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Pope Francis Asks Forgiveness for Sins of Vatican

During General Audience, Considers Parents’ Responsibility to Keep Their Promises to Children

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Pope Francis has, in the name of the Church, asked forgiveness for the scandals which have taken place in Rome and the Vatican in recent times.

At the start of today’s weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square as the synod of bishops on the family is taking place, the Pope said this as he reflected on today’s reading, where Jesus says a series of times, «Woe,» to the Pharisees and the scholars of the law, the world of things that cause sin. The Holy Father commented that Jesus’ words are «very strong.»

At the audience, the Pontiff continued his catechesis on the family, considering the promises parents make to their children when bringing them into the world.   

Reflecting on this, Francis said, «I am not really speaking much about the promises we make here and there during the day to keep them happy or make them feel good (perhaps with some innocent trick), or to entice them to engage in school or to dissuade them from some whim. I speak of the most important promises, decisive for their expectations towards life, for their trust in human beings, for their ability to understand God’s name as a blessing.»

The greatest promise, the Pope continued, is love, namely that every child trusts that he or she will be loved and cared for. «Children come into the world and expect to have a confirmation of this promise: they expect in a total, trusting, and defenseless way. It is enough to look around to see this: in all ethnic groups, in all cultures, in all conditions of life!»

«When the opposite occurs,» he lamented, «children are injured by an unbearable, much more serious ‘scandal,’ since they do not have the means to decipher it.»

God, the Pope reminded faithful, watches over this promise from the beginning. Francis also urged those gathered to remember what Jesus said, namely that children’s guardian angels watch over them with the eyes of God, Who “never loses sight of the children.” 

When that promise is broken, the Pope said, the result is a «scandal,» which Jesus condemns.  

«The tender and mysterious relationship between God and the souls of children must never be violated,» Pope Francis underscored, adding, «The child is ready at birth to feel loved by God!»

In Baptism, the Pope explained, the Church too makes promises to Her children, promises which are to be kept by parents and the entire Christian community.  In experiencing human love, Francis said, each child comes to sense the presence of a God who loves children.   

The Holy Father also stressed how important it is for us to foster this mysterious relationship by leaving room for God in their young lives. Through the love they show, the Pope reminded those gathered, parents help them to appreciate their identity and uniqueness as sons and daughters of God.  

The Pope reminded the faithful that Jesus taught us to become like little children. The Holy Father prayed that In protecting our children and protecting the family, we keep the great promise which God has given to us in them, and through them, to our human family.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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