07 June 2015
07 Jun 2015

“Vatican Insider” writes about Pope Francis’ words to the Dehonians

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Jacopo Scaramuzzi of the “Vatican Insider” wrote about Pope Francis’ words to the Dehonians during their audience with him on June 5. Click here to read the original Italian text. The following is an English translation by Fr. Bernie Rosinski:

“I want this beatification process to go well” is what Pope Francis said to the general chapter of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehonians) on the matter of the beatification process of the founder of this religious order, Leo Gustave Dehon.

Declared Venerable by John Paul II in 1997, the cause for the beatification of Dehon was suspended in 2005 afterwards because of accusations of anti-Semitism in one of his writings.

Francis set aside the talk he had prepared (“discourses are boring”), and spoke off the cuff, beginning with a recollection of his past with a Dehonian bishop from Argentina, Virginio Domingo Bressanelli. “I prefer to say two or three things about my experience in Argentina” Bergoglio said. “My experience was that of a friend who was novice master and elected to come to the general chapter. I was rector of the faculty at that time and he was nearby and said: ‘No, I prefer that another be sent; I want to remain hidden’. And this hidden friend received a telephone call saying that he had been elected superior general. Poor Virginio, not wanting it, spent 12 years as superior general. Then he came back home to work with young people, those in formation, and one day he was told that the nuncio had called and he responded: ‘Tell him I’m not here’ and hid a second time. Later, the nuncio called me to learn where he was: ‘You know where he is.’ I knew and so I said: ‘I’m not sure, I will find him,’ and then later told Virginio, ‘the nuncio is calling you’ and he said ‘ I do not wish…” and he ended up bishop and vicepresident of the bishops’ conference. Bravo!  I have known so many Dehonians, preachers of mercy” – the Pope continued – “this is very pleasing: mercy in community to go out to the world, to the people. To go out from oneself like, if you will allow me to say so, the almost beatified (il quasi beato) Dehon” Bergoglio continued to the applause of those present. He continued, in reference to the problems in the cause for beatification, “this is a problem of hermeneutics: one needs to study the historical situation in light of the hermeneutics of that period and not with that of the present. He sought the grace of being humbled and God granted it to him after his death. But he is a great intercessor and one thing about Dehon that struck me so greatly was the prayer that he recommended done before the Blessed Sacrament, every day, for the church, the unity of the church; go out, but pray. ‘But Father – someone might say – there is so much work, it is a waste of time.’ Waste time –  continued the Pope – it’s a good way to waste time. With mercy.”
The Pope continued, “the world is wounded and needs the caresses of God. Hedonism, hatred, the desire for power: the world is sick, there are so many illnesses. The Lord asks you: caresses of mercy, in the confessional too, be merciful. Lord Jesus, we say during the penitential rite of the mass, you have come to pardon but to condemn, have mercy on us. Jesus was not frightened by sinners but ate with them. Mercy, not sacrifice! I am so pleased with what you have selected as the motto for your congregation and I pray the Lord that its religious give witness to mercy, which ultimately leads to the discovery of Jesus, being healed by Jesus, pardoned by Jesus.”  “Perhaps” – the Pope continued – someone among you might think that if the Pope knew the terrible things I did….we are all sinners, don’t be afraid if you have done terrible things; the feast that the Lord will throw when he finds you will be immense, a feast of mercy. Pass mercy on to others. Pray for me in humility, in humiliation, as your founder asked you to. I want this process of  beatification to end well. I pray for you. I invite you to pray to the mother of mercy. Pray for me.

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