By Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Being infallible when formally defining a doctrine does not mean a pope doesn’t make mistakes at other times, Pope Francis said, admitting he caused confusion for about 5,000 members of the Cursillos in Christianity movement.
Holding a European-wide gathering in Rome, Cursillo members were scheduled to meet Pope Francis May 1, but instead he had them join him at the Vatican the evening of April 30.
"I must apologize," the pope said. "You had to move many things around, creating difficulties, arranging transportation. Truly, I’m sorry."
Interrupted frequently with applause, the pope continued his apology, saying, "You know the pope is infallible when he makes dogmatic definitions — something that rarely happens. But even the pope has defects and infallibility has nothing to do with his personal defects."
Pope Francis listed his defects as being "a bit disorganized and also undisciplined."
Spending more than an hour with Cursillo members in the Vatican audience hall, the pope thanked them "for all you do in the church, which is so beautiful; helping people encounter Jesus, helping them understand that living in the grace of God is beautiful."
Through friendship, three-day retreats and small group meetings, he said, the Cursillo movement helps people discover that friendship with Christ is the answer to their heart’s longing for love and for truth.
"One important thing about your movement: you have not engaged in proselytism," in shouting matches or forcing fliers into people’s hands, but instead offer friendship, kindness and a Christian witness, he said. "This is a virtue. The church does not grow through proselytism, but through witness as Pope Benedict (XVI) told us."
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