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Cover penitents with a blanket of mercy, Pope tells Missionaries of Mercy

February 10, 2016

Pope Francis has called upon priests who will serve as Missionaries of Mercy to cover their penitents with a blanket of mercy, as two of the sons of Noah covered the nakedness of their father.

In his apostolic bull on the extraordinary jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis called upon bishops to nominate priests to serve as Missionaries of Mercy. These missionaries, according to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, will “give missions or facilitate specific initiatives organized for the Jubilee, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Father will grant these Missionaries the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.”

Meeting with the Missionaries of Mercy in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace on the evening of February 9, Pope Francis called upon them to express the maternal nature of the Church, to recognize the grace at work in the heart of the penitents who approach them, and to cover sinners with a “blanket of mercy.”

“We are not called to judge, with a sense of superiority, as if we were immune from sin; on the contrary, we are called to act as Shem and Japheth, the sons of Noah, who took a blanket and put it over their father and hid his shame,” said Pope Francis. “It is, therefore, not with the club of judgment that we will bring back the lost sheep to the fold, but with the holiness of life which is the principle of renewal and reform in the Church.”

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