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Pope Francis at the House of Mercy in Ulaanbaatar on Monday (OSV News)

Pope Francis said he knows people wonder why he travelled close to 10,000 kilometres to Mongolia to visit a Catholic community of only 1450 people. Source: NCR Online.

“Because it is precisely there, far from the spotlight, that we often find the signs of the presence of God, who does not look at appearances, but at the heart,” he told thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience yesterday. 

Following his usual practice of speaking about a trip at the first audience after his return, the Pope said that during his September 1-4 stay the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, he encountered “a humble and joyful Church, which is in the heart of God,” but one that was excited to find itself at the centre of the universal Church’s attention for a few days.

“I have been to the heart of Asia, and it has done me good,” the Pope said.

The missionaries who arrived in Mongolia in 1992 “did not go there to proselytise,” the Pope said. “They went to live like the Mongolian people, to speak their language, the language of the people, to learn the values of that people and to preach the Gospel in a Mongolian style, with Mongolian words.”

The universality of the Catholic Church, he said, is not something that “homogenises” the faith.

“This is catholicity: an embodied universality, which embraces the good where it is found and serves the people with whom it lives,” the Pope said. “This is how the Church lives: bearing witness to the love of Jesus meekly, with life before words, happy with its true riches, which are service to the Lord and to our brothers and sisters.”


Pope recounts the joy, goodness, humility he saw in Mongolia (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via NCR Online)