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Pope exhorts cardinals to be holy and merciful, avoiding intrigue and gossip

February 24, 2014

Preaching at Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis told the members of the College of Cardinals who were present that they become part of the Church of Rome, “not a royal court.”

“May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism, and partiality,” the Pope said as he called upon all the faithful, and especially the cardinals, to be holy. “Christian holiness is not first and foremost our own work, but the fruit of docility-- willed and cultivated-- to the Spirit of God thrice holy.”

“My brother cardinals, Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table,” he continued. “To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way of holiness is mercy, that mercy which he has shown, and daily continues to show, to us. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world. This is what the Lord is asking of us.”

“Whenever the least of our brothers and sisters finds a place in our hearts, it is God himself who finds a place there,” Pope Francis added. “When that brother or sister is shut out, it is God himself who is not being welcomed. A heart without love is like a deconsecrated church, a building withdrawn from God’s service and given over to another use.”


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