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Pope Francis praises Pope Benedict for following his conscience



01 July, 2013 - Pope Francis on Sunday urged Christians to listen to their conscience, as Pope Benedict XVI did. He was addressing tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the weekly midday Angelus’ with him. Speaking from the studio window of the papal apartment overlooking the square, the Pope took his cue from Sunday’s Gospel which shows Jesus taking the "steadfast decision to journey to Jerusalem" in order "to complete his mission of salvation." Even those who desired to follow him Jesus clearly puts the conditions: not having a permanent abode; detaching themselves from human affections and the past. The Pope also noted that Jesus does not impose when the Samaritan village declines to welcome him. Commenting on Jesus’ decision to go up to Jerusalem, the Pope said Jesus was not, so to speak, "remote-controlled ", by the Father’s will. His decision was taken in good conscience, not on His own but together with the Father, in full union with Him! He decided in obedience to the Father, deeply attuned and intimately listening to his will. In this Jesus found the strength and the light for his journey. "So we also must learn to listen more to our conscience.” But the Pope cautioned, this however does not mean we ought to follow our ego, do whatever interests us, whatever suits us, whatever pleases us. That is not conscience. Conscience is the inner space in which we can listen to and hear the truth, the good, God's voice. It is the inner place of our relationship with Him, who speaks to our heart and helps us discern, understand the path we ought to take, and once the decision is made, move forward, and remain faithful." As an example of obedience to God in conscience, Pope Francis pointed to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. When the Lord made it clear, in prayer, what was the step he had to take, he followed, with a great sense of discernment and courage, his conscience, that is, the will of God that spoke to his heart.
After the Angelus, Francis noted that today the world is celebrating the 'Day for the charity of the Pope' in which offerings are collected for the of the pope's pastoral work. The pope thanked bishops and parishes, "especially the poorest ones, for the prayers and offerings that support the many pastoral initiatives and charitable activities of the Successor of Peter in every part of the world. Thank you all!"




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