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Pope: The Church is not a “cage” of the Holy Spirit

POPE-RETREAT-RELIGION
OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP
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Francis concludes his annual retreat, thanking preacher for showing the Spirit's universal work

Pope Francis concluded his annual retreat today, thanking the preacher, Father José Talentino Mendonca. He especially thanked him for having recalled that “the Church is not a cage” for the Holy Spirit, who also “works” outside of it.

The Sovereign Pontiff said he was pleased that Father Talentino Mendonca drew some of his quotes from figures who were sometimes non-believers, “pagan” or belonged to other religious denominations. This testifies, he said, that the Holy Spirit is “universal” and “for all.”

Francis therefore thanked the preacher for having recalled that the Church is not a “cage” for the Holy Spirit. We are called to be “open without fear” or “rigidity,” to be “docile to the Spirit” and not to “mummify in structures that enclose us.”

The head of the Catholic Church asked the Portuguese priest to pray for him and the Curia. The pontiff then expressed to Father Talentino Mendonca his gratitude for having urged the Curia not to “reduce itself” to its “bureaucratic worldliness.”

In addition, Pope Francis spoke of today’s day of fasting and prayer for peace in the world – especially in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Syria. This day of prayer is an “extension” of the Lenten retreat, said the pontiff.

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