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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: Having faith is more than seeking security from God

The atmosphere in the Paul VI Audience hall was buzzing with anticipation before Pope Francis' arrival.

And when he walked out on stage, the crowd burst into cheers. 

During the Audience, the Pope explained the errors of the Galatians, one of the first Christian communities. He says they prioritized religious security over establishing a real relationship with God.

"Even today many seek religious security rather than the living and true God, concentrating on rituals and precepts rather than wholeheartedly embracing the God of love. And this is the temptation of the new fundamentalist ideas, isn't it?"

The Pope went on to say that those who only seek security before God end up desperately clinging to norms and prevent the Holy Spirit from moving in their lives.

"Those who seek security and to make everything clear-cut end up in a small group, as they did before, and live in the ways of the past. They turn away from the Spirit, and do not allow the freedom of the Spirit to enter into them."

Similarly, he says that the life of the Spirit expressed through the sacraments should not be weighed down by excessive bureaucracy. 

"How many times do we, priests and bishops, get into so much bureaucracy to impart a sacrament and to welcome the people, and the people say no. “I don't like this.” And they leave. And often we don't see the power of the Spirit that regenerates and renews all of us."

Pope Francis recommends reading the part of the Letter to the Galatians where St. Paul compares the fruits of the Spirit to the works of the flesh.

At the end of the audience, the Pope announced that he would bless the bells brought by the Polish foundation "Yes to Life."

It is an initiative which defends human life from conception. The bells are symbolically called "the voice of the unborn" and will travel to two countries: Ecuador and Ukraine.