(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square
on Wednesday. The Holy Father continued his catechetical reflections , focusing on
the catholicity of the Church. In greetings to pilgrims, the Pope called on the faithful
to pray for peace in the Middle East and remembered those who lost their lives in
the Lampedusa boat tragedy.
The Pope also greeted pilgrims from several countries, including England, Ireland, Australia, Nigeria and the United States. Below, please find the full text of the official English-language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis, as well as his words of greeting to English-speaking pilgrims and visitors. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we profess that the Church is “catholic”; in other words, she is universal. We can understand this catholicity in three ways. First, the Church is catholic because she proclaims the apostolic faith in its entirety; she is the place where we meet Christ in his sacraments and receive the spiritual gifts needed to grow in holiness together with our brothers and sisters. The Church is also catholic because her communion embraces the whole human race, and she is sent to bring to the entire world the joy of salvation and the truth of the Gospel. Finally, the Church is catholic because she reconciles the wonderful diversity of God’s gifts to build up his People in unity and harmony. Let us ask the Lord to make us more catholic – to enable us, like a great family, to grow together in faith and love, to draw others to Jesus in the communion of the Church, and to welcome the gifts and contributions of everyone, in order to create a joyful symphony of praise to God for his goodness, his grace, and his redemptive love.
I cordially greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the new students of the Pontifical Beda College. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!