Pope Francis: The Church, like Mary, is woman and mother
The Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, was observed for the first time on Monday; the movable feast is set for the first day following Pentecost. In his homily during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said the first virtue of a mom is tenderness.
By Vatican News
“The Church is feminine,” Pope Francis said in his homily on Monday, “she is a mother.” When this trait is lacking, the Pope continued, the Church resembles merely “a charitable organization, or a football team”; when it is “a masculine Church,” it sadly becomes “a church of old bachelors,” “incapable of love, incapable of fruitfulness.”
That was the reflection offered by Pope Francis during the Mass celebrated in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The feast is being celebrated this year for the first time, after the publication in March of the decree Ecclesia Mater (“Mother Church”) by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Pope Francis himself decided the feast should be celebrated on the Monday immediately following Pentecost, in order “to encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.”
The “motherliness” of MaryIn his homily, Pope Francis said that in the Gospel, Mary is always described as “the Mother of Jesus,” instead of “the Lady” or “the widow of Joseph”: her motherliness is emphasized throughout the Gospels, beginning with the Annunciation. This is a quality that was noted immediately by the Fathers of the Church, a quality that applies also to the Church.
No to a Church of old bachelors