John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis phoned up the mother of a 16-year-old who disappeared in 1993 to promise the church's help and to pray for her.
The Francis Chronicles
Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. Pope John Paul II asked for help in finding “a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation”. We have made little progress in this regard.
Once again, Pope Francis is telling the world to say less and listen more. Speaking to his church audience, he said Wednesday that effective evangelization does not involve selling religion -- delivering religious messages -- as much as it involves listening and engaging people with their questions and doubts.
John Allen in Rome: In a message Thursday to the world of communications, Pope Francis called on the media to foster two qualities for which they're not exactly renowned.
The bishop must always foster this missionary communion in his diocesan Church, following the ideal of the first Christian communities, in which the believers were of one heart and one soul (cf. Acts 4:32). To do so, he will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind and -- above all -- allowing the flock to strike out on new paths.
Pope Francis says we need to be small and humble to dialogue with God, but at the same time, God always chooses those who are small and who have the least power.
This was the core message of the Francis' homily at Tuesday morning Mass in the Santa Marta residence, according to Vatican Radio.
Business leaders have the power and the duty to reduce widespread inequality and "social exclusion," ensuring that "humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis said in a message read at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Francis Chronicles: Priests, bishops and lay Catholics who cause scandal are living lives cut off from God, and their corruption ends up poisoning others, Pope Francis said.
The authority of Jesus' teaching seemed "new" to the people of his day, not because of its content, but because of the love and respect with which Jesus spoke, Pope Francis said.
Jesus "wanted the people to draw near and seek him, and he was moved when he saw them like sheep without a shepherd," the pope said Tuesday in the homily at his early morning Mass.
The day's Gospel reading, describing Jesus preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, said the people were astonished by his preaching, which to them was "a new teaching with authority."