10/11/2020, 14.58
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Pope calls for greater space for women in positions of 'responsiblity in the institutions of the Church'

Fifteen-year-old Carlo Acutis, beatified yesterday, "shows today's young people that true happiness is found by putting God first and serving Him in one's brothers and sisters, especially the least".  Pope Francis also calls for a resumption of the truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Let us pray that "the lay faithful, especially women, may participate more in institutions of responsibility in the Church, without falling into clericalism that nullifies the lay charism".  This was Pope Francis reflection after the Angelus, when he also appealed for a "resumption" of the truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan and recalled the beatification of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis, indicating him as a "model" for today's young people.

Pope Francis recited the Marian prayer together with a few thousand people present in St. Peter's Square on a drizzly Sunday.  Ccommenting on today's Gospel passage on the parable of the wedding banquet, the Pope underlined that twice in the story, the king's servants are sent to call the guests "but they refuse, they don't want to go to the celebration, because they have other things to think about". 

Pope Francis underlined that "often we too put our interests and material things before the Lord who calls us.  But the king of the parable does not want the room to remain empty, because he wishes to donate the treasures of his kingdom and extends the invitation to even the most distant, "without excluding anyone", because "no one is excluded from the house of God".  The king in fact says: “Call everyone, good and bad. Everyone".  "God calls the bad, too."

In this way the Church too "is called to reach today's crossroads, that is, the geographical and existential peripheries of humanity", all those places where "shreds of humanity without hope" live.  “It is a question of not settling on the comfortable and habitual ways of evangelization and witness to charity, but of opening the doors of our hearts and of our communities to all, because the Gospel is not reserved for a select few.  Even those who are marginalized, even those who are rejected and despised by society, are considered by God worthy of His love ”.

 It was after the Angelus that Francis said he "appreciated that a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons was agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with a view to reaching a substantial peace agreement.  Although the truce proves to be too fragile, I encourage it to be resumed and I express my participation in the pain of the loss of human lives, the suffering, as well as the destruction of homes and places of worship.  I pray and invite you to pray for the victims and for all those whose life is in danger ”.

 "Yesterday, in Assisi - he later said - Carlo Acutis, a fifteen year old boy, in love with the Eucharist, was beatified.  He did not settle into comfortable immobility, but grasped the needs of his time, because in the weakest he saw the face of Christ.  His testimony indicates to today's young people that true happiness is found by putting God in the first place and by serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least ”.

 The Pope then recalled "the prayer intention that I proposed for this month of October, which says: 'Let us pray that the lay faithful, especially women, participate more in the institutions of responsibility of the Church'.  Because none of us have been baptized a priest or a bishop: we have all been baptized as lay people.  The laity are protagonists of the Church.  Today there is a need to expand the spaces of a more incisive female presence in the Church, and of a lay presence, of course, but emphasizing the female aspect, because in general women are left to one side.  We must promote the integration of women in  places where important decisions are made.  Let us pray that, by virtue of baptism, the lay faithful, especially women, participate more in institutions of responsibility in the Church, without falling into the clericalisms that nullify the lay charism and also ruin the face of Holy Mother Church ”.

"Next Sunday 18 October - he finally said - the Aid to the Church in Need Foundation promotes the initiative 'For unity and peace, a million children pray the Rosary".  I encourage this beautiful event that involves children from all over the world, who will especially pray for the critical situations caused by the pandemic ”.

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