Pope: Yes to debate in search of unity, no to “alliances” in the Church
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Every time that Christians, starting with the apostles themselves, have confronted each other with frankness and dialogue, and not fomenting treason or "internal alliances”, they have always understood the right thing to do, thanks to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The was Pope Francis’ reflection at Mass celebrated this morning in Casa Santa Marta which was dedicated to his "home" on the feast day of Our Lady of Lujan, Patroness of Argentina. Taking a cue from the Acts of the Apostles, which speaks of the conclusion the First Council of Jerusalem, which established, after considerable friction, the few simple rules that the new converts to the Gospel had to observe.
The problem, said Francis, is that previously it was on an internal struggle between what he called the "closed" – a group of Christians that was "very attached to the law" who wanted to "impose the conditions of Judaism on new Christians" - and Paul of Tarsus, the apostle of the Gentiles, strongly opposed to this constraint.
"How did they solve the problem? They got together and everyone gave his judgement, his opinion. They argued, but as brothers and not as enemies. They did not form outside alliances to win, they did not go to the civil powers to win, they did not kill to win. They seek the path of prayer and dialogue. These who had opposing positions debated them and reached agreement. This is the work of the Holy Spirit”.
The final decision must be made in harmony. And it is on this basis that at the end of the Council, the letter that was sent to the "brothers" who "came from the pagans", communicating the result which is the fruit of a very different form of sharing to that of the maneuvers and the skirmishes fielded by many those who sow "weeds".
"A Church with such problems makes me think that the Spirit is not really present. And always in a church where a church where there is constant argument, alliances and the betrayals there is no Spirit! The Spirit creates novelty that moves the situation, urges it forward, creating new spaces, which creates the wisdom that Jesus promised: 'He will teach you!'. This moves, but it is also what ultimately creates the harmonious unity between all".
"This is what we learn today from this reading, that teaches us about the first Ecumenical Council. ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us ': that's the formula, when the Spirit puts us all in agreement. Now, as we continue the celebration of the Eucharist, we ask the Lord Jesus, who will be present among us, to always send us the Holy Spirit, to us, to each of us. May He send it to the Church and may the Church be faithful to the movement of the Holy Spirit".