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Cardinal O'Malley encourages WYD pilgrims to embrace mercy every day


  • Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley speaks to World Youth Day pilgrims July 27 at Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Priests hear confessions from World Youth Day pilgrims at Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland, July 27. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A U.S. World Youth Day pilgrim listens to Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley speak July 27 at Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • U.S. World Youth Day pilgrims wait to enter Tauron Arena July 27 in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A U.S. World Youth Day pilgrim listens to Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley speak July 27 at Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A World Youth Day pilgrim responds during a catechesis July 27 at Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

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KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Jesus did not stop talking about mercy even though he was nearly thrown from a cliff after his first public talk in a Nazareth synagogue, and the rest of his life can serve as an example for people of faith to follow, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told an energized World Youth Day audience.

Emphasizing the World Youth Day theme focused on mercy and the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, Cardinal O'Malley called on the young people in Tauron Arena July 27 to bring God's mercy to life as Jesus did.

The Jubilee Year is a chance to reboot or start over again, said Cardinal O'Malley, who serves on the pope's Council of Cardinals. "We need to find a new route to take us where we need to go."

The cardinal said he considers his first homily -- to a group of inmates after he was assigned as a prison chaplain -- a failure as well. He said he decided to focus on the freeing power of God after reading in a book that a homily should embrace the experience of the listeners. That night, six inmates escaped, he said.

"I was crestfallen that my sermon would be the last," he said.

But a fellow priest consoled him, and a young Father O'Malley persevered by remembering the needs of the people to whom he ministers. Cardinal O'Malley called on the young peopleto do likewise.

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