The fact that a woman can't be a priest doesn't mean that she is less than a man.
To recognize, accept, and live with all ways of thinking and being does not imply the renunciation of one's own beliefs.
Life is priceless.
May God forgive you.
I'll stay down here.
Mercy, mercy, mercy.
Maturity implies time.
The city is also a mother.
Repair my Church in ruins.
Death is on my mind every day.
Jesus took care of the details.
Every human being is worthwhile.
It is the age of "weak thought."
Mary was an expert in listening.
New realities demand new responses.
Brothers and sisters, good evening.
To walk as a people is always slower.
I'll just go with the guys on the bus.
Alcohol and drugs are an easy shortcut.
So many children don't know how to pray!
I don't want to keep the people waiting.
Where there is hope, there is happiness.
Truth, goodness, and beauty are inseparable.
Man is not made for work; work is made for man.
The family is the natural center of human life.
Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the Devil.
Euthanasia is a culture of discarding the elderly.
What is gossip? It's a truth taken out of context.
Education is the genuine expression of social love.
Indifference is dangerous, whether innocent or not.
The measure of every human being is God, not money.
Teaching is one of the passionate arts in existence.
No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.
The blindness of spirit prevents us from being free.
What God cares about most is that we are His friends.
Mediocrity is the best drug for enslaving the people.
The Church was, is, and will continue to be persecuted.
The truth is always combative, but it is also combated.
A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor.
He who has a little more power has to serve a little more.
This is the struggle of every person: be free or be a slave.
And, please, don't stop praying for me because, well, I need it.
I invite you to recognize the treasure hidden in your fragility.
How many problems would we avoid in life if we learned to listen?
Anti-condom zealots want to stick the whole world inside a condom.
If the Lord did not forgive everything, the world would not exist.
[My parents] met in 1934 at Mass. They married the following year.
It's very hard, in the world of the easy, to believe in the truth.
We do not have the right to be indifferent or to look the other way.
I don't like to talk about what I haven't seen or what I don't know.
It is not enough to avoid injustice if you're not promoting justice.
Let me be clear: "take your time" isn't the same as "just let it be."
The cardinalate is a service; it is not an award to be bragged about.
It is possible to build a new civilization centered on love and life.
It seems to me that a meditation about maturity would do us all good.
Only he who recognizes his vulnerability is capable of unified action.
The manipulation of memory is never innocent; rather, it is dishonest.
Every leader, to become a true leader, has to be, above all, a witness.
The person who is most high among us must be at the service of the others.
Every big city has many riches, many possibilities, but also many dangers.
Of course, participating in political life is a way of honoring democracy.
God isn't a kind of Andreani [UPS or FedEx], sending messages all the time.
Perhaps the worst injustice of the present time is the triumph of bitterness.
True leadership and the source of its authority is an existential experience.
God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.
Listening is also the capacity to share questions and the search [for answers].
Few things are more moving than the human need for beauty that all hearts have.
[Living] the Christian life [means] giving witness with joy, just as Jesus did.
It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.
Theologically speaking, the Devil is a being who chose not to accept God's plan.
Journalists always present themselves before society as "searchers for the truth."
Where there is truth, there is also light, but don't confuse light with the flash.
I dare to say it still: we Argentinians have a long history of mutual intolerance.
The most dangerous idol is our own selves when we want to occupy the place of God.
There are two types of men: those who take care of the pain and those who pass by.
The capacity to wait is probably one of the most important things we have to learn.
We don't have to expect everything from those who govern us; that would be juvenile.
Hope is the capacity to weigh everything and keep the best of each thing, to discern.
The greatest leaders in God's tribe have been those men who have left room for doubt.
"But Father, I don't know how to love." No one knows how to love; we learn every day.
Curiously, we have more information than ever, and yet we don't know what's going on.
We can say, without being irreverent: there isn't anyone more "inefficient" than God.
Living together is an art. It's a patient art, it's a beautiful art, it's fascinating.
The bitterness of the old person is worse than any other because it is without return.
Latin America is experiencing, as the rest of the world is, a cultural transformation.
Service is the rejection of indifference and utilitarian egotism. It is doing for others.
Jesus does not want us to be still, nor rushed; neither resting on our laurels, nor tense.
What was a sin and injustice also needs to be blessed with pardon, remorse, and reparation.
That is the religious experience: the astonishment of meeting someone who is waiting for you.
To be an open priest is to be capable of listening while remaining firm in one's convictions.
It was [the Holy Spirit] who inspired the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church.
[I] know more agnostics than atheists; the first is more undecided, the second, more convinced.
God, when He looks at our fragility, invites us to tend to it not with fear, but with audacity.
Dear friends, I thank you from the heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis.
We ask for the grace of never tiring of asking for forgiveness, for He never tires of forgiving.
