis said.

At this Mass Pope Francis consecrated the main altar of Santa Maria la Antigua Cathedral, which will soon open again after remaining closed for seven year while being restored.

He called it a Spanish, Native-American and African-American cathedral, “and therefore a Panamanian cathedral.”


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