During the celebration marking the start of the 52nd Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Francis said “It is a grave sin to belittle or despise the gifts that the Lord has given our brothers and sisters, and to think that God somehow holds them in less esteem. When we entertain such thoughts, we allow the very grace we have received to become a source of pride, injustice and division. And how can we then enter the promised kingdom?
On 18 January, the cardinal presides over the episcopal ordination of Fr. Najib Mikhael Moussa, Archbishop of Mosul and Fr. Robert Jarjis, auxiliary in Baghdad. The Muslims are happy for the return of "a Christian leader." Reconciliation, trust and reconstruction the challenges to be faced: the meeting with Javad Zarif, Iranian Foreign Minister and the common concern for the embargo.
Francis sends a message to the meeting of the presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences of Asia with a delegation from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Francis writes a Letter for the 25th anniversary of the Pontifical Academy for Life. "On the one hand, appeals are made to alleged rights, arbitrary and non-essential in nature, accompanied by the demand that they be recognized and promoted by public structures, while, on the other hand, elementary and basic rights remain unacknowledged and are violated in much of the world”.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe announced that she will not take food for 72 hours, but the protest could continue to the bitter end. The prison authorities denied her medical treatment for neck, arm and leg pain. Member of a charitable NGO, the woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trying to "overthrow the religious establishment".
Ali Motahari calls for a referendum on the hijab. In the event of a referendum he hopes that the country chooses to maintain the norm. However, the protest of women online and on the streets does not stop. Female activists: "Our rights cannot be decided" by men or by a vote.
During the Angelus, for the feast of the baptism of Jesus, Pope Francis noted that it is in baptism that we find "the roots of our life in God”. For the pontiff, it is important to know “the date of our baptism". During his baptism, Jesus "Jesus immersed himself in the crowd, joined it and fully assumed his human condition." He also “immersed himself in prayer, that is, in communion with the Father.”
During Mass in the Sistine Chapel, the pontiff said that faith "must always be transmitted in the family’s, the home’s dialect." He urged parents to “never quarrel in front of the children. [. . .] You do not know the anguish that comes to a child when he or she sees parents fighting." He warns against the “polyphony" of crying.
The meeting in Thailand "manifests the desire of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to support local Episcopates in their responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the doctrine of the faith, considering the specific challenges that face the continent of Asia today.”
In the preface to the book "Evangelii gaudium con don Bosco", Francis writes that the Salesian is "an optimist by nature, he knows how to look at children with positive realism". "The Salesians - he writes - have trained me in beauty, at work and in being very happy". "They helped me grow without fear, without obsessions". "They helped me to move forward in joy and prayer".