There are sectors within the religions that are so prescriptive that they forget the human side.
Would it be possible for us to be more attentive to what we say to others and what we don't say?
I like tango; I danced it when I was young. ... Tango is something that gives me great pleasure.
We try to reach out to people who are far away, via digital means, the web, and brief messaging.
Each day, we all face the choice to be Good Samaritans or to be indifferent travelers passing by.
We are living through serious situations that are dispiriting and frequently take our breath away.
Globalization, as an economic and social ideology, has negatively affected our poorest communities.
The religious vocation is a call from God to a heart that is ready, whether conscious of it or not.
If we think of globalization like a billiard ball, it annihilates the rich virtues of each culture.
There have been corrupt periods. There were very difficult periods, but the religion revived itself.
Our Lady best transmits to the faithful the joy of God's word, which first filled her with pleasure.
Poor people are persecuted for demanding work, and rich people are applauded for fleeing from justice.
Sometimes they have to put out a fire, but the vocation of the politician is not that of a firefighter.
Lies and thievery (the principal ingredients of corruption) are always evils that destroy the community.
Keep asking why. I can't give you an answer, nor can any bishop, nor the Pope, but [God] will console you.
I almost always take [the subway] since it's fast, but I like the bus better because I can see the street.
The Christian life is always a walk in the presence of God, but it is not exempt from struggles and trials.
When I pray for the city of Buenos Aires, I give thanks for the fact that it was the city where I was born.
Only with "the truth will set you free" is it possible to resolve the grave problems of people and nations.
"Time yields experience," yes, but only if one takes the opportunity to "make experience out of experience."
True growth in human consciousness cannot be founded on anything other than the practice of dialogue and love.
I invite you, men and women of God's word: love silence, search for silence, cultivate silence in your ministry!
Our painful political history has all too often courted silence. The use of euphemisms has often anesthetized us.
The media can, unfortunately, mirror society's worst aspects, or its most frivolous and narcissistic [qualities].
What world are we leaving our children? Maybe it would be better to ask, "What children are we giving this world?"
If maturity was only something that developed as part of our genetic code, then we really wouldn't have much to do.
Is there anything more humiliating than being condemned [to an existence in which] you can't earn your daily bread?
Rather than preventing [them], it seems [the Argentinian government has] opted for making inequalities even greater.
If to build something we always undo and step on what others have done before us, how can we create something solid?
Suffering is not a virtue in and of itself, but it can be virtuous, depending upon the way in which we deal with it.
Our schools should be a space where our children and young people can have contact with the vitality of our history.
The homily is not so much a moment of meditation and catechism as it is a living dialogue between God and his people.
We have, in our hands, the responsibility and also the possibility of making this world much better for our children.
It astonished and perplexed me when I asked an acquaintance how he was doing and he responded, "Bad, but used to it."
I hope that there is no room among you for apostolic mummies...please, no! Go to a museum — mummies look better there.
Often, we feel fatigued and tired. Laziness tempts our spirits. We also look at all there is to do and the few we are.
Let us always pray for us, one for the other; let us pray for the whole world, so that there may be a great fraternity.
To love is much more than feeling tenderness or a certain emotion once in a while. It's a total challenge to creativity!
When someone is self-sufficient, when he has all the answers to all the questions, it's a sign that God is not with him.
When a person or a people sells its dignity or bargains it ... everything else loses consistency and ceases to have worth.
Sectarian attitudes in the social and political life of a country are terrible. They separate, divide, and drive us apart.
In the life of every Christian ... there will be the experience of the desert, of interior purification, of the dark night.
In order to have dialogue, you have to know how to lower your defenses, open the doors of your home, and offer human warmth.
The Church is very conscious of the fact that the cheapest thing in Latin America, the thing with the lowest price, is life.
There are those who look with eyes of statistics... and most of the time they only see numbers; they only know how to count.
[I] entered the Jesuit order because I was attracted by its... obedience and discipline. And by its focus on missionary work.
If, throughout history, the Church has changed so much, I do not see why we should not adapt it to the culture of [our] time.
Political society will only endure if the satisfaction of common human needs is our vocation. This is the role of the citizen.
At no other moment in history has humanity had the possibility, as it does now, of building a plural, unified world community.
The kind of globalization that makes things uniform is essentially imperialist. At the end it becomes a way of enslaving people.
In my own experience, I feel [the presence of] the Devil every time I'm tempted to do something that isn't what God asked of me.
Isn't it fickle, mediocre vanity that makes us build walls, whether they are walls of riches or power, or violence and impunity?
There's no guru here who can explain the human mystery to us, nobody who can say that this will be this way and that we'll be okay.
If our hearts are closed, if our hearts are made of stone, the stones find their way into our hands and we are ready to throw them.
