much spiritual, social and moral suffering in the world, the church has
"no right" to stay locked up in an ivory tower, engaging in "byzantine"
philosophical reflection, Pope Francis told members of the Focolare
"We have to go out! So that -- I've said this before -- the church seems
like a field hospital," where the first order of the day "is heal the
wounds, not measure people's cholesterol. That comes later. Got it?" he
said to applause.
The pope met at the Vatican with 500 people from 136 countries; they
were attending the Focolare general assembly in Rome Sept. 1-28.
During the assembly, members re-elected Italian Maria Voce for a second
six-year-term as president, and elected Spaniard Jesus Moran Cepedano as
the new co-president.
In his audience with members of the movement Sept. 26, Pope Francis said
the new evangelization must go out to everyone, "starting with the
poorest and excluded," so they, too, may experience "hope, brotherhood
and joy in humanity's journey toward unity."
Focolare members, like all Catholics, can contribute to "this new season
of evangelization" by being creative in the ways it brings God's word
to the world.
This work demands "contemplation, going out, and formation," he said.