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Be witnesses to the truth, Pope tells new cardinals

Pope Francis told the 19 new cardinals that he raised to the Sacred College of Cardinals on Saturday that the Church needs for them to be witnesses to the truth to a world that is increasingly hostile to the faith of Christ. “The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times, both in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth,” the Pope said. For what may have been the first time in history, Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, joined the other assembled members of the College of Cardinals for the Consistory for the creation of new cardinals, but he joined Pope Francis in wearing the traditional papal white.

In a Papal first, Pope Francis greets his own predecessor Pope Benedict XVI at Saturday's Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

“Jesus is often walking and he teaches his disciples along the way. This is important. Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology… but rather ‘a way,’ a journey to be undertaken with him. But this is not easy, or comfortable, because the way that Jesus chooses is the way of the Cross,” Francis taught. The disciples after Our Lord rose from the dead were initially filled with fear. We know that Jesus has won, and that we need not fear the Cross; indeed the Cross is our hope. And yet, we are all too human, sinners, tempted to think as men do, not as God does. Giving into such a worldly mentality brings about rivalry, jealousy, factions,” the Pontiff explained.

“The Church needs your cooperation, and even more your communion, communion with me and among yourselves. Brothers, let us allow Jesus to call us to himself!” exclaimed the Pope. “And let us listen to him, with the joy that comes from receiving his word together, from letting ourselves be taught by that word and by the Holy Spirit, and to become ever more of one heart and soul, gathered around him.”

“We want to express our spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution. The Church needs our prayer for them, that they may be firm in faith and capable of responding to evil with good. This prayer of ours extends to every man and women suffering injustice on account of their religious convictions,” he added. “Let us therefore invoke peace and reconciliation for those peoples presently experiencing violence, destruction, and war.”

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