Happy are we who, upon hearing the call to justice, feel our insides burn when we see the misery of millions of people in the world.
It isn't bad if religion dialogues with the political power; the problem is when it associates with it to do business under the table.
Situations can change; people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good. Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.
The impatience of the illustrious elites doesn't understand the laborious, daily march of the people, nor the message of the wise man.
If the most powerful used all his power to serve and to pardon, he who used his power for anything else would end up looking ridiculous.
God's image is the married couple, a man and woman, together. Not just the man. Not just the woman. No, both of them. That's God's image.
The essential function of the school is to form free citizens with the capacity to defend their rights and comply with their obligations.
Let us never give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the Devil offers us every day. Do not give in to pessimism and discouragement.
Only a mother and a father can say with joy, with pride, and with responsibility: we are going to be parents; we have conceived our child.
For many, Buenos Aires is a factory of slaves...a meat grinder which destroys their lives, breaks their will, and deprives them of freedom.
This gesture is an invitation to the heart of every Christian, because we never lose if we imitate Jesus, if we serve our suffering brothers.
A good Sunday homily should have the taste of that new wine, which renews the heart of he who is preaching as it renews that of his listeners.
Vanity, showing off, is an attitude that reduces spirituality to a worldly thing, which is the worst sin that could be committed in the Church.
The Church is in great need of moral theologians who can deepen Jesus's moral proposition [and] make it comprehensible to the contemporary man.
There is not a single violation of the dignity of a woman or man that can be justified in the name of any other thing or idea. Not a single one.
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
For me, sin is not a stain that I have to clean. What I should do is ask pardon and make reconciliation, not stop by the cleaner's on my way home.
The word of God always offers a choice: convert and ask for help and more light, or close and cling even more tightly to your chains and darkness.
The child has absolutely no responsibility for the state of his parents' marriage. And often a baptism can be a new start for the parents as well.
Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression, or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities.
When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.
When one is really searching for the truth, one is doing it for good. You don't look for the truth to divide, confront, attack, belittle, or dissolve.
Without these three attitudes — tenderness, hope, and patience — it's impossible to respect life and the growth of the child who is waiting to be born.
As you know, the duty of the Conclave is to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world. But here we are.
Feeling like a sinner is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a person if it leads them to the ultimate consequences [of reconciliation].
And we are here today to pray for a man named Néstor, who was received by the hands of God and who, in his moment, was anointed by his people [to lead].
The horrors committed under the military governments were revealed only drip by drip, but for me they are still one of the worst blights on this country.
If we close the door of our heart in His face, God suffers. Even though He's used to it, He suffers. And we lose the opportunity for Him to make us happy.
The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, he said, but that's normal, because 'a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows.
Mercy is the Lord's most powerful message. It's not easy to trust oneself to the mercy of God, because [His mercy] is an unfathomable abyss — but we must do it!
In a society where lies, cover-ups, and hypocrisy have caused people to lose basic trust in the social contract, what could be more revolutionary than the truth?
Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.
No one has the right to experiment with children and young people. They are the hope of the people, and we must take care of them by making responsible decisions.
Some people say to me, "But, Father, politicians aren't doing anything either!" But what are you doing? If you aren't doing anything, then scream [about yourself]!
The great danger — or the great temptation — of helping the poor lies in falling into the role of paternalistic protector, which ultimately doesn't let people grow.
The double life doesn't do anyone good; I don't like it, it signifies a lie. If you can't overcome [your sexual needs], make a decision [priesthood or secular life].
Distracted city, dispersed city, egotistical city: cry. You need to be purified by your tears... . Let this scatterbrained, superficial city be purified by its grief.
It's horrific for me to go to a jail because what you see there is very hard. But I go anyway because God wants me to be face-to-face with the one who is most in need.
Power is service, and service, to do it well, should attend to the smallest detail, the one that makes the other feel as if he has been well cared for [and] dignified.
Women's presence in the Church hasn't been emphasized much because the temptation of machismo didn't allow a space to make visible the place of women in the community.
We human beings have a complex relationship with the world in which we live, precisely because of our dual condition of being children of the earth and children of God.
I don't say that [the atheist's] life is condemned [to Hell], because I am convinced I don't have the right to pass judgment about the moral uprightness of that person.
Politics is a noble activity. We should revalue it, practice it with vocation and a dedication that requires testimony, martyrdom — that is, to die for the common good.
I would like to give you a blessing, but first I want to ask you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord so that He blesses me.
It is from pain and our own limits where we best learn to grow, and from our own flaws surges the deep question: haven't we suffered enough to decide to break old patterns?
Those of us who do nothing... are complicit in exploitation, slavery [and other social ills.] We are complicit through our silence, through our inaction, through our apathy.
