Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Sin is scary, but God is always ready to forgive, pope says

ROME—Witches don’t really exist, so they can do no harm, Pope Francis told a young girl, but gossip, sin and evil exist and they hurt people every day.

“What frightens me?” the pope asked, repeating the question posed by Sara, one of the children at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa. “I’m frightened when a person is bad; the wickedness of people” is scary.

Spending close to four hours at the parish March 12, Pope Francis answered questions from the children, met with the older and sick members of the parish, spent time with parents whose babies have been baptized in the past year and with the Canossian Sisters, whose founder is honored as the parish’s patron saint.

Before celebrating an evening Mass, the pope also heard confessions.

He had told the children that the “seeds of wickedness” lie within each human being, but that God is always willing to forgive those who are sincerely sorry for their sins.

Sara had told him she’s afraid of witches, but Pope Francis told her that witches don’t really exist and those who claim to be able to cast spells are lying.

What is really frightening, the pope said, is the harm caused when people choose to sin, a choice that often begins small. “And it frightens me when in a family, neighborhood, workplace, parish — or even the Vatican — there is gossip. That’s scary.”

“You have heard or seen on TV what terrorists do? They throw a bomb and run,” he said. “Gossip is like that. It’s throwing a bomb and running away. Gossip destroys” people and reputations.

In his homily at the Mass, Pope Francis described sin as being ugly, an offense against God and a slap to God’s face.

“We are used to talking about other people’s sins. It’s an ugly thing to do,” the pope said. Instead, people need to look at their own sins and at Jesus, who took upon himself the sins of all humanity.

“This is the path toward Easter, toward the resurrection” where Jesus’ face will shine like it did at the transfiguration.

But Christians also need to gaze at the crucifix and at the face of Jesus “disfigured, tortured, despised, bloodied by the crown of thorns” because he loved humanity so much that he took on the sins of the world and paid so much for all of us.

The face of Jesus, he said, “encourages us to ask forgiveness for our sins and not to sin so much. It encourages us most of all to trust because if he has made himself sin and has taken on our sins, he is always ready to forgive us. We just need to ask him.”

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters: Pope Francis greets people March 12 during a visit at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa.



  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Jan 169:30 am Beaufort Deanery Meeting
    From the Calendar of Office of Catechesis
    3:30 pm The Holy Spirit
    From the Calendar of Office of Catechesis Webinars
    6:00 pm "What We Have Seen & Heard: A Reflection & Dialogue on Peace"
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 17 Report Cards Emailed
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Gregory the Great School
    End of 2nd Nine Weeks
    From the Calendar of St. Anthony School Florence
    Report Cards Issued
    From the Calendar of St. Andrew School Myrtle Beach
    Fun Nite @ OLSS w/CCD
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    Spirit Day
    From the Calendar of Prince of Peace School Taylors
    6:30 pm Sophomore/Junior college Planning Night hosted by Counseling Dept.
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    7:00 pm Curso 1- CIC/Biblia Tema #1
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 18 Last day to drop a second semester class and add another semester class (per BEHS guidelines)
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
    End of Second Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
    Report Card
    From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
    TAG day
    From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
    Middle School Gold Card Treat #2
    From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
    2:00 pm Dismissal for Faculty Meeting
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    3:00 pm HSA Family meeting
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    3:30 pm Parent-Teacher Conferences
    From the Calendar of Cardinal Newman School