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Christians should correct sinners, Pope reminds audience

September 05, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the prayer of prayer, and the obligation for Christians to admonish sinners, during his Angelus audience on Sunday, September 4.

Fraternal love, the Pope said, “involves a feeling of mutual responsibility,” which sometimes requires speaking frankly to an acquaintance “to help him understand that what he has done is wrong.”

Making this sort of fraternal correction “requires great humility and simplicity of heart,” the Pope cautioned. A correction should be made with love, not with anger. “If a brother sins, we do not cease to love him by inviting him to return to the straight path.” The Holy Father observed that loving someone means helping that person in times of need, and sometimes what the person needs is guidance away from moral harm.

The Pope also reminded the crowd gathered in the courtyard of his summer residence about the power of common prayer. “Individual prayer is certainly indispensable,” he said, “but the Lord gives assurances of His presence in communities which—even if they are very small—remain united and speak with one voice.”


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