A Story About Pope John XXIII

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jun 8, 2008 | Categories: Arts & Letters, Popes

It seems that one day, in a private conversation with a visiting archbishop in his office in the Vatican, the Pope shared his own great sadness that so many people of good will all over the world had come to believe that the Church rejected and condemned them.

It’s easy to understand the Pope’s emotion here. Indeed, sometimes the Church does seem to hold certain people at a greater distance than others. It does seem to open its doors only partly, leaving outside the gates certain ones who do not measure up.

Then the Pope turned to the crucifix which stood on the little table in his office as said with deep emotion: “But I must be like Christ. I open wide my arms to embrace them. I love them and I am their father. I am always ready to welcome them.” Then turning to his visitor, the Pope said: “Monsignor, all that the gospel requires of us has not yet been understood.”john23.jpg

(As related by Bill Huebsch . The story is from the book The Transitional Pope by Ernesto Balducci, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1964.)

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