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Good Friday: Father Cantalamessa, “no to the sin, yes to the sinner”

“The Cross is God’s final, irreversible ‘No’ to violence, injustice, hatred, lying, to all that we call evil; and, at the same time, it is the equally irreversible “Yes” to love, truth, goodness”. This was said by father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal House, in Good Friday sermon in Vatican City today, presided over by the Pope. “No to the sin, yes to the sinner”, he went on: “It’s what Jesus practised all His life and what now He finally consecrates with His death”. “The cross is the living proclamation that the final winner is not he who triumphs over other people, but he who triumphs over himself; not he who makes other people suffer, but he who suffers”, explained Cantalamessa, who pointed out that “news of deaths, and violent deaths, are hardy ever missing in the evening news. Even in the last few days, we have heard quite a lot of them, such as the one about the 38 Coptic Christians killed in Egypt on Palm Sunday. Such news come out so quickly that in the evening we forget those of the day before”. Why, then, after 2000 years, does the world still remember Christ’s death, as if it had happened yesterday? Because “such death changed the face of death forever”, he answered: “it changed the meaning of death for every human being”.

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