Pope's Message

Section tag for Pope Francis' weekly audience

POPE'S MESSAGE | Life is enriched with the birth of children

A young girl touched Pope Francis’ face Feb. 11 at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

VATICAN CITY -- Children are a blessing, not a burden, and are a sign of the confident hope of a couple and of society, Pope Francis said.

"If a family that has been generous in having children is looked upon as a burden, something's wrong," he said Feb. 11 at his weekly general audience.

"The generation of children must be responsible," as Blessed Paul VI wrote in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae," the pope said. "But having more children cannot be looked upon automatically as an irresponsible choice. What is more, not having children is a selfish choice."

POPE'S MESSAGE | Families need fathers who guide, love them through thick and thin

Pope Francis used holy water to bless clergy before celebrating a Mass marking the feast of the Presentation of the Lord Feb. 2. The Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican also marked the World Day for Consecrated Life.

VATICAN CITY -- Every family needs a father -- a father who shares in his family's joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children and offers them firm guidance and love, Pope Francis said.

Being a father is not easy since it takes lots of patience and grace, he said.

"But what consolation, what a reward one receives when the children honor this legacy. It is a joy that more than makes up for the hard work, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound," the pope said at his general audience Feb. 4.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Dads: Play with your kids, be strong, loving, moral role models

Pope Francis arrived to lead ecumenical vespers Jan. 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. The service marked the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

VATICAN CITY -- When their lives are all work and no play, men turn their children into "orphans" who lack a father to guide them, show them love and teach them values, Pope Francis said.

"They are orphans in a family because their fathers are often absent, also physically, from home, but above all because when they are home they don't act like fathers, they don't dialogue with their children, they don't fulfill their role as educators, they don't give their children, by way of their example and their words, those principles, values and rules of life that they need like bread," he said.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Poverty stems from unjust economic system, not big families

Pope Francis embraced Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, as the pontiff celebrated Mass Jan. 18 at Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines. An estimated 6 million people attended the Mass.

VATICAN CITY -- Families who have lots of children do not cause poverty, Pope Francis said.

The main culprit is "an economic system that has removed the human person from its focus and has placed the god of money" as its priority instead, he said Jan. 21.

The pope dedicated his general audience talk to a review of some of the highlights from his visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines Jan. 13-19.

Speaking to approximately 7,000 people gathered in the Paul VI audience hall, the pope recalled his second apostolic journey to Asia after visiting South Korea last August.

Pope says respect for religion should limit freedom of expression

Pope Francis responds to a question from Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter aboard his flight to Manila, Philippines, Jan. 15. Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence.

POPE'S MESSAGE | World without mothers would be inhumane, lacking tenderness

Pope Francis kissed a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrated Mass on the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 6.

VATICAN CITY -- Mothers are indispensable to society and the Church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to some 4,000 people gathered indoors for his general audience Jan. 7, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, but also gave a second talk about beauty and harmony when he thanked a group of circus performers at the end of the audience.

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