Nobody can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents.
How lovely it is to walk this way, slowly, feeling the presence of others, singing, looking forward, looking at the sky, praying for those who aren't with us in Buenos Aires!
[Francis of Assisi] brought to Christianity an idea of poverty against the luxury, pride, [and] vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time. He changed history.
The Church tries to demonstrate the modern mentality that the family founded on marriage has two essential values for all societies and all cultures: stability and fecundity.
Because it is human, sometimes beauty is tragic, surprising, moving; on some occasions, it compels us to think about what we do not want or it shows us the error of our ways.
I sincerely hope I can contribute to the progress there has been in relations between Jews and Catholics since the Second Vatican Council in a spirit of renewed collaboration.
In the predominant neoliberal culture, the external, the immediate, the visible, the fast, the superficial: these occupy first place, and the real cedes ground to appearances.
Look at the Church, holy and sinful as it is; look at certain shortcomings and sins, without losing sight of the holiness of so many men and women who work in the Church today.
Globalization as a unidirectional and uniform imposition of values, practices, and goods goes hand in hand with imitation and cultural, intellectual, and spiritual subordination.
Spiritual worldliness is a form of religious anthropocentrism that has Gnostic elements. Careerism and the search for a promotion come under the category of spiritual worldliness.
Instead of imposing new obligations, (Christians) should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet.
The party occupies an important place. [It is] gratitude put in the form of joy, song, and dance. At a party, all the body's senses come into play, all in a setting of pleasure and joy.
Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.
It's true that the hedonistic, consumerist, narcissistic culture is infiltrating Catholicism. It's contaminating us... . In it rests the loss of the religious, which is what I fear most.
Jesus teaches us another way. Go out! Go out! Share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask! Become the Word in body as well as in spirit.
Roles of fatherhood, motherhood, being a son or daughter, and brother or sister, are the basis of any society, and without them every society would lose consistency and turn toward anarchy.
It is true that at one time, [the Church] really emphasized the matter of suffering. The exaltation of suffering in the Church depends a great deal on the era and the culture [in question].
Not everyone present belongs to the Catholic faith, and others do not believe. I respect the conscience of each one of you, knowing that each one of you is a child of God. May God bless you.
When the husband or the wife gets accustomed to [the other's] love and to family, then they begin to stop valuing one another, to stop giving thanks and to stop taking care of what they have.
Christ is the Church's pastor, but His presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his vicar, the successor of the Apostle Peter.
Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth.
When images and information have as their sole objective the intent of provoking consumption or manipulating people...we find ourselves in front of an assault, an act of violence, a kidnapping.
In the Church, there were Christians from [all] camps: Christians who died as guerrillas, Christians who helped save people, and Christian oppressors who believed they were saving the homeland.
Look at a peacock. If you look from the front, it's very pretty. But take a few steps back and look at it from behind... He who falls into self-referential vanity is actually hiding deep misery.
It's like in soccer: you have to deal with the penalties where they fall; you can't choose where they're going to land. Life is like that, and you have to deal with it even if you don't like it.
I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today and which my cardinal vicar, who is here with me, will help me with, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city [Rome].
God is not like the idols, who have ears but don't listen. He's not like the powerful, who listen only to what they wish. He listens to everything ... and He doesn't just listen; He loves to listen.
Before, it was one of those punishments that Christianity accepted. But today moral conscience has become more refined and the catechism says it would be better if [capital punishment] didn't exist.
What is happening to our children? Or better put: what is happening with us, that we're incapable of taking charge of the situation of abandonment and loneliness in which our children find themselves?
And now, let us start this journey, Bishop and people, Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which leads all the Churches in charity, a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.
Globalization has signified an accelerated deterioration of cultural roots, what with the invasion of other cultural tendencies, be they in music, fast-food businesses, malls, means of communication, etc.
When one does not walk, one halts. When one does not build on stone, what happens? That happens which happens to children on the beach when they make sand castles: it all comes down; it is without substance.
The most important thing in the life of every man and every woman is not that they should never fall along the way. The important thing is always to get back up, not to stay on the ground licking your wounds.
The Church is Mother and talks to the people as a mother talks to her child, with that confidence that the child already knows that everything he is being taught is for his good, because he knows he is loved.
Money also has a homeland, and he who exploits an industry in a country and takes the money to another country to store it is sinning, because he is not honoring with that money that country that enriched him.
It seems that nobody here hates the immigrant. But subtle xenophobia exists... . If we are sincere, we have to recognize that among us there is a subtle form of xenophobia, which is exploitation of the immigrant.
We have to go out and talk to people in the city who we've seen on their balconies. We have to come out of our shell and tell them that Jesus lives... to say it with joy...even though it seems a little crazy sometimes.
