Saints Weren’t Perfect, Pope Says

Claims Holiness Is Something Everyone Can Learn

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2007 ( The saints are not people who never made mistakes or sinned, but who repented and were reconciled, says Benedict XVI.

This fact is a personal consolation for the Pope himself, as he explained in today’s general audience.

Addressing some 6,000 people in Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father dedicated his weekly address to focus on three of St. Paul’s closest collaborators: Barnabas, Silas and Apollos.

The Pontiff explained that on occasions Paul had confrontations with them, at least with Barnabas, because of differences of opinion on specific questions.

“Hence, also among saints there are oppositions, discords and controversies And this is very consoling for me, as we see that the saints have not ‘fallen from heaven,'” the Holy Father said.

“They are men like us, with complicated problems. Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning,” Benedict XVI continued. “Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.

“And we can all learn this way of holiness.”

The Pope’s address continued with the series of meditations he has been giving on the first apostles and evangelizers of the early Church.

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