25 January, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/01/2008
VATICAN
Christian freedom neither licentiousness nor whim, but conformance to Christ, says Pope
As he continues to talk about Saint Paul, Benedict XVI refers to the Council of Jerusalem and the so-called incident of Antioch. Paul’s “Gospel of freedom” is illustrated; “only dialogue can lead onto the path of the Church.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Christian freedom “never corresponds to licentiousness or the whim to do whatever one wants. It conforms to Christ, and so is authentic service to one’s brothers, especially the neediest.” This is the teaching that Saint Paul draws from the Council of Jerusalem which Benedict XVI proposed again to the 20,000 faithful in St Peter’s Square in today’s general audience, for as was the case between Peter and Paul, “only an open and sincere dialogue can lead onto the path of the Church.”

Back in the Vatican after his summer break in Castel Gandolfo, the Pope went on to talk about the Apostle of the Nations devoting his reflections to him in the last few Wednesday audiences. Today he focused on two episodes that show Paul’s respect for the Twelve Apostles, and his inner freedom.

The first episode is the so-called Council of Jerusalem which took place around 50 AD. “The assembly took place at a time of major tensions within the original community.” The debate was especially heated “over the issue of whether Pagans who joined the faith had to be circumcised or were instead exempt from the Law of Moses; closely related to this were dietary rules of purity and impurity and the Sabbath.”

Against those who saw justice in the respect of the law, Paul offered “his Gospel of freedom from the law after the encounter with the Risen Christ.”

As he wrote in the Letter to the Galatians “in the Gospel of freedom Christ is justice” for “he is fully expressed in serving his brothers.”

The Council of Jerusalem “expressed the action of the Holy Spirit,” which for Paul “is the decisive recognition that freedom is shared by all those who took part in it, which is the freedom Christ gave us” in order that “we not let the yoke the slavery be imposed upon us. [. . .] Paul had come to realise that the grace of Christ had released the Gentiles from the rules of the Law of Moses.”

The other episode the Pope mentioned was the “Cyrene incident” in Turkey, involving a dispute of whether “Jews and Pagans could eat at the same table.” This was “another crucial component of the Law of Moses that separated practicing Jews from Pagans over the issue of dietary purity and impurity.”

“Initially Peter shared the table with either group but when guests arrived James began avoiding the table of non-Jews and began telling Paul that ‘you who are Jews live with Pagans”. But for Paul “separation from Pagans is a reason to divide. [. . .] If justice is done in accordance with Christ what sense is there in these rules?”

For Peter what mattered was “not losing Jews who had joined Christianity, for Paul it was not belittling the salvific value of Christ’s death for all believers.”

The incident in Antioch taught “a lesson to both Peter and Paul,” which is “only an open and sincere dialogue can lead onto the Church’s path.”

“The kingdom of God is not about food, but about justice and peace,” said the Pope. “The lesson that we too must learn is to let ourselves be guided by the Spirit, trying to live in freedom, whose guidance becomes real in service.”

“Conforming more to Christ is essential so that we can be truly free. This way true certainty and the deep essence of the law can grow in us, which is the love of God and our fellow man.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/22/2008 VATICAN
For the Pope we can reach heaven and find happiness through humility, not pride
03/05/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Roman primacy is "necessary" in the Church, today as in the past
09/10/2008 VATICAN
Pope: bearing the news of God's love is the true mission of the apostle
02/11/2009 VATICAN
Faith, hope and charity, a spiritual journey’s start and end, says Pope
06/11/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Colombanus, example of "detachment from earthly goods", rejection of compromise

Editor's choices
IRAQ
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
IRAQ
Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.