The Star Early Edition

Be kind to ‘a wounded humanity’, pope says in book

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VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis calls in a new book for Roman Catholic leaders to be compassion­ate shepherds to a “wounded humanity”, not lofty scholars quick to condemn and exclude people who don’t obey church teachings.

The book, The Name of God is Mercy, breaks no new ground but is a compelling restatemen­t of the themes of Francis’s papacy told in simple, breezy language in a freewheeli­ng conversati­on with veteran Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli.

In the 150-page book, Francis also repeats his oftenquote­d “Who am I to judge?” statement about homosexual­s, saying that “people should not be defined only by their sexual identities”.

The question-and-answer book, to be released tomorrow, coincides with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, during which the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics are called on to seek forgivenes­s and forgive.

In his first book aimed at a general readership, Francis appears to chastise conservati­ves in the church, saying they are underminin­g mercy in the name of doctrine.

“The church does not exist to condemn people, but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God’s mercy,” he said, adding that “humanity is wounded, deeply wounded”.

Francis criticises those in the church “used to having things fit into their preconceiv­ed notions”. – Reuters

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