I can’t imagine what he’s talking about, can you?
Pope Francis says discussions within the Church are to seek unity and and it should not be a place where people are always clashing, betraying each other and forming lobbies to win their argument. He said the Holy Spirit helps bring change and moves things forward within the Church but at the same time it creates unity between all its members. This was the core message of his homily on Friday (May 8th) at morning Mass in the Santa Marta residence. Pope Francis said the Holy Spirit creates movement within the Church which at first sight might appear to be confusion but if this movement or change is welcomed with prayer and a spirit of dialogue it always generates unity between Christians. Taking his cue from the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Pope pointed to the example of the outcome from the first Council of Jerusalem where the early Christian community was able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to resolve differences of opinion and reach an agreement. The Christian community had clashed between the so-called ‘closed in’ Christians who remained very attached to the Jewish laws and who wanted to impose those same laws on the early Christians and Paul of Tarsus who strongly opposed this. “How do they resolve this problem? They hold a meeting and each person gives his opinion, his views. They discuss this issue but like brothers and sisters and not like enemies. They don’t form external lobbies in order to win, they don’t go to the civil authorities in order to win and they don’t kill in order to triumph. They seek the path of prayer and dialogue. Those who had opposing views have a dialogue with the other side and they reach an agreement. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.” Pope Francis stressed that the Holy Spirit moves us towards harmony and that was why the Christians taking part in the Council of Jerusalem were able to agree on a final decision. “A Church where there are never problems of this type makes me think that the Holy Spirit is not very present within it. And a Church where its people are always arguing and there are lobbies and people are betraying their brothers and sisters, is a Church where there is no Holy Spirit! It’s the Spirit which creates change, which creates the momentum for going ahead, that creates new spaces, that creates that wisdom which Jesus promised: ‘It will teach you!’ This moves things but is also what at the end creates the harmonious unity between everyone.”