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NEW YEAR MESSAGE

Pope Francis warns vs soulless hunt for profit

05:24 AM January 03, 2019
‘LEARN FROM MOMS’ In a New Year Mass on Tuesday, Pope Francis urges Catholics to allow themselves to be led again as children are led by their mothers. AP

‘LEARN FROM MOMS’ In a New Year Mass on Tuesday, Pope Francis urges Catholics to allow themselves to be led again as children are led by their mothers. AP

In his first message of the year, Pope Francis bemoaned the lack of unity across the world and warned against a soulless hunt for profit that benefits only a few.

“(Mankind) may well increase its profits, but it will no longer see others as children. We will all dwell in the same house, but not as brothers and sisters,” he said.

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“How much dispersion and solitude there is all around us. The world is completely connected, yet seems increasingly disjointed,” Francis added.

In a Mass on Tuesday at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Pope ushered in 2019 with an ode to motherhood, reminding the faithful that a mother’s example and embrace is the only antidote to the world’s misery.

The Mass is a Jan. 1 tradition that is dedicated both to the Madonna and to the Catholic Church’s call for peace.

In his homily, Francis urged Catholics to allow themselves to be led again as children are led by their mothers, saying that “a world that looks to the future without a mother’s gaze is shortsighted.”

The Pope urged his audience “to learn from mothers that heroism is shown in self-giving, strength in compassion, wisdom in meekness.”

Disastrous 2018

The new year follows a disastrous 2018 for Francis.

Last year opened with a torrent of global sex abuse committed by priests and covered up by their superiors, and ended with the sudden departures of the Vatican spokesperson and deputy in a sign of discord and dysfunction within the Holy See.

Spokesperson Greg Burke and deputy Paloma Garcia Ovejero quit on Monday without explanation, other than to say that their decision had been months in the making and that they wanted to let Francis build a new communications team.

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It has been clear for some time that Francis’ centralization of the Vatican’s byzantine communications operations has run into troubles, with the first communications chief forced to resign after he misrepresented a letter from the previous pope and doctored a photograph.

The spokesperson’s office has been caught in the middle, often stymied from responding to communications crises, caught off guard by papal statements, and shut out of direct access to Holy See decision-making.

Pope Francis made no overt reference to the tumult, but called for Roman Catholics to remain rooted to the Church, saying: “Unity counts more than diversity.”

He also warned that the Church risked becoming “a beautiful museum of the past” if people lost “the amazement of faith.” —AP

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