Pope: There may be something Catholic, even outside the Catholic Church
Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - "Just as one can find that which is not Catholic in the Catholic Church - that is, in the Church -, one can also find something that may be Catholic outside of the Catholic Church ": this quote from St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists: PL 43 , VII, 39, 77) was at the center of reflection that Benedict XVI offered to pilgrims gathered today in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo during the Angelus. The Pope - as he often does - was referring to the episode narrated in the Gospel of the Sunday Mass (Mark 9: 39-41): "a man, who was not the followers of Jesus had cast out demons in his name. The Apostle John, young and zealous, wants to stop him, but Jesus will not allow him. "
"Jesus - continues the pope
- is inspired by the opportunity to teach his disciples that God can bring
about good and even miraculous things, even outside of their circle, and that
one can cooperate with the Kingdom of God in several ways, even by offering a
simple glass of water to a missionary (v. 41). "
Thus Benedict XVI underlined the "ecumenical" teaching of Jesus in our time: "Church members should not feel jealous, but rejoice if someone from outside the community do good in the name of Christ, provided this is done with right intention and with respect ". At the same time, he insisted that often jealousy and the desire to block the action of someone also exist within the Church: "Even within the Church itself - he added - it can sometimes happen that one can have difficulty in appreciating and recognizing, in a spirit of profound communion, the good things done by the various ecclesial realities. Instead we should all be able to always appreciate and respect each other, praising the Lord for the infinite 'fantasy' with which he acts in the Church and in the world. "
The pope also commented on the
second reading of today's Mass, taken from the Letter of St. James, which
concerns "the invective... against the dishonest rich, who put their trust
in the riches accumulated by dint of abuse" (cf. Jas 5.1 to 6).
"The words of the Apostle James - said the pope - while they warn against the vain desire for material goods, are also a powerful call to use them in the perspective of solidarity and the common good, always acting with fairness and morality, at all levels ".
After the Marian prayer, Benedict
XVI launched an appeal for the situation in Congo-Kinshasa, an African country
with a large Catholic community, characterized by abundant natural resources,
but also highly unstable in political and ethnic terms. In
a series of recent developments, the UN has accused Rwanda of supporting guerrilla
groups within the borders of Congo. "I
follow with affection and concern - said the pope - the situation of the people
in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in these days the object
of a high-level meeting at the United Nations. I am particularly close
to refugees, to the women and children, who because of persistent armed clashes
undergo suffering, violence and deep distress. I invoke God, for peace paths of
dialogue, protection for these innocent people so that peace, based
on justice, may soon be restored and for the restoration of fraternal coexistence
for this sorely tried population, as well as the entire region. "
The pope also bid farewell to the faithful at Castel Gandolfo, because tomorrow he returns to take up residency in the Vatican.