Artists know well that beauty isn't solely consoling, but that it can also be disturbing. The grand masters have known how to present with beauty those realities of the human condition that are most tragic and painful.
The challenge of creative beings is to be suspicious of every discourse, thought, affirmation, or proposal that presents itself as "the only possible path." There are always others. There is always another possibility.
As pastors, it behooves each of us who offers Mass to renew each day, every Sunday, our passion for preparing the homily, ensuring, first of all, that knowledge of and love for the word of God are growing inside ourselves.
People ask why we spend our time touching a statue when we could be out looking for work. We do it because faith will see us through. We do it because faith endures. We do it because faith is all we have at a time like this.
Benedict XVI has insisted on the renewal of faith being a priority and presents faith as a gift that must be passed on, a gift to be offered to others and to be shared as a gratuitous act. It is not a possession, but a mission.
I don't have all the answers. Nor do I have all the questions... . I confess that, in general, because of my temperament, the first response that occurs to me is the wrong one... . It's curious, but that's the way it is with me.
From the old "rules of courtesy," nearly nonexistent today, to legal obligations like paying taxes, all these are essential if we are to coexist and walk on a firmer path, to be more respectful and to create a sense of community.
The inclusion or exclusion of the wounded person by the wayside defines all economic, political, social, and religious projects. All of us, each day, are presented with the option of being Good Samaritans or indifferent passersby.
The Pope [Benedict XVI]... talked about James and John and the tensions between the first followers of Jesus on who should be first. This shows us that certain attitudes and arguments have existed in the Church since the beginning.
Human history, our history, the history of every one of us is never "finished"; it never runs out of possibilities. Rather, it is always opening to the new — to what, until now, we'd never even had in mind. To what seemed impossible.
When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross, and when we profess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly; we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
When the news only makes us exclaim, "What an atrocity!" and immediately turn the page or change the channel, then we have destroyed [the sense of] proximity [to suffering], [and] we have widened even more the space that separates us.
To make memories, to keep alive the memory of triumphs and failures, of moments of happiness and of suffering, is the only way to avoid being "children" in the worst sense of the word: immature, inexperienced, tremendously vulnerable.
Intention is not enough. It's not enough for our brothers and sisters who are most in need, the victims of injustice and exclusion, those whom "the interior of our hearts" doesn't help in their need. It's not even enough for ourselves.
There's always talk about the Vatican's gold, but that's a museum. The Vatican's balance is public, and it's always in deficit; what enters in donations or through museum visits goes to leprosariums, schools, and communities [in need].
A person who works should take time to rest, to spend time with family, to enjoy [life], to read, listen to music, play a sport. When work doesn't allow room for healthy leisure time, for restorative rest, then it enslaves [the worker].
What is the spirit of Christmas? Over the years the world of culture has tried to express it in a thousand ways and has managed to take us closer to the meaning of the Christmas spirit. How many Christmas stories bring us closer to this?
There is no middle ground: it's either light or dark, haughtiness or humility, the truth or the lie. We either open the door to Jesus, who comes to save us, or close it in [our belief in] self-sufficiency and the pride of self-salvation.
Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants.
The things that are truly important require time: to learn a craft or a profession, to know a person and establish an enduring relationship of love or friendship, to know how to distinguish the important from the things we can do without.
Sometimes, I ask myself if we, the Church, are complicit with a culture of exclusion, one in which there is no longer space for the old person, for the child, where there is no time to stop on the side of the road like the Good Samaritan.
I thank my father so much for sending me to work [at the age of 13]. Working was one of those things that made me a better person, and, in particular, in the laboratory [where he worked], I learned the good and the bad of all human labor.
The socioeconomic crisis and the resulting increase in poverty has its origins in policies inspired by forms of neoliberalism that consider profit and the laws of the market as absolute parameters above the dignity of people or of peoples.
Leadership is an art ... that can be learned. It is also a science ... that can be studied. It is a job...that demands dedication, effort, and tenacity. But above all, it is a mystery... that cannot always be explained with rational logic.
The man of the poor. The man of peace. The man who loved and cared for creation — and in this moment we don't have such a great relationship with the creator. The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man who wanted a poor church.
To walk, to build, to confess. But the matter is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in confessing, at times there are shocks, there are movements that are not properly movements of the journey: they are movements that set us back.
Technology can help create or disorient. It can re-create things and inform us about reality, thus helping us see the options and decisions before us, or it can, on the contrary, create virtual simulations, illusions, fantasies, and fictions.
I think that is the solution that was once proposed in the United States, of switching them to other parishes. That is stupid, because the priest continues to carry the problem in his backpack. The only answer to the problem is zero tolerance.
