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Rome Reports

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Pope asks for dialogue between faith and culture without “aggression”

Pope Francis got in his popemobile just in time, before the weather got bad. Minutes later, a cloud poured water down on St. Peter's Square.

During his catechesis, he reflected on a particular scene from St. Paul's travels: his preaching in Athens, the heart of Greece and the culture of that time.

Pope Francis stressed how St. Paul knew how to communicate the faith to the Greeks, despite the cultural and religious distance between the two worlds.

The contact with paganism does not scare him. Instead, it pushes him to create a bridge to dialogue with the culture. In an extraordinary example of inculturation, he announces Christ based on their faith in an "unknown God," to whom they have built an idol.

The pope recalled how the Greeks enjoyed listening to the apostle's preaching, until he spoke about the Resurrection of Christ. They couldn't understand it. Despite the failure, the pope insisted nothing is done in vain, because some did convert to the Christian faith.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit today to teach us to build bridges with culture, with whomever does not believe or those who have a faith different from ours. Always build bridges, always outstretched your hand, no aggression. Let us ask for the ability to delicately inculturate the message of faith.

This catechesis is part of a cycle of preaching by the pope about the life of the first Christian communities, which inspires the Church today.

Javier Romero
Melissa Butz