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Pope at Santa Marta: Catholicism teaches a healthy realism

2016-06-09

During his homily on Thursday at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope asked to flee from a rigid idealism that prevents people from reconciling with each other. The Pope says that Jesus teaches a "healthy realism.”

POPE FRANCIS
"This is the healthy realism of the Catholic Church: the Church never teaches us ‘or this or that.’ That is not Catholic. The Church says to us: ‘this and that.’ ‘Strive for perfection: reconcile with your brother.  Do not insult him. Love him. And if there is a problem, at the very least settle your differences so that war doesn’t break out.’ This is the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not Catholic to say ‘or this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical.”

Pope Francis said that we must ask God not be inflexible, and know how to reconcile and agree. The Pope recalled that it would be hypocritical to praise God with the same language with which we would insult our 'brother's soul and dignity.'

EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"We have "a very creative vocabulary for insulting others” but stressed that such insults are a sin and are akin to killing because they are giving a slap to our brother’s soul and to his dignity. Noting the presence of several children at the Mass, Pope Francis urged them to stay calm, saying the preaching of a child in a church is much more beautiful than that of a priest, bishop or of the Pope.

"How many times do we in the Church hear these things: how many times!  ‘But that priest, that man or that woman from the Catholic Action, that bishop, or that Pope tell us we must do this this way!’ and then they do the opposite. This is the scandal that wounds the people and prevents the people of God from growing and going forward. It doesn’t free them. In addition, these people had seen the rigidity of those scribes and Pharisees and when a prophet came to give them a bit of joy, they (the scribes and Pharisees) persecuted them and even murdered them; there was no place for prophets there.  And Jesus said to them, to the Pharisees: ‘you have killed the prophets, you have persecuted the prophets: those who were bringing fresh air.’”

"This (is the) healthy realism of the Catholic Church: the Church never teaches us ‘or this or that.’ That is not Catholic. The Church says to us: ‘this and that.’ ‘Strive for perfectionism: reconcile with your brother.  Do not insult him. Love him. And if there is a problem, at the very least settle your differences so that war doesn’t break out.’ This (is) the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not Catholic (to say) ‘or this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical.  Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws' rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well.  He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.”

"And allow me to use this word that seems a bit strange: it’s the tiny sanctity of negotiations. ‘So, I can’t do everything but I want to do everything, therefore I reach an agreement with you, at least we don’t trade insults, we don’t wage a war and we can all live in peace.’ Jesus is a great person! He frees us from all our miseries and also from that idealism which is not Catholic. Let us implore our Lord to teach us, first to escape from all rigidity but also to go out beyond ourselves, so we can adore and praise God who teaches us to be reconciled amongst ourselves and who also teaches us to reach an agreement up to the point that we are able to do so.”


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