ROME – Pope Francis on Wednesday presided over the Mass as he formally opened the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter's Square.
In his message, the Pope told hundreds of clergy from around the world to keep "political calculations" out of proceedings.
"Dear brother cardinals, brother bishops, sisters and brothers, we are at the opening of the Synod Assembly. And we do not need purely natural vision, made up of human strategies, political calculations, or ideological battles," the Pontiff said.
"Instead we are here to walk together with the gaze of Jesus, Who blesses the Father and welcomes those who are weary and oppressed."
The Pope expressed hope that the Synod would serve as a reminder that the “Church is always in need of purification.”
"The Synod is not a political gathering, but a convocation in the Spirit; not a polarized parliament, but a place of grace and communion," he said. (ANSA)