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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: I am saddened when the Church is treated like a political party


This week's General Audience was held without pilgrims inside the pope's library. Pope Francis explained four characteristics of the early Christian communities, which he said help people live out their faith today. These are listening to the teachings of the apostles, the Eucharist, prayer and reciprocal communion.

POPE FRANCIS
To discern a situation, we must ask ourselves about these four coordinates.
What does not fall within these four coordinates is deprived of ecclesiality. It is not ecclesial.

The pope said he is concerned that in the Church, decisions are made without respecting these four coordinates.

POPE FRANCIS
Sometimes I feel great sadness when I see a community that with good will, but mistakenly, thinks to make the Church based on gatherings, as if it were a political party. The majority, the minority...

Although it was not explicitly stated, it seems the pope was referring to the Synod of the German Church, which is meeting to discuss pastoral and doctrinal issues, such as the female priesthood and priestly celibacy. 

POPE FRANCIS
I ask myself, 'Where is the Holy Spirit there? Where is prayer? Where is the fraternal love? Where is the Eucharist?' Without these four coordinates, the Church becomes a human society, a political party—majority, minority... Changes are made as if it were an business, by majority, minority. The presence of the Holy Spirit is only assured when these four coordinates are present.

At the end, the pope greeted those who were following the audience through streaming. He said the time has come to start preparing for the arrival of Christmas.

In fact, next Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent season.

Javier Romero

Translation: Christian Campos