Yes, hypothetically, western Catholicism could revise the theme of celibacy... . But for the moment, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with the pros and the cons it has, because we have ten centuries of more good experiences than bad ones.
We speak of morals because it is easier. Furthermore — and this is bad taste — we deal with themes related to matrimonial morals and those tied to the sixth commandment because they seem more colorful. Thus we give a very sad image of the Church.
He doesn't promise riches or power, but what He does promise is His care and the greatest security you can find: refuge in the name of God. He promises His intimacy, the warmth of the Father, [and] His embrace, full of tenderness and understanding.
The old person is the transmitter of history, he who brings us memories, the memory of our people, of our country, of our family, culture, and religion. He has lived a long time, and even if he's done so as a fool, he deserves serious consideration.
I confess to you: when I meditate on [xenophobia in Argentina], I pardon [the xenophobes], but I cry. I cry out of impotence. What is happening to my people, who once had their arms open to receive so many immigrants? What is happening to my people?
Each time life puts the option in front of us to serve inclusively or to take advantage by excluding [others], between washing another's feet or washing our hands of someone else's troubles, let the image of Jesus and the joy of service come to mind.
Cultural production, especially what's on TV, [is characterized by] programs in which degradation and sexual frivolity, the devaluation of the family, the promotion of vices artificially made up as virtues, and the exaltation of violence are constant.
People are historical subjects, which is to say, citizens and members of the pueblo [nation]. The state and society should generate the social conditions that promote and act as guardian of their rights and allow them to be builders of their own destiny.
Is it true that Argentinians don't want to dialogue? I wouldn't put it that way. Rather, I think we've become victims of attitudes that don't permit us to dialogue: arrogance, the inability to listen, an exasperation with language ... and so many others.
We must stop hiding the pain of our losses and take responsibility for our crimes, our apathy, and our lies, because it is only through reparative reconciliation that we will be resuscitated, and, in the process, that we will lose fear of our own selves.
It's obvious that we can't opt out of being part of the "information society" in which we live, but what we can do is take our time to analyze, to lay out possibilities, to visualize consequences, to exchange points of view, and to listen to other voices.
To be faithful, to be creative, we need to be able to change. To change! And why must I change? So that I can adapt to the situations in which I must proclaim the Gospel. To stay close to God, we need to know how to set out; we must not be afraid to set out.
It's not always easy to listen. Sometimes it's more comfortable to play deaf, put on the Walkman and not listen to anyone. So easily we replace listening with email, messaging, and "chat," and in this way we deprive ourselves... of faces, looks, and embraces.
From Bangkok to São Paulo, from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles or Sydney, many young people are listening to the same music; kids see the same cartoons; families dress, eat, and have fun in the same stores. Nonetheless, this globalization is an ambiguous reality.
The idea that celibacy produces pedophiles can be forgotten. If a priest is a pedophile, he is so before he becomes a priest. But when this happens you must never look away. You cannot be in a position of power and use it to destroy the life of another person.
Argentina has arrived at a moment of critical decision making ... the decision to continue as a country, to learn from its painful experiences of the past and initiate a new path, or to drown in misery, chaos, the loss of values, and decomposition as a society.
The massive migratory movements of our world and the reality of religious diversity, especially that which originates in the East, present a delicate challenge to evangelization with respect to the encounter between different cultures and interreligious dialogue.
And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but of having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst.
If I'm not mistaken, Sigmund Freud said that in every idealisation there's an aggression. Depicting the Pope as a sort of Superman, a star, is offensive to me. The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person.
Jesus did not preach His own politics: He accompanied others. The conversions He inspired took place precisely because of His willingness to accompany, which makes us all brothers and children and not members of an NGO or proselytes of some multinational company.
The modern city is relativist: everything is valid, and it's possible for us to give in to the temptation [of believing] that in order not to discriminate, in order to include everyone, that we have to occasionally "relativize" the truth. But this is not the case.
The promotion and strengthening of work for adults will make it possible to avoid [the phenomenon of] child labor. It's very difficult for a child to go out and look for work if his parents have meaningful work that allows them to provide for their family's needs.
No to slavery... No to children, men, and women [treated as] discarded material. It's our flesh that's at stake here! It's our flesh that's being sold! The same flesh I have, that you have, is on sale! And you're not going to be moved for the flesh of your brother?!
I see it as a body that gives service, a body that helps me and serves me. ... The Roman Curia has its downsides, but I think that too much emphasis is placed on its negative aspects and not enough on the holiness of the numerous consecrated and laypeople who work in it.
If our schools are not a space where another humanity is being created, where another wisdom is taking root, where another society is being created, where hope and transcendence have a place, then we are losing out on making a unique contribution to this historical moment.
We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security... We are afraid of God's surprises! He always surprises us! The Lord is like that. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives!
