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Pope Francis: 'Ecclesiastical micro-climate' closes door to those outside

2014-11-17

In his Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned against the temptation to create an "ecclesiastical micro-climate.”

The Pope said that at times there is a closed environment where only chosen people can enter while those who are far can't come closer to God.

POPE FRANCIS
"These people on the margins could not reach the Lord, because this clique – with a the best of intentions, mind you – closed the door. This happens frequently, among us believers: when we have found the Lord, without our noticing it, we create this sort of ecclesiastical micro-climate . Not only the priests, the bishops, but the faithful, as well: ‘We’re the ones who are with the Lord,’ [we say to ourselves], though for all our looking on Him, we fail to see His needs.”

Pope Francis noted that this attitude brings people far from God because they don't know how to recognize Him in others. He called on Christians to remember and reflect on those times when they felt far from God. 

EXCERPT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"This [person on the margins] could not reach the Lord, because this clique – with a the best of intentions, mind you – closed the door.  This happens frequently, among us believers: when we have found the Lord, without our noticing it, we create this sort of ecclesiastical micro-climate . Not only the priests, the bishops, but the faithful, as well: ‘We’re the ones who are with the Lord,’ [we say to ourselves], though for all our looking on Him, we fail to see His needs. We do not look to the Lord who is hungry, who is thirsty, who is in prison, who is in hospital – to the Lord, who is in the marginalized – and being [so closed off, so sealed up], does great harm.”

"When in the Church, the faithful, ministers, become a group like this ... not ‘ecclesial’, but ‘ecclesiastical’, [enjoyng] the privilege of closeness to the Lord, they are tempted to forget their first love – a love so beautiful – one we all had when the Lord has called us, saved us, told us: ‘But I love you so much.’ This is a temptation all disciples have: to forget our first love, that is, to forget the [rough neighborhoods], where [we all came from], even though [we are now] ashamed of it.”

"Let us ask the Lord for the grace that all of us who have received the grace of being called, never, never, never move away from this Church. Let us never enter into this micro-climate of the privileged ecclesiastical disciples, who turn away from the Church of God, which is suffering, asking for salvation, which calls for faith, which begs to hear God's Word. Let us ask the grace to be faithful to God, without asking the Lord for privileges, which separate us from God's people.”

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