Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Rome's St. Peter Damiani parish May 21, 2017. Credit: Screenshot/CTV.
Always act with gentleness and respect, Pope Francis says
During a visit to a Roman parish Sunday, Pope Francis repeated his frequent condemnation of gossip, telling the congregation instead to always treat others with gentleness and respect, as the Holy Spirit does, Christian Telegraph reports according to Catholic News Agency.
“The language of Christians who cherish the Holy Spirit, who was given to us as a gift, is special: they don’t have to speak in Latin, no. It’s another language: it’s the language of gentleness and respect,” the Pope said May 21.
Reflecting on these two points can help each of us to reflect on our own attitude as Christians, he said, asking “is it an attitude of gentleness, or of wrath? Or bitterness?”
“It’s terrible to see people who say they are Christians, but who are full of bitterness,” Francis said, adding that the language of the Holy Spirit “is gentle...because he’s gentle. And respect. Always respect others. He teaches to respect others.”
Pope Francis made his comments during an off-the-cuff homily while celebrating Mass at Rome’s St. Peter Damiani parish in the Casal Bernocchi neighborhood in the south of Rome.
After leaving the Vatican around 3:45p.m., the Pope arrived at the parish around 4:15p.m. and was greeted by the Vicar of Rome Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the titular bishop of the parish, as well as the auxiliary bishop of Rome’s southern sector, Paolo Lojudice, and the pastor, Fr. Lucio Coppa.
Francis’ visit marked the third time a Pope has gone to the parish. The first was Bl. Pope Paul VI in 1972 for the 900th anniversary of the death of St. Peter Damiani, and the second was St. John Paul II in 1988.
Before celebrating Mass at 6p.m., Francis met with 80 children enrolled in First Communion classes and around 100 youth who attend post-Confirmation activities. During the discussion, he responded to two questions posed by the youth.
He then met with sick and elderly parishioners, families whose children have been baptized this year, members of the Neocatechumenal Way, employees of the parish and volunteers with the parish’s Caritas program. Four of the parishioners then went to confession with Pope Francis before Mass.