Pope: Pharisees continue to disrupt Christian community


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Vatican City – Those who proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ are humble and trust God, they do not impose conditions on others and do not present themselves as the only “keepers of the truth”, said Pope Francis.

The path of evangelism, the essential characteristics of an evangelist and the risks posed by the self-proclaimed righteous are illustrated in the Letter to the Galatians, the pope said on June 23, announcing that the letter would be the subject of a new series interviews. during its weekly general audience.

Spider-Man – known as Mattia Villardita when not working, according to Vatican News – was among hundreds of pilgrims and visitors to the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace for the papal audience. After the rally, Francis spent a few minutes talking with Villardita, who dresses in superhero costumes and visits children in hospitals.

In his main audience address, Francis said that Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians is important, “I would even say decisive, not only for getting to know the apostle better, but above all for considering certain subjects which he discusses in depth, showing the beauty of the Gospel. “

The themes of “freedom, grace and the Christian way of life” in the Letter to the Galatians, he said, are “extremely topical because they touch on many aspects of the life of the Church of these days. It’s a very relevant letter. It seems written for our time. “

The letter shows Saint Paul’s “burning” concern for new Christian communities who were Gentiles but who were under pressure from some preachers to adopt Jewish practices such as circumcision.

Saint Paul was a pastor who, “like a father or mother, immediately notices the dangers his children face” as they grow in the faith, the Pope said.

The preachers not only insisted on things Saint Paul did not stress, but they “even denigrated his person,” the Pope said. “They started with the doctrine – ‘that no, that yes’ – and then they denigrated the apostle.”

“As we can see,” said the Pope, “it is the old practice of presenting oneself on certain occasions as the only holders of the truth – the pure ones – and of trying to belittle the work of others with the calumny.”

The new Christians were confused and worried, the Pope said.

“This situation is not far removed from the experience of many Christians today,” he said. “In fact, today too, there is no shortage of preachers who, especially by the new means of communication, can disturb the community. They do not appear first to proclaim the Gospel of God who loves humanity by Jesus crucified and risen, but to emphasize, as true “keepers of the truth” – so they are called – on the best way to be Christians. “

“They forcefully assert that true Christianity is the one to which they adhere, often identified with certain forms of the past, and that the solution to today’s crises is to go back in order not to lose the authenticity of the faith” , said the Pope. .

“How do we recognize these people? François asked, before answering that a sign is their “rigidity”.

“Before the preaching of the Gospel which sets us free, which makes us joyful, these people are rigid,” he said.

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