Pope again stokes World War III fearsAt a time when Christians worldwide are facing persecutions of historic nature, Pope Francis, in his homily delivered Sunday at Mass in the Santa Marta residence in Vatican City, expressed concern that “World War II is upon us” and urged Christians to proclaim their faith fearlessly, without concern for the consequences. “The path of the Church is openness, to speak frankly, with liberty,” Pope Francis said, reading from New Testament scriptures of the days after the Resurrection of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and gave them the courage to go forth and proclaim their faith without fear. Pope Francis based his homily from the Acts of the Apostles, recalling the words of Saint Peter and Saint John expressing the courage they felt after the Resurrection when the Holy Spirit had descended upon them, urging them to shed their fear of reprisals, going forth openly into the world to proclaim, “We can speak openly now of what we have seen and heard Jesus do.” “Even today, the message of the Church is the message of the openness in the path of Christian courage,” the pope said. “These two apostles, Peter and John, as the Bible says, found they had the courage without having to be told what to do. The Bible conveys this in simple words, translated as ‘courage,’ ‘openness,’ ‘freedom to speak,’ and ‘to not be afraid” to say what they felt. Even in the original, the Bible has so much significance with the simple assurance that all our fears will pass when we find the courage to express our faith in Christ openly.” MORE