Pope Francis on Wednesday called for more emphasis on tenderness, including in the Roman Catholic Church, in a world he said was marked by cruelty and atrocities.
He took his church to task in an interview published Wednesday in Credere, a Catholic magazine reporting on the Holy Year of Mercy, called for by Francis and starting Tuesday.
Francis lamented that the church itself “falls into the temptation to take a hard line, the temptation to stress only the moral laws.” He wondered “how many people are left outside” the church by that emphasis.
The pope says today needs a “revolution of tenderness” because, “from here, justice and all the rest derives.”
He adds: “We are used to bad news, cruel news and to even bigger atrocities, which offend the name and life of God.”
Additional pilgrims and tourists coming for the Holy Year, which runs through Nov. 20, 2016, pose challenging logistics for Vatican and Italian security forces.
Italy’s top armed forces official, Gen. Claudio Graziano, said Wednesday as many as 6,300 troops will be deployed in Rome and other Italian cities.
First estimates said some 30 million visitors more than usual could come to Rome for the Holy Year. But after the Paris attacks last month, Italian security officials lowered the estimate to 10 million.