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Pope urges all Christians to oppose indifference and sacrilegious violence

Vespers at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Photo credit: Vatican News)

Pope Francis urged all Christians to oppose the indifference and sacrilegious violence. He was speaking at the concluding vespers of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on January 25.

The Pope said that God suffers “when we, who call ourselves his faithful ones, put our own ways of seeing things before His, when we follow the judgments of the world rather than those of heaven, when we are content with exterior rituals yet remain indifferent to those for whom He cares the most.”

Pope Francis insisted that our indifference to violence is ‘sacrilegious’  and grieves God, being a serious motive that offends God.

“We can imagine with what suffering he must witness wars and acts of violence perpetrated by those who call themselves Christians,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope asserted, “With our developed spirituality and theology, we have no excuses” to oppose war and injustice.

He noticed that some tend to feel encouraged or at least permitted by their faith to endorse narrow and violent nationalism, xenophobia and contempt, and even mistreatment of the different. 

Faith must foster “a critical sense in the face of these tendencies, and prompt an immediate response whenever they raise their head,” the Pope added.

The Pope assured all that it is possible to remedy our mistakes with God’s grace after diagnosis.

“Due to our failure to understand God and the violence that lurks within us, we are incapable of setting ourselves free,” he added, “without God, without his grace, we are not healed of our sin.”

He reiterated that God’s grace is the source of our change, and we do not succeed by ourselves, but together, it is possible.

The Pope stated the communitarian and ecclesial nature of conversion and invited Christians of all denominations to be together, open, and change perspectives.

“All the faithful throughout the world are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit, so that - as Saint John Chrysostom wrote – ‘those who dwell in Rome knows those in India to be part of the same body,” he said.

The Pope thanked the participants of different Christian communities in the celebration of the week of Christian Unity.

He expressed his gratitude to the many Christians who express their interest in the Catholic Church's synodal journey, which he hopes “will become more ecumenical.”

Pope Francis encouraged all Christians to work together to achieve the full unity that Christ desires, through prayer, service, dialogue.

“All together, may we journey along on the path that the Lord has placed before us, the path of unity,” the Pope said. - With inputs from Vatican News


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