We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most, yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.
There was a time when [the Church wouldn't] do funerals for suicides, because [the person] didn't keep walking toward the goal; he put an end to the path when he felt like it. But this is a person who couldn't overcome the contradictions. I don't reject him. I leave it in God's hands.
A community that stops kneeling before the rich, before success and prestige, and which is capable, instead, of washing the feet of the humble and those in need, will be more aligned with [God's] teaching than the winner-at-any-price ethic that we've learned — badly — in recent times.
We are historical people. We live in time and space. Every generation needs the ones before it and owes those who follow. And this, in great measure, is what it means to be a nation: to understand ourselves as continuing the work of other men and women who have already done their part.
When a man guards his gift and doesn't do his work, he doesn't fulfill his mandate and remains primitive; when he is overly enthusiastic about his work, he forgets his gift and creates a constructivist ethic: he believes everything is the fruit of his own hands and that there is no gift.
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone! We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there.
Be assured that the Church, for her part, highly esteems your important work... Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity, and experience, like so many other professions, but it also demands a particular concern for what is true, good, and beautiful. This is something which we have in common.
The religious ministry sometimes calls attention to certain points of private or public life because it is the guide of its parishioners. What it does not have the right to do is force a [specific kind of] private life on anyone. If God, in His creation, ran the risk of making us free, who am I to meddle?
You have to become indignant against the injustice that not everyone has bread and work. In this world many people look out for themselves. And how curious it is that those who look out for themselves and not for the common good are usually the ones who go around cursing, who curse other people and things.
In the face of grave forms of social and economic injustice, of political corruption, of ethnic cleansing, of demographic extermination, and destruction of the environment...surges the need for a radical personal and social renewal that is capable of ensuring justice, solidarity, honesty, and transparency.
Sometimes I ask someone who is making confession if they give alms to beggars. When they tell me, "Yes," I ask, "And do you look in the eyes of the person to whom you are giving alms? Do you touch their hand?" And that's where they start to get tangled up, because many just throw the money and turn their heads.
In some churches — and I don't know how to remedy this, honestly — there is a fierce competition between bridesmaids and brides. These women aren't observing a religious act; they're just showing off. And this weighs on my conscience; as priest, I am permitting this and I haven't found a way to put a stop to it.
I think with great affection and deep gratitude of my venerable predecessor, Benedict XVI, who during these years of his pontificate has enriched and strengthened the Church with his teaching, his goodness, his guidance, his faith, his humility, and his gentleness, which will remain a spiritual heritage for all.
Old age, they say, is the seat of wisdom. The old ones have the wisdom that they have earned from walking through life, like old Simeon and Anna at the temple, whose wisdom allowed them to recognize Jesus. Let us give with wisdom to the youth: like good wine that improves with age, let us give the youth the wisdom of our lives.
After 52 commuters died when a train crashed into buffers at a railway station in Buenos Aires: This city does not know how to weep. All is fixed with anesthetics... virtually all of them were earning their daily bread. With dignity! Father, let us not get used to the idea that to earn your daily bread you must travel like cattle.
If one of them comes to me and tells me he got a woman pregnant, I listen ... [but] he must leave the ministry and take responsibility for his child... . Just as the child has a right to have a mother, he also has the right to know his father's face. I commit to arranging the papers in Rome, but [the priest] must leave [the priesthood].
Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else—God is in this person's life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
The Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the deep needs of human existence, convincingly announcing that Christ is the only Savior of the whole person and of all persons. This announcement is as valid today as it was at the beginning of Christianity, when there was a great missionary expansion of the Gospel.
The question of truth is really a question of memory, deep memory, for it deals with something prior to ourselves and can succeed in uniting us in a way that transcends our petty and limited individual consciousness. It is a question about the origin of all that is, in whose light we can glimpse the goal and thus the meaning of our common path.
To fight the effects of globalization that led to the closure of many factories and the consequences of misery and unemployment, you have to promote bottom-up economic growth with the creation of small and medium-sized companies. Outside help should not just come in the form of funds but should also reinforce a work culture and a political culture.
The period of the Conclave was full of meaning, not only for the College of Cardinals, but also for all the faithful. In these days we felt, almost tangibly, the affection and solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the attention of many people who, although they do not share our faith, look to the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration.
Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord. I beg the theologians who are present not to turn me in to the Sant'Uffizio or the Inquisition; however, forcing things a bit, I dare to say that the privileged locus of the encounter is the caress of the mercy of Jesus Christ on my sin.
Jesus on the cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God's love he conquers it; he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the cross. Christ's cross, embraced with love, never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.
We should commit ourselves to "Eucharistic coherence"; that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortions, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.
