Cardinal Mauro Piacenza Welcomes Francis as the "Pope of Mercy"

Major Penitentiary Greets Pontiff During Audience with Participants of Course on Reconciliation

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“As Apostolic Penitentiary, custodian of the greatest mercy,” of the “treasure of mercy,” we feel you particularly close, because in everyone’s heart you are the “Pope of mercy” and, therefore, you are, in a special way, “our” Pope!

With these words, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza opened the audience with Pope Francis who met with the Regent, the Prelate Counselors and the staff of the Apostolic Penitentiary, together with the Penitentiaries of the Papal Basilicas, and the other 500 participants in the 26thCourse on the Internal Forum.

After assuring prayers for the Pope, “for the fruitfulness of Your Petrine ministry on the eve of the anniversary of Your election,” the Major Penitentiary stressed how “from the capacity to receive, live and offer the experience of mercy, the real ‘quality’ is understood of ecclesial living.”

That is, “the density is understood of the faith of individuals and of communities and the identification with the Lord Jesus that they live.”

The Cardinal observed that #36 of Evangelii Gaudium, written by Pope Francis, reflects on “the beauty of the salvific love of God manifested in Jesus Christ Dead and Risen.”

“And such beauty, irreducible and precious, is shown primarily in the grandiose as well as moving mystery of Divine Mercy, capable of changing the hearts and lives of men and, therefore, history. And God knows how urgent the need is!” he added.

Cardinal Piacenza thanked the Pope because “from the first steps of Your Pontificate you have shown this essential nucleus of the Christian faith: the accessibility for all of Divine Mercy.”

According to the Cardinal, faith itself “in the Incarnation of the Word, as supreme gift of the Father to humanity, and in his Death and Resurrection, passes, existentially, through the experience of Mercy, offered and received by human freedom.”

To be “witnesses of mercy,” means, therefore, “to be witnesses of the essential nucleus of the beauty of the Gospel. To have a daily experience of it, to proclaim it and to witness to it to brothers,” concluded Cardinal Piacenza.

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