Selected quotes from the first year of Francis's pontificate

On the Eucharist…
“The Eucharist is the sacrament of the communion that takes us out of our individualism so that together we live our discipleship, our faith in him” and it “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

On the Church…
“The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful.”

On the Vatican’s so-called ‘gay lobby’ at the …
“So much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find anyone who can give me a Vatican identity card with ‘gay’ [written on it]. They say they are there. I think that when you encounter a person like this, you must make a distinction between the fact of a person being gay from the fact of being a lobby, because lobbies, all are not good. That is bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a very beautiful way, but says, wait a moment, how do you say… it says, [that] these persons must not be marginalized for this, they must be integrated into society.”

On contraception…
“It all depends on how the text of Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, towards the end, recommended that confessors show great kindness and attention to specific situations.

“His genius proved prophetic: he had the courage to stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a ‘brake’ on the culture, to oppose [both] present and future neo-Malthusianism. The question is not that of changing doctrine, but to go into the depths, and ensuring that pastoral [efforts] take into account people’s situations, and that, which it is possible for people to do.”

On rugby…
“Rugby is like life because we are all heading for a goal, we need to run together and pass the ball from hand to hand until we get to it”

On grandparents
“Grandparents are a treasure. Often old age isn’t pretty, right? There is sickness and all that, but the wisdom our grandparents have is something we must welcome as an inheritance.”

On abortion…
“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.”

“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.”

On secularisation…
“The process of secularisation tends to reduce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal. Furthermore, by completely rejecting the transcendent, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a weakening of the sense of personal and collective sin, and a steady increase in relativism. These have led to a general sense of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood which are so vulnerable to change.”

On women priests…
“Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.”

On the poor…
“For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a cultural, sociological, political or philosophical one. God shows the poor ‘his first mercy’. This divine preference has consequences for the faith life of all Christians, since we are called to have ‘this mind… which was in Jesus Christ.’”

To young people…
“Swim against the tide; it’s good for the heart.”

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