"There has always been those people who, without any commission, set out to disturb the Christian community with discourses that upbraid souls: 'Eh, no. What he said is heretical, that cannot be said, that no, the doctrine of the Church says this ... ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The healthy doctrine, that of the popes, bishops, and the councilors, unites, and that which becomes ideology divides, said Pope Francis at Mass at Casa Santa Martha this morning, commenting on the passage of the Acts of the Apostles on the so-called Jerusalem Council which, around 49 AC, decided that the converted pagans should not be circumcised, as required by The Mosaic Law.
Even in the first Christian community, the Pope observed, "there were jealousies, power struggles, the cunning who wanted to earn and buy power." Therefore, "there have always been problems": "we are humans, we are sinners" and there are difficulties, even in the Church, but being sinners brings us to humility and approach the Lord, "as the savior of our sins" .
The Pope emphasized that with regard the pagans who "the Holy Spirit calls to become Christians", the apostles and elders choose some of them to go to Antioch together with Paul and Barnabas. Two are the groups of people described, those who had "strong discussions" but with a "good spirit" and those "who were confused". "The group of apostles who want to discuss the problem and others who go and create problems, divide, separate the Church, they say that what the apostles preach is not what Jesus said, which is not the truth."
The apostles discuss with each other and eventually agree. "But it is not a political agreement, it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that leads them to say: no things, no exigencies. Only the following: do not eat meat at that time, meat was sacrificed to idols because it was communion with idols, abstain from blood, from suffocated animals, and from unlawful unions. "
Francis emphasized, it is the "freedom of the Spirit" that "brings agreement": so the pagans can enter the Church "without going through with circumcision." It was, basically, a "First Council" of the Church - "the Holy Spirit and them, the Pope with the bishops, all together" - gathered "to clarify the doctrine" and followed in centuries, for example by [the council of] Ephesus Or Vatican II, because "it is a duty of the Church to clarify doctrine" so that "it is well understood what Jesus said in the Gospels, what is the Spirit of the Gospels".
" There has always been those people who, without any commission, set out to disturb the Christian community with discourses that upbraid souls: 'Eh, no. What he said is heretical, that cannot be said, that no, the doctrine of the Church says this... ". And they are fanatics of things that are not clear, like these fanatics who went there sneering to divide the Christian community. And this is the problem: when the doctrine of the Church, the one coming from the Gospel, the one that inspires the Holy Spirit - because Jesus said, 'He will teach us and make you remember what I taught' - that doctrine becomes an ideology . And this is the great mistake of these people." These individuals "were not believers, they were ideologized", they had an ideology "that closed their hearts to the work of the Holy Ghost". Instead, the apostles certainly argued strongly, but were not ideologized: "they had their heart open to what the Spirit said. And after the discussion it appeared to the Spirit and to us. "
Francis concluded by exhorting people not to be scared of "the opinions of the ideologues of doctrine". The Church has "its own magisterium, the Pope's Magisterium, bishops, that of the councils," and we must go that way "which comes from the preaching of Jesus and the teaching and assistance of the Holy Ghost," which is "always open, always free, "because doctrine is united, the councils unite the Christian community," while "ideology divides".