Holy Father speaks of Hope and Repentance in Homily
As he celebrated Mass for a congregation of over 45,000 people in a Washington baseball stadium, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the virtue of hope– the subject of his encyclical Spe Salvi– and the call to repentance and conversion.
Greeted by thunderous applause when he arrived at Nationals Park, the Pope presided at a liturgical celebration that featured music drawn from a wide variety of sources, prompting one television commentator to describe the liturgy as “consciously multicultural.”
In his homily the Pontiff observed that the American people have always valued the virtue of hope, preserving their confidence even in times of trial. That confidence is tested today, he said, as “we see clear signs of a disturbing breakdown in the very foundations” of our culture. He exhorted Christians to approach this crisis with a firm reliance on the power of faith.
In the Christian understanding, the Pope said, hope is based on the realization that Christ has brought man the possibility of redemption. He reminded his massive congregation that the forgiveness of sins is available particularly through the sacrament of Penance, and encouraged the practice of frequent confession. “To a great extent,” the Pope said, “the renewal of the Church in American depends on the renewal of the practice of penance and the growth in holiness which that sacrament both inspires and accomplishes.”
Pope Benedict once again acknowledged the pain caused by the sex-abuse scandal in the US, and the suffering of the victims. “Nor can I adequately describe the damage that has occurred within the community of the Church,” he added.
~ excerpted from CWN