2013-05-25 17:59:03

Be facilitators, not controllers of faith: Pope

Vatican city, 25 May 2013: A Christian has the ability to open a door, but we are many times controllers of faith, instead of becoming facilitators of the faith of the people, said Pope Francis in his homily during the Mass he celebrated on Saturday morning at Santa Marta’s Residence in the Vatican. Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, President Emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and a group of priests concelebrated the Mass with the Pontiff.

The day's Gospel tells us the story of Jesus rebuking his disciples for preventing children that people bring to the Lord to bless them. "Jesus embraces them, kiss them, touch them. He tells the disciples: "Let them come to me, do not hinder them. To those who are like them, in fact, belongs the kingdom of God." "The faith of the People of God is a simple faith, a faith that is perhaps not so much theology, but a theology in which no mistake, because the Spirit is behind." Referring to Vatican II, the Pontiff said "the holy people of God ... cannot err in matters of belief". And to explain this theological formulation the Pope said: "If you want to know who Mary is, go to the theologian and they will tell you exactly who is Mary. But if you want to know how to love Mary go to the People of God who will teach you better. "The people of God - continued the Pope - "always ask to be closer to Jesus, they are sometimes a bit 'insistent in this. But it is the insistence of those who believe."

"I remember once, narrated the Pope, coming out of the city of Salta, at the patronal feast, there was a humble lady who asked a priest's blessing. The priest said, 'well, but you were at Mass' and explained the whole theology of blessing in the church. 'Ah, thank you father,' said the lady. When the priest has gone, she turns to another priest: 'Give me your blessing!'. And his words were of value, because she had another need: the need to be touched by the Lord. That is the faith, we must facilitate it, make it grow, help it grow."

And think of the attitude of many Christians: What happens when a girl and a boy go to a church to get married, instead of saying, 'That's great!'. They say, 'Oh, well, have a seat. If you want the Mass, it costs so much..' These, instead of receiving a good reception for getting married!' Get this:' Do you have the certificate of baptism, all right...' And they find a closed door.
And 'there is always a temptation - said the Pope - is "to seize, to appropriate a bit' of the Lord." And he tells another episode:

"Think about a single mother who goes to church, in the parish and to the secretary: 'I want to baptize the child'. And then this Christian says: 'No, you cannot because you're not married!'. But look, this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy and not to return her son to the sender, what is it? A closed door! Jesus instituted the seven sacraments with an attitude and we are establishing the eighth: the sacrament of pastoral customs! ".
"Jesus is indignant when he sees these things" - said the Pope - because his faithful people are the suffering, the people whom he loves so much".
Source: VR Sedoc

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