Pope Francis emphasized the importance of walking together as brothers and sisters to the parishioners of Rho city in the Milan Archdiocese, Italy, during his audience.
The Pope highlighted the importance of walking together as brothers and sisters, "because fraternity makes people freer and happier."
Father Michele Di Tolve accompanied about 2000 pilgrims from the two parishes of Rho, in the Milan Archdiocese, to the Papal audience at Pope Paul VI Hall on Saturday.
Pope Francis urged, "The world doesn't end with ourselves, and we only really discover it by walking together, day by day."
The Pope reminded Italian parishioners that the parishes bring together "different and complementary generations, backgrounds, services, and gifts," and that the "richness of this variety and communion" constitutes the essence of the Church, and is "the most powerful way" for the Gospel to be proclaimed, "even before uttering any word."
"The Church is a body made up of many members, all at the service of one another and all animated by the same love, that of Christ. And when the Church is not like that, it falls into worldliness, it falls into clericalism, which is a very bad thing," Pope Francis stressed.
He said that the parish is a "blessed place where we go to feel loved," where one could share their burdens and also positive things. If not, "the horizon shrinks and we all feel more alone."
Pope Francis underlined, "Loving means 'widening the circle', building unity in trust and acceptance, working together and always seeking common points and opportunities to form community, rather than reasons for division."
The Pope encouraged the priests that people never tired of asking and calling, so they must never tired of opening their doors and windows.
"You are a priest for this reason, you are in the parish circle for this reason: to open doors, to open windows, to always welcome with a smile. (…) This is what the pastoral care of a parish is all about," he insisted.
The Pope warned against gossip, which he called as a "great enemy" in the parishes and a "plague that ruins parishes, families, and many things."
He urged the elders to pass down the tradition to the younger generation and young people to speak to elders so that they can "receive strength." - With inputs from Vatican News
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