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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Sin is scary, but God is always ready to forgive, pope says

Witches don’t really exist, so they can do no harm, Pope Francis told a young girl, but gossip, sin and evil exist and they hurt people every day.

“What frightens me?” the pope asked, repeating the question posed by Sara, one of the children at the Rome parish of St Magdalene of Canossa. “I’m frightened when a person is bad; the wickedness of people” is scary.

Spending close to four hours at the parish on 12th March, Pope Francis answered questions from the children, met with the older and sick members of the parish, spent time with parents whose babies have been baptised in the past year and with the Canossian Sisters, whose founder is honoured as the parish’s patron saint.

Before celebrating an evening Mass, the pope also heard confessions.

He had told the children that the “seeds of wickedness” lie within each human being, but that God is always willing to forgive those who are sincerely sorry for their sins.

Sara had told him she’s afraid of witches, but Pope Francis told her that witches don’t really exist and those who claim to be able to cast spells are lying.

Picture: Pope Francis greets a girl during a 12th March visit at the Rome parish of St Magdalene of Canossa. (CNS photo/Angelo Carconi, EPA).