The Francis Chronicles: The celebrant "must pray before God, with the community," in a genuine and natural way that avoids all forms of "artificiality," Pope Francis said.
Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully back to the loving arms of the merciful Father, Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass that began with a procession on Rome's Aventine Hill.
After walking from the Benedictine monastery of St. Anselm to the Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina on Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass. He received ashes on the top of his head from Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and distributed ashes to the Benedictines, the Dominicans, his closest aides and a family of five.
Liberty and equality are not enough for the well-being of a nation; there must also be a strong sense of brotherhood that is first developed and nurtured in the family, Pope Francis said.
Without seeing each other as brothers and sisters, a nation's citizens may distort these values, letting freedom and equality "be filled with individualism and conformity," he said at his general audience Wednesday.
Every human heart has the capacity to do good or evil and to build or to destroy, but the strength to make the right choice comes from Christ, Pope Francis said.
"But why are we like this? Because we have this possibility for destruction, this is the problem," he said Tuesday during his homily in a morning Mass offered for the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya.
The academic institute moved operations from Germany to Rome in an effort to influence the church's work on the sex abuse globally.
Pope Francis on Monday denounced the brutal slayings of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by militants linked to the Islamic State, saying "they were assassinated just for being Christian."
"The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out," Francis said in off-the-cuff remarks during an audience with an ecumenical delegation from the Church of Scotland.
The pope, switching to his native Spanish, noted that those killed only said, "Jesus help me."
A Roman Observer: Those clerics who are troubled by or pretend not to understand what Francis is "up to" were certainly not toasting the pope's Sunday homily.
In a beautiful homily by Pope Francis to the assembled cardinals and bishops, the need for reform was made clear once again.
"My hope is that he speaks very intensely on the family, that no matter where he goes everybody knows that he came here because of the international [meeting] on the family."
Speaking to cardinals Sunday, Francis again outlined for them a powerful vision of a church marked first by seeking out others and by welcoming them, no matter their situation in life.