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For The Loved And Tormented Nation Of Syria

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For The Loved And Tormented Nation Of Syria

An “€œappeal to the consciences of those responsible for the bombing”€ in
Syria, “€œwho will have to give an account before God”€, was made by Pope Francis
at the General Audience on Wednesday, 28 September, in St Peter”€™s Square.
Visibly moved, the Pope again turned his thoughts to that “€œloved and tormented
nation, where”€, he explained, we continue to hear “€œtraumatic news on the plight
of the people of Aleppo”€.

During the customary greetings to the groups of faithful, the Pope also expressed his concern for the “€œsuffering of the Mexican people”€ and for those workers who were laid off in Basilicata: “€œThe percentage of unemployment can increase no further”€, he

Shortly before, Francis had dedicated his catechesis to the figure of the good thief.
Commenting on the passage from the Gospel of Luke (23:33,39-43) which speaks of
forgiveness on the cross, the Pope remarked firstly that Jesus remained “€œon
this great cross, in this great suffering, and there he saved us”€, while “€œwe
all know that it is not easy “€˜to remain on the cross”€™, on our little everyday
crosses”€. In particular, Francis explained, the scene teaches that “€œGod”€™s
salvation is for everyone, without exception”€.

“€œThe Church is not only for those who are good or those who seem good or believe they are good”€, the Pope said, “€œthe Church is for everyone, and even preferably for those who are bad…
This is why the Jubilee is a time of grace and mercy for everyone”€. This is
seen precisely in the figure of the good thief, a man who was condemned to
die”€, who became a “€œmodel of repentance”€ for us. Francis said that it is true
that the good thief “€œwas a crook… But in the end, he regretted what he had
done, and, seeing Jesus, so good and merciful, he manages to steal Heaven”€.


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