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Pope washes the feet of inmates reveals cataracts

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The Vatican’s deputy spokeswoman, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, confirmed Francis was speaking about his own cataracts and is due to have surgery next year, though there were no details on when. Francis is known to suffer from sciatica, which sometimes makes walking difficult. He lost much of one lung due to an infection in his 20s, but otherwise seems to enjoy good health.

Earlier Thursday, Francis presided over another Holy Thursday service in St. Peter’s Basilica, where he urged priests to be spiritually close to their flocks and not insist only on preaching laws when they sin.

Even when people commit adultery, he said, priests should not condemn with legalisms but rather help them look forward so they don’t sin again. “The correct tone is that of the confessor who is prepared to repeat it 70 times seven,” he said.

The admonition came as conservatives have complained that Francis is dividing the church by being open to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Critics say Francis is disregarding church law about the indissolubility of marriage by effectively allowing adulterers access to the sacraments.

Francis appeared to be answering the criticism with his homily, choosing specifically to preach about how priests should accompany adulterers during a Mass meant to demonstrate the unity of the church.


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