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Pontiff: Ten Commandments are a signpost to freedom

Pope Francis (Photo: CNS)

The Ten Commandments are not a limitation, but a pathway to freedom, Pope Francis said in a video message broadcast to thousands gathered in Milan’s Cathedral Square earlier this week.

The crowd were participating in the Ten Squares for Ten Commandments initiative on Monday morning, an event that was being promoted by the Renewal in the Spirit movement in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation as part of the Year of Faith.

Milan is the fourth city to host the initiative, which began under the pontificate of Benedict XVI in September of 2013, following events in Rome, Naples, and Verona. In the coming months, Pope Francis will send video messages to participants gathering in squares in Bari, Genoa, Cagliari, Florence, Palermo, Bologna, and Turin.

Pope Francis said: “The Ten Commandments are a gift from God. The word ‘commandment’ isn’t fashionable. To today’s persons, it recalls something negative, someone’s will that imposes limits, that places obstacles to our lives. Unfortunately history, even recent history, is marked by tyranny, ideologies, mindsets that have been imposed and oppressive, that haven’t sought the good of humanity but rather power, success, and profit.

“The Ten Commandments, however, come from a God who created us out of love, from a God who established a covenant with humanity, a God who only wants the good of humanity. Let us trust in God. The Ten Commandments show us a path to travel and also constitute a sort of ‘moral code’ for building just societies that are made for men and women.

“How much inequality there is in the world. How much hunger for food and for truth! How much moral and material poverty resulting from the rejection of God and from putting so many idols in his place. Let us be guided by these Ten Words that enlighten and guide those seeking peace, justice, and dignity.”