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Pope Francis warns against false preachers on social media

Before the General Audience, a number of pilgrims were brought to tears...,

…and not just from the excitement of meeting the Pope.

The Pope began a new catechetical series. He said the next few weeks will be dedicated to reflecting on the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians and on topics like freedom, grace and the Christian way of life.

"This letter is very relevant. It seems to have been written for our times. When Paul would arrive in a city, town or region, he wouldn't immediately build a cathedral. He would build small communities, which are the leaven of our Christian culture today. He would begin by building small communities. And these small communities would grow and grow and move forward".

The Pope recalled that years after the Apostle's evangelization, other Christians who had come from Judaism began telling the Galatians that they had to be circumcised and that Paul was not an apostle.

"They begin with doctrine, then they denigrate the apostle. It's always the same way: to take the apostle's authority".

The Pope warned that this happens still today, especially on social media. Supposed evangelizers sell themselves as protectors of the doctrine.

"How can we recognize these people? For example, one of their characteristics is rigidity in the way they preach the Gospel, which should make us free and joyful. These people are rigid. Always rigid: You have to do this, you have to do that. Rigidity. That's typical of these people".

Among those present at the audience was an Italian volunteer who dresses up as Spiderman to visit the sick in hospitals.