(Romereports.com) Pope Francis addressed the topic of salvation and inclusion during Sunday’s Angelus, before thousands of pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square. Speaking on Sunday’s Gospel he said that Jesus does not exclude anyone when it comes to salvation, and letting them through God’s door to Heaven.
“Some of you might tell me, but Father, surely I will be excluded, because I am a great sinner, I’ve done bad things in my life. No! You are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you.”
He went on to say that being a Christian is not just a label. A true Christian, he added, must be witness to faith through prayer, and by promoting charity and justice.
At the end of the Angelus, and for the second week in row, he echoed his call for peace in Syria. His appeal comes at a time when international pressure mounts, amid claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
“With great suffering and concern I continue to follow the situation in Syria. The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease. It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue.”
He expressed his condolences for all the people affected by the war in Syria, but especially the children. Last week, the United Nations said that over one million children are now refugees from the conflict, while another two million have been displaced inside Syria.
He closed off his remarks asking for people to keep the “hope of peace” alive, and for the international community to do all it can to help find a solution to the three-year conflict in Syria.