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Rome Reports

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Pope: those who attack others to defend the “purity” of Church attack Christ

This week the pope asked many young pilgrims to accompany him on the popemobile during his ride around the square.

Pope Francis stopped many times for various reasons, such as to sign a scarf.

Or, to drink mate.

He stopped again; this time, to bless babies.

During the General Audience, he continued his catechesis on the book of the Acts of the Apostles. He reflected on the figure of Saul from Tarsus, who was a radical before his conversion.

The young Saul is presented as unyielding, who manifests intolerance toward those who think differently from him. He views his political and religious ideas as absolute, and reduces other ideas as an enemy to fight.

The pope remembered that after his conversion, St. Paul understood that people should not be fought, but rather the evil that inspires their actions.

How do I live my life of faith? Do I strive to meet others or am I against others? Do I belong to the universal Church, good and bad people, everybody, all together, or to a selective ideology? Do I love God or dogmatic formulations? How is my religious life? Does my professed faith in God make me friendly or hostile toward those who are different than me?

The pope didn't mention the harsh criticisms against the Amazon Synod, but it's possible that he was thinking of them while lamenting the ideological way of defending the Church by attacking people.

“To attack a member of the Church is to attack Christ! Even those who are ideological, who do it for the purity of the Church, attack Christ.”

Before leaving, the pope greeted newlywed couples in the square. He called them the “brave ones,” because they have the courage to form a new family.

Javier Martínez-Brocal
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski