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No One Becomes a Christian by Themselves, Says Pope

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
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Francis gives second in a series of teachings on “Church.”

“No-one becomes a Christian by themselves!” exclaimed Pope Francis from Saint Peter’s at his Wednesday audience.  “You don’t make Christians in the laboratory! A Christian belongs to a people who come from far away. A Christian is part of a people who is called “Church”. And this Church makes the Christian on their day of baptism, understood? And then in during the course of catechism and many things…but no-one, no-one becomes Christian by themselves.”
 
This was the second in a series of teachings by the Holy Father on the meaning of “Church”. Today’s focus was on the sense of belonging to the Church.
 
“There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside of the communion and the mediation of the Church,” the pontiff explained. However he described these beliefs as “dangerous and harmful temptations.”
 
“Our relationship with Christ is personal but not private,” he continued. “It is born of, and enriched by, the communion of the Church.”
 
The Holy Father said that this “shared pilgrimage” in life is not always an easy one to pursue: “At times we encounter human weakness, limitations and even scandal in the life of the Church” he articulated. “But God has called us to know him and to love him precisely by loving our brothers and sisters, by persevering in the fellowship of the Church and by seeking in all things to grow in faith and holiness as members of the one body of Christ.”
 
Pope Francis finished his Catechesis by concluding that “you can not love God without loving our brothers and sisters, you can not love God outside of the Church; you can not be in communion with God without being in the Church and we can not be good Christians if we are not together with all those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus, as one people, one body. And this is the Church. "
 

Non si fanno cristiani in laboratorio from Aleteia on Vimeo.