Pope Francis: “This is distorted religiosity—one based on possessions instead of giving”

 | 
25/01/2024
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Pope Francis closed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. There, he did not celebrate Mass but celebrated vespers with representatives of other churches, such as Anglican and Orthodox.

In his message, Pope Francis said that in order to achieve Christian unity, we must truly love our neighbors. The Pope emphasized that gratitude is a pillar of love. Then he asked Christians to examine the way they interact with God.

POPE FRANCIS
This is distorted religiosity—one based on possession instead of giving, where God is a means to get what I want, not the end to love wholeheartedly.

Pope Francis affirmed that prayer is imperative to a relationship with God. That's why he encouraged Christians to take their spiritual life seriously and, with it, pay special attention to their neighbor.

POPE FRANCIS
This is the way: to walk together and serve together, putting prayer in first place. In fact, when Christians mature in the service of God and neighbor, they also grow in mutual understanding.

He recalled that Christianity is not the path to perfection but the path to love. And he gave the example of St. Paul, who changed his life after encountering Christ.

POPE FRANCIS
Paul does not change his life in order to achieve his goals, he does not become better because he succeeds in his projects.

The end of the celebration featured more moments of unity. Like when Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans all prayed the Lord's prayer together.

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