Pope Francis: the Church is our mother, we are not orphans
(Vatican Radio) Tens of thousands gathered on a bright sunny day in St. Peter’s square for the weekly General Audience to hear Pope Francis reflect on the maternal nature of the Church. He called her “a mother” who gives us “life in Christ,” and reminded the faithful she will never leave them “orphaned.”
Listen to Tracey McClure’s report:
Pope Francis was continuing his series of reflections on how one does not become Christian autonomously, by oneself. We are created and grow in the faith, he said, in this “great body which is the Church.”
Below, please find the official English summary of the Pope’s remarks:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catecheses, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church. She is a true mother who gives us life in Christ and, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with our brothers and sisters. The model of motherhood for the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God. Her motherhood continues through the Church, who brings forth sons and daughters through baptism, whom she nourishes through the Word of God. In fact, Jesus gave the Gospel to the Church to bring forth new life by generously proclaiming his word and winning other sons and daughters for God our Father. As a mother, the Church nurtures us throughout life by illuminating our path with the light of the Gospel and by sustaining us with the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. With this nourishment, we are able to choose the good and be vigilant against evil and deceit, and overcome the difficult moments of life with courage and hope. This is the Church: a mother who has at heart the good of her children. And since we are the Church, we are called to live this same spiritual, maternal attitude towards our brothers and sisters, by welcoming, forgiving and inspiring trust and hope.
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, Malta, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Canada and the United States. May your stay in the Eternal City confirm you in love for our Lord and his Church. May God bless you all!