Sunday, April 28, 2013
Pope Francis: Criticizes the Closed Religiosity of the Jews
Francis Pearl of the day: the community life isolated on itself for the defense of truth is always constant slander and gossip without tenderness in the sole knowledge of duty. By Armin Schwibach
Rome (kath.net / as) “Look to Christ who has sent us to preach the Gospel to proclaim His name with joy": this call by Pope Francis addressed a group gathered this Saturday on the fourth week of the Easter in the chapel of Vatican Guest House "Domus Sanctae Marthae". The Christians should have no fear of the "joy of the Spirit.” That withdrawal to self would be defeated. At the service, the staff of the Vatican post office and the charitable organization "Santa Marta” participated. "Santa Marta” has supported children of needy families, every nationality and religion in Rome for 90 years.
"It seemed as if this happiness can never be worn down," the Pope said on the text of the reading of the day (Acts 13:44-52) on trust in Christ, the community of the disciples in Antioch, when they had gathered to hear the word of the Lord. Thus, Francis wondered why the community of “withdrawn Jews", "a small group", "good people", such were jealous when they saw the multitudes of Christians, and so began to persecute them.
"Simply because the community had a closed heart, because it was not open to the novelty of the Holy Spirit," said Francis, "They believed that everything had already been said that everything was as they thought that there must be, and therefore they felt themselves to be the defenders of the faith and began to speak against the apostles, to slander them ... "
"The slander ..." exclaimed the pope: "And so they went to address the pious women who had power. They filled their heads with ideas, with things, and urged them to talk to their husbands, which they would proceed against the apostles. This is an attitude of this group and also of all other groups in history, the closed groups: to negotiate with the powerful, solve the problems, but between ourselves' ... Just as those who had done on the morning of the resurrection, when the soldiers had gone, to tell them, 'We have seen the' ... ' Shut up! Go ... '. And with the money they have covered everything.”
Precisely, for the Pope, the attitude of this "closed religiosity" which does not have the freedom to be open to the Lord: “Your community life is in constant defense of the truth - because they believe that defending the truth is always slander, chatter ... Really, they are a community of talkers who talk against it, destroy the others and look inward, always inward as closed off by a wall. The free community, however went ahead with the freedom of God and the Holy Spirit, suffering also under the persecution. And the word of the Lord spread through the whole region.”
Preceding the spreading of the witness is just the property of the congregation of the Lord, "because the good thing is this: it spreads more! The good does not retract into itself. This is a criterion, a criterion for being Church [sic], for our conscience: how are our communities, religious communities, parishes? Are they communities that are open to the Holy Spirit, Who always brings it forward to spread the word of God, or are they closed communities with very specific commandments that are unloaded on the shoulders of the faithful as the Lord had said of the Pharisees?”
The persecution begin "just for religious reasons and because of jealousy." Yet the disciples "were not only full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, they spoke of beauty, they provided a route.”
The closed and confident community, seeking their safety in negotiating with the powerful or the money, “speaks with spiteful words, they insult, they condemn. That's just their attitude. Maybe they forget when they were little the caresses of the mother. Such communities know nothing of tenderness, they know something of the duty how to do something, they know how to lock in an apparent observance of the commandments. As Jesus had told them, 'You are like a grave, like a tomb, white, beautiful, but nothing more.' We think today of the Church, which is so beautiful: this Church continues on. Think! many of the brothers and sisters who are suffering because of this freedom of spirit and are persecuted now in many parts of the world. But these brothers and sisters are fulfilled in the suffering and joy of the Holy Spirit.”
Finally Francis directed them to see Jesus, "He sends us to preach the Gospel with joy to proclaim His name, full of joy." The Pope underlined that you never could have "fear of the joy of the Spirit," a fear that leads to closing in upon itself.
Link to kath.net...
Edit: surely the Pope is talking about professional celebrities, the self-appointed Saducees and Pharisees who rule the Catholic media in many parts of the West today.