“We must not be obsessed with power, even when it assumes the face of a power that is functional and useful to the social image of the Church”. Pope Francis has stressed during his speech in the basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, on the occasion of the ten year meeting organized by IEC for the Italian Church. “Humbleness, selflessness, beatitude: today, these are the three characteristics I suggest you meditate on Christian humanism, born from the humanity of the Son of God”, said Bergoglio. “And these characteristics speak also to the Italian Church which is meeting today to walk together. If the Church does not assume the sentiments of Jesus, it gets lost and loses its meaning. Whereas if it assumes them, it will know how to be up to its mission. Jesus’ feelings tell us that a Church that thinks for itself and for its own interests would be sad. The beatitudes, finally, are mirror we have to look at ourself, the one that lets us know if we are walking along the right path: it is a mirror that does not lie”. Instead, “a Church that has these three characteristics – humbleness, selflessness, bliss – is a Church that recognizes the action of the Lord in the world, in culture, and in people’s daily life”. The Holy Father said he prefers “a bumpy, wounded and dirty Church to be out on the streets, rather than an ill Church, keen on its own comfort and securities. I do not want a Church concerned to be the center and which ends up locked in a tangle of obsessions and procedures”.
There is, according to Francis, a Pelagian “temptation”, called after Pelagius, which is pushing “the Church not to be humble, selfless and blessed. And it does so while preserving the appearance of good purposes. Pelagianism leads us to trust structures and organizations, in perfect (because abstract) schedules. Often it leads us to assume a style of control, harshness, normativity. The norm gives to the Pelagian the security of feeling superior, to have a precise direction. This is where it finds its strength and not in the lightness of the breath of the Spirit. In front of the evils or the problems of the Church, it is unnecessary to seek solutions in conservatism and fundamentalism, in the restoration of model of behavior and forms that are old fashioned, which do not have ability to be significant not even in cultural terms. The Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, questions, but is alive, it knows how to frighten and inspire them. He is not hard, he has a body that moves and develops, has tender flesh: that of Jesus Christ”.
Pope Francis arrived to Florence. The helicopter landed at the athletic stadium “Luigi Ridolfi”. Here the Pontiff was welcomed by Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, by the president of the Region of Tuscany, Enrico Rossi, by the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, and the prefect of Florence, Alessio Giuffrida. There was also a small crowd. The pontiff greeted from the car that took him to the Duomo square.
The capital of the region and the second and final stage of this Tuscan full immersion. This morning the Holy Father has arrived to Prato, near Florence. After the landing at the stadium Lungobisenzio (at around 7.55) Francis, greeted by Bishop Franco Agostinelli, the mayor Matthew Biffoni and by the prefect Maria Laura Simonetti, he travelled to the town’s cathedral where he gave a speech.
“The sacredness of every human being – he has said in the crowded cathedral in Piazza Duomo – requires respect for everyone, reception and a dignified job; here I shall recall, at this point, the 5 men and two women of Chinese citizenship who died two years ago due to a fire in the industrial area of Prato. They lived and slept in the same building where they worked, in an area was formed a small dormitory of cardboard and plasterboard. It is a tragedy of exploitation and of inhuman conditions of life and this is not dignified job. The life of every community requires the cancer of corruption and the poison of illegality to be fought to the bottom. Within us, and together with the others, let us never grow tired of fighting for truth”.
Francis, addressing the many young people who were present – some of them placed a tent in front of the cathedral since yesterday night – urged them to “not remain closed in indifference, but to open up. We have been asked to walk out and get closer to the men and women of our time. Going out, of course, means taking risks, but there is no faith without risk”. Pope Bergoglio has observed that “in front of the vortex of changes of the recent years, there is the danger of suffering the turbines of the events, losing the courage to look for the route”. “Thus, it is preferred – he has observed – to take refuge in a safe harbor and to give up on exploring the word of Jesus. But the Lord, who wants to reach those who do not love him yet, urges us. He wants a renewed missionary passion to be born inside us and gives us a great responsibility. He asks the Church, his bride to walk down the rough paths today, to accompany who has lost their way; to put tents of hope, where to offer shelter to those who are wounded and do not expect anything more from life”. Finally, speaking about himself he has said: “I am a pilgrim passing by, a little thing, but at least there is good will”.