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The mystery of God's fatherly love is a great revolution, pope says


  • Pope Francis leads his general audience June 7 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
  • Pope Francis arrives for his general audience June 7 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his general audience June 7 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
  • Pope Francis waves at the end of his general audience June 7 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
  • Pope Francis waves after his general audience June 7 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The mystery of God's relationship with humankind is revolutionary in that Christians can look to him without fear as children to a loving father, Pope Francis said.

In teaching the Lord's prayer, Jesus invites all Christians "to have the courage of calling God with the name 'father,'" the pope said June 7 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

"This is the great revolution that Christianity ingrains into the religious psychology of man. The mystery of God who always fascinates us and makes us feel small but no longer frightens us, he doesn't crush us, he doesn't distress us," the pope said.

With temperatures in Rome hovering slightly above 80 degrees, the hot and humid weather did little to keep the estimated 15,000 pilgrims from singing and waving as Pope Francis greeted them on his popemobile.

The pope occasionally stopped to kiss several babies whose heads were draped in cloth to protect them from the sun.

In his talk, the pope reflected on the theme of God's fatherhood as a source of hope for Christians as conveyed in the prayer of the "Our Father."

While some may be more inclined to refer to God with a title that is "more respectful of his transcendence," he said, the word "father" implies a trustful relationship "like a child to a father, knowing that we are loved and cared for by him."

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