In Argentina there is clandestine euthanasia. Social services pay up to a certain point; if you pass it, "die, you are very old." Today, elderly people are discarded when, in reality, they are the seat of wisdom of the society. The right to life means allowing people to live and not killing, allowing them to grow, to eat, to be educated, to be healed, and to be permitted to die with dignity.
It's true that I, like my entire family, was a practicing Catholic. But my head wasn't fixed solely on religious matters because I also had political preoccupations, although they didn't move beyond the intellectual plane. I read Nuestra Palabra y Propositos, a publication of the Communist Party, and I loved all the articles, which helped me in my political formation. But I was never a Communist.
We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referential Church. It's true that when we stray from its path, as can happen to any man or woman, accidents can happen. But if the Church stays enclosed within itself, self-referential, it will grow old. And between a Church that accidentally strays off its path and one that is sick because of self-reference, I have no doubt: I prefer the former.
Instead of just being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women who do not participate in parish life, do not know much about it and are indifferent toward it. We organize missions in public squares where many people usually gather: we pray, we celebrate Mass, and we offer baptism, which we administer after a brief preparation.
We believe that the steps taken by the justice system in clarifying these events must serve to renew the efforts of all citizens toward reconciliation, and are a call to distance ourselves not only from impunity but from hatred and rancor as well. [Any Catholic who participated did so] on his own responsibility, erring and sinning gravely against God, against mankind, and against his own conscience.
The role of the mass media has expanded immensely in these years, so much so that they are an essential means of informing the world about the events of contemporary history. I would like, then, to thank you in a special way for the professional coverage which you provided during these days — you really worked, didn't you? — when the eyes of the whole world, and not just those of Catholics, were turned to the Eternal City.
When I entered seminary, Mama didn't go with me; she didn't want to go. For years, she didn't accept my decision. We weren't fighting. It's just that I would go [visit her at] home, but she wouldn't come to the seminary. She was a religious woman, a practicing Catholic, but she thought that everything had happened too quickly. But I remember seeing her on her knees in front of me at the end of my ordination ceremony, asking for my blessing.
In our ecclesiastical region, there are priests who don't baptize the children of single mothers because they weren't conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today's hypocrites: those who clericalize the Church, those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish until her child can be baptized!
You [teachers] stand daily before boys and girls who are full of possibilities, desires, fears, and real shortcomings. Children who are demanding, waiting, criticizing, pleading in their own way, [who are] infinitely alone, in need, terrified, [and yet] persistently trusting in you, even if they present a face of indifference, contempt, or rage. They're alert, waiting to see if someone offers them something different... or closes yet another door in their face.
I must not be scandalized by the fact that the Church is my mother: I must look at its sins and shortcomings as I would look at my mother's sins and shortcomings. And when I think of her, I remember the good and beautiful things she has achieved, more than her weaknesses and defects. A mother defends herself with a heart filled with love before doing so with words. I wonder whether there is any love for the Church in the hearts of those who pay so much attention to the scandals.
Cardinals are not NGO representatives, but servants of the Lord, inspired by the Holy Spirit, which is the one [that] is really able to differentiate charismas, unifying them in the Church. A cardinal must be able to differentiate between charismas and at the same time look toward unity, aware that the creator of difference and unity is the Holy Spirit itself. Cardinals who do not enter this frame of mind, in my view, are not cardinals in the way Benedict XVI would like them to be.
When I was a seminarian, I was dazzled by a girl I met. Her beauty, her intellect surprised me, and well, I walked around dizzy for a good bit. When I returned to the seminary, I couldn't pray for a whole week because this girl always popped into my head. I had to rethink what I was doing. I was still free because I was a seminarian; I could have gone back home, [but] I reaffirmed my decision, the religious path. It would be abnormal if this type of thing didn't happen. When it does happen, one has to resituate oneself.
If we—all of us—accept the grace of Jesus Christ, he changes our heart and from sinners makes us saints. To become holy we do not need to turn our eyes away and look somewhere else, or have as it were the face on a holy card! No, no, that is not necessary. To become saints only one thing is necessary: to accept the grace that the Father gives us in Jesus Christ. There, this grace changes our heart. We continue to be sinners for we are weak, but with this grace which makes us feel that the Lord is good, that the Lord is merciful, that the Lord waits for us, that the Lord pardons us—this immense grace that changes our heart.
At school they taught us slavery has been abolished, but do you know what? It was a fairy tale! Because in Buenos Aires, slavery has not been abolished; in this city it is still common in various forms; in this city workers are exploited in clandestine workshops and, if they are immigrants, they prevent them from leaving; and in this city there are children who have been living on the streets for years... . In this city women are kidnapped and are submitted to the use and abuse of their bodies, destroying their dignity. There are men here who abuse and make money from human flesh... Dogs are treated better than these slaves of ours!