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Pope Francis warns against closed communities

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 09/26/21

In this Sunday's Angelus address, Pope Francis names a temptation and offers an exhortation to Christian communities.

“May God preserve us from the mentality of the ‘nest’, that which consists of guarding oneself jealously in the small group of those who consider themselves good,” begged Pope Francis on the occasion of the Angelus pronounced from the window of the Apostolic Palace, September 26, 2021. The Argentinian pontiff has invited Catholics not to consider holding “the exclusivity of Jesus.”

Before a large crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis warned Christians against “the temptation to closedness.” Commenting on an episode of the Gospel in which the disciples of Jesus want to prevent a good work on the pretext that the person who carries it out does not belong to their group, the successor of Peter castigated this partisan spirit which considers that only the initiated are “authorized to work for the Kingdom of God.”

“Sometimes we too, instead of being humble and open communities, can give the impression of being ‘the first of the class’ and keeping others at a distance,” the head of the Catholic Church developed. “We can display our ‘believer’s license’ to judge and exclude,” he said again, pretending to show a license with his hand. “It’s a sin,” he insisted, pulling out of his notes.

He then begged God to preserve Catholics from the “mentality of the ‘nest’, that of jealously guarding ourselves in the small group of those who consider themselves good: the priest with his faithful, the pastoral agents closed among themselves so that no one can infiltrate, movements and associations in their particular charism, etc.”

Finally, he insisted on the radical demand of Jesus of his disciples, asking them to “remove” the temptations which push them to judge or to put up with evil. This radicalism of Christ is “for our good, like a good doctor.”

Because the risk which weighs on the believer is to become “inflexible towards the others and indulgent towards oneself,” it would be like missing out on the Gospel message. Pope Francis then concluded his catechesis with a piece of advice: “So let us ask ourselves: what is it in me that is contrary to the Gospel? “

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Pope Francis
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