3 days, 3 cities. Francis calls Chileans to dream of the future.
Pope Francis spent three days in Chile, visiting three cities, and celebrating three public Masses. He also visited a women’s prison, the shrine of a native Chilean saint, Alberto Hurtado, where he met with members of his own religious community, the Jesuits. He had a meeting with young people, and a private meeting with survivors of sexual abuse. He met with victims of the Pinochet regimes.
Here are some of the most poignant phrases of his addresses and homilies.
Homily at Mass in Iquique:
Jesus’ first public appearance [was] at a party, nothing more or less. It could not be otherwise, since the Gospel is a constant invitation to joy.
Iquique is a region of immigrants, which reminds us of the greatness of men and women, entire families, who, in the face of adversity, refused to give up and set out in search of life. In search of life. … There is no Christian joy when others are made to feel unwanted, when there is no room for them in our midst.
Address to Chilean youth
Never think that you have nothing to offer or that nobody cares about you. Never! That thought, as Alberto Hurtado used to like to say, “is the voice of the devil,” who wants to make you feel you are worthless… and to keep things the way they are. All of us are necessary and important; all of us have something to offer.
Address to educators
Educating for peaceful coexistence does not mean simply attaching values to the work of education, but rather establishing a dynamic of coexistence internal to the very system of education itself. It is not so much a question of content but of teaching how to think and reason in an integrated way. What was traditionally called forma mentis.
This literacy process requires working simultaneously to integrate the different languages that constitute us as persons. That is to say, an education (literacy) that integrates and harmonizes intellect (the head), affections (the heart) and activity (the hands). This will offer students a growth that is harmonious not only at the personal level, but also at the level of society.
Homily at Mass at Temuco
Unity is not an idol or the result of forced integration; it is not a harmony bought at the price of leaving some people on the fringes. The richness of a land is born precisely from the desire of each of its parts to share its wisdom with others. Unity can never be a stifling uniformity imposed by the powerful, or a segregation that does not value the goodness of others.
Address to bishops
Before all else, I would like to greet Bishop Bernardino Piñero Carvallo, who this year celebrates his sixtieth anniversary of episcopal ordination – he is the oldest bishop in the world, not only in age but also in years of episcopate – who was present for four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. A marvellous living memory.
One of the problems facing our societies today is the sense of being orphaned, the feeling of not belonging to anyone. This “postmodern” feeling can seep into us and into our clergy. We begin to think that we belong to no one; we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people…
Address to religious, priests, consecrated persons, seminarians
We are called individually but always as part of a larger group. Where vocation is concerned, there is no such thing as a selfie! Vocation demands that somebody else take your picture, and that is what we are about to do!
I know the pain resulting from cases of abuse of minors and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil. Painful because of the harm and sufferings of the victims and their families, who saw the trust they had placed in the Church’s ministers betrayed. Painful too for the suffering of ecclesial communities, but also painful for you, brothers and sisters, who, after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or a lack of confidence. I know that at times you have been insulted in the metro or walking on the street, and that by going around in clerical attire in many places you pay a heavy price. For this reason, I suggest that we ask God to grant us the clear-sightedness to call reality by its name, the strength to seek forgiveness and the ability to listen to what he tells us.
Jesus wants to avoid turning Peter into someone who hurts others by telling the truth, or is kind to others by telling lies, or simply someone paralyzed by his own uncertainty,” as can happen to us in these situations.
Jesus Christ does not appear to his disciples without his wounds; those very wounds enabled Thomas to profess his faith. We are not asked to ignore or hide our wounds. A Church with wounds can understand the wounds of today’s world and make them her own, suffering with them, accompanying them and seeking to heal them. A wounded Church does not make herself the centre of things, does not believe that she is perfect, but puts at the centre the one who can heal those wounds, whose name is Jesus Christ. The knowledge that we are wounded sets us free.
Homily at Mass for Peace and Justice in Santiago
The Beatitudes are not the fruit of passivity in the face of reality, nor of a mere onlooker gathering grim statistics about current events.
Greeting to authorities
Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.