Wednesday, September 23 — Washington D.C.
In a major talk to American Bishops during a prayer service, Pope Francis stressed the themes of inclusion, encounter, and dialogue once again.
“The heart of the Pope expands to include everyone,” Francis said. “To testify to the immensity of God’s love is the heart of the mission entrusted to the Successor of Peter . . . May no member of Christ’s Body and the American people ever feel excluded from the Pope’s embrace.”
Later in his talk, Francis stated, “Dialogue is our method, not as a shrewd strategy but out of fidelity to the One who never wearies of visiting the marketplace, even at the eleventh hour, to propose an offer of love (Mt 20:1-16). The path ahead, then, is dialogue among yourselves, dialogue in your presbyterates, dialogue with lay persons, dialogue with families, dialogue with society. I cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly.”
Francis said this will lead the Church to better stewardship of humanity and all of creation. Today we must care for the “innocent victim of abortion; children who die of hunger or from bombings; immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow; the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden; the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking; the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature. — At stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters.”