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After visit to Roman parish, Pope mixes with crowd outside Vatican

Catholic World News - March 18, 2013

Pope Francis visited a parish in Rome on the first Sunday of his pontificate, and later rattled his security detail by wading into a crowd to greet the public.

The Pope celebrated Mass at the parish of St. Anna, where a large congregation had gathered in anticipation of his visit. In his homily he reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, which retold the story of the woman caught in adultery. The Pope observed that some of the people accusing that woman had probably been among the crowds that heard Jesus preaching in the Temple. They heard the Lord’s message, but did not act upon it, he said. “I also think we are like this people who, on the one hand want to listen to Jesus, but, on the other hand, at times, like to be cruel to others, isn't that right?” the Pope continued.

However, the Pope said, Jesus has an inexhaustible capacity for forgiving our failures. “He has the special ability to forget,” he said. God never tires of forgiving, the Pope said. “Let us ask for the grave to never tire of asking forgiveness.” Pope Francis greeted some of the parishioners at St. Ann’s, then returned to the Vatican, where he surprised some of the people who were gathering for his midday audience by appearing on Porta Angelica Street to mingle with the people.

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