Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 / 05:21 am
In Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis said the wounds of the Church and the world are the wounds of Christ, and they must be touched and seen.
“To consider the wounds of society and of the Church is not a defamatory and pessimistic action,” the pope said Sept. 15. “If we want to give substance to our faith, we must learn to recognize in these human sufferings the same wounds of the Lord.”
“Look at them, touch them. To touch the wounds of the Lord in our wounds, in the wounds of our society, our families, our people, our friends. Touch the wounds of the Lord there,” he said.
“And this means for us Christians to take the history and the flesh of Christ as a place of salvation and liberation.”
The pope spoke during a day trip to Palermo, which included a stop in the central-Sicilian town of Piazza Armerina. In his speech to the Catholics of the area, he noted the many “wounds” which affect them, such as social and cultural underdevelopment, exploitation of workers, lack of youth employment, alcoholism, addiction, and the loss of family ties.
“In the face of so much suffering, the ecclesiastical community may appear, at times, disoriented and tired,” he said. Though sometimes, “thanks to God, it is lively and prophetic, while seeking new ways of announcing and offering mercy above all to those brothers who have fallen into disinterest, into mistrust, into the crisis of faith.”
He said he recognizes the difficulty of keeping the faith in the midst of such problems and encouraged young people to approach their priests and bishops and tell them if they are having difficulty trusting in the Church.
“So many times, I have heard some young people say: ‘Yes, I trust God, but not the Church,’” the pope said. “But why? – ‘Because I am against priests.’ Ah, you are against priests, then approach the priest and say: ‘I do not trust you for this, for this and for this.’”