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'Be Witnesses of Mercy Everywhere,' Urges Pope

In Message to ‘Liturgy Week’ in Italy, Pope Stresses, ‘The Father’s Mercy cannot be shut-in in ‘closed in’ and self-consoling attitudes, because it shows itself powerful in renewing persons and making it possible for others to be offered the vivid experience of the gift itself.’

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Aware that we are sinners who have experienced forgiveness, we are to be witnesses of mercy, to those we meet, in the places we are.
Through Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis expressed this in a message sent to the 67th Italian National Liturgical Week, which opened today at Gubbio on the theme “The Liturgy, Place of Mercy. Reconciled to Reconcile.”
In the message, the Pope stressed that the gift of Mercy shines in “an altogether particular way” in the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.
“One is reconciled to reconcile,” he said, noting, “The Father’s Mercy cannot be shut-in in ‘closed in’ and self-consoling attitudes, because it shows itself powerful in renewing persons and making it possible to offer others the vivid experience of the gift itself.”
“Beginning from the awareness that one is forgiven to forgive, we must be witnesses of mercy in every environment, awakening the desire and capacity to forgive,” he continued. “This is a task to which we are all called, especially in face of the rancor in which too many persons are enclosed, who are in need of rediscovering the joy of interior serenity and the enjoyment of peace.”
Given this, the Jesuit Pontiff explained, the rite of Sacramental Penance is perceived “as expression of an ‘outgoing Church,’ as ‘door’ not only to re-enter after having been estranged, but also open ‘threshold’ to the different peripheries of a humanity ever needier of compassion.”
“In this, in fact, is effected the encounter with the recreating mercy of God from which new women and men issue to proclaim the good life of the Gospel, through a reconciled and reconciling existence.”
Pope Francis’s message concluded, expressing his prayers for this week of study days and imparting his Apostolic Blessing.
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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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