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Pope Benedict: Pope Francis Speaking of Mercy Moves Us Closer to God

Pope Emeritus Releases Rare Interview to Italian Bishops’ Conference Newspaper Avvenire

Pope Benedict XVI says Pope Francis’ speaking of mercy is a way of moving faithful closer to God.

The Pope Emeritus said this in a rare public interview to Avvenire,  the newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, published on Wednesday,  reported Vatican Radio.

Jesuit Father Jacques Servais, a renowned theologian, conducted the interview which focused on two highly controversial issues in the post-Conciliar era: the right understanding of Christ’s unique and universal act of salvation with respect to those who do not profess Christian faith and the right understanding of the primacy of mission in the life of the Church with respect to dialogue.

Pope Benedict explained that at the two related, but distinct questions’ core is the need to recover a sense of the Divine Mercy.

Divine Mercy

Benedict underscored that this Divine Mercy is something Pope Francis has understood and placed at the center of his pastoral solicitude.

“Only where there is mercy,” Pope Benedict said, “does cruelty end.”

Moving Closer to God

“Pope Francis,” he added, “is totally in accord with this line: his pastoral practice expresses itself precisely through the fact that he continually speaks to us of God’s mercy. It is mercy that moves us towards God, while justice frightens us before him.”

“In my view,” Pope Benedict continued, “this sets in relief the fact that, beneath the veneer of confidence in himself and [human] justice, contemporary man hides a deep knowledge of his injuries and his unworthiness before God: he is waiting for mercy.”

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On the NET:

Italian text of Avvenire interview on newspaper’s website: http://mobile.avvenire.it/Cultura/Pagine/Facciamoci-plasmare-da-Cristo-.aspx

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