Catholic World News

Visiting Bologna, Pope reflects on Gospel, role of university

October 02, 2017

Pope Francis concluded a one-day visit to the Italian cities of Bologna and Cesena on October 1 with a Mass held in a Bologna soccer stadium.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the day’s Gospel, with the parable of the two sons who were asked by their father to work in the vineyard. “There is a great difference between the first son, who is lazy, and the second, who is a hypocrite,” the Pope remarked. The first son at first refuses his father’s order, but then on reflection fulfills it; the second says that he will obey but does not. Both are wrong, but the first is capable of repentance, which is the first step toward redemption, Pope Francis said.

The Pope pointed out that Jesus was especially critical of hypocrites, because their attitude does not allow them to repent and reform. They targets of the Lord’s severity, the Pope continued, were not the public sinners by the “inflexible guardians of human traditions.”

In Bologna the Pontiff had also visited the city’s university, where he reflected on its illustrious history of nearly 1,000 years, and said that a university should provide hope for humanity. He told students that their work should be both vertical—searching for the truth—and horizontal—sharing their knowledge with others to preserve the culture and advance the common good.

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