Immutable and eternal in his divine nature, Jesus Christ himself affirmed that his mission here on earth had as its objective not the abolition of the law and the prophets, but rather, their fulfillment (cf. Mt 5:15-20). However, it is undeniable that this fulfillment was the greatest innovation ever experienced in history. The Redeemer’s preaching signified a complete renewal of human life in every aspect; not only with regards to man’s relationship with God, but also to his interaction with others. It is enough to consider for example, the revelation of the Trinity – three Persons in One God, the invitation to participate in divine life through grace, or the ‘paradigm shift’ that the new commandment of love produced within the sphere of social relations. All the perennial aspects of human life were also put in a new perspective by Jesus Christ. In this way, he offered a much desired peace; not the peace the world gives, but rather ‘his’ peace (cf. Jn 14:27); He promised happiness, but as the reward of the just and those who suffered for his name (cf. Mt 5:3-12).
The same occurs with the union that should prevail among his followers – a union that constitutes one of the distinguishing characteristics of his Church; ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph 4:5) – not the work of the human spirit but rather that of ‘the Spirit of truth’ (Jn 14:17). The widely proclaimed (and frequently misunderstood) expression ‘ut unum sint’ does not include the ‘son of perdition’ nor those who ‘are of the world’, but rather is related to a sanctification ‘in truth’ (cf. Jn 17:12,16,19). That’s why it’s shocking to hear certain affirmations that seem to foment an indiscriminate union, the price of which would unavoidably be an accord between good and evil, truth and error, beauty and ugliness. Is this the unity desired by Christ and produced by the Holy Spirit? Once again, a clarification of certain concepts is in order…
Chapter 15 of Acts, Francis said, tells how “the process ends”, in today’s liturgy, “with the First Ecumenical Council, the Council of Jerusalem”. They send “a letter to those who do not know how to preach to the closed ones: ‘The Apostles and the elders, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia of Gentile origin, greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind”. In effect, “they sowed discord”, the Pope added, proceeding to read the text: “‘we have decided to choose representatives and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul’ — who were considered heretics — ‘who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth’”. In reading these words the Pontiff inserted that ultimately they came to an agreement and this even though Barnabas and Paul “were deemed heretics”.
Francis then read, also from the Acts, “this formula, which is one formula, one solemn expression: ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage’”.
This, Francis said, “is the way of the Holy Spirit, this is the work of the Holy Spirit”. For it is he “who moves the waters, who stirs a little disorder, who seems to throw us into a storm, to torment — think of Pentecost — andthen he brings harmony, unity: he has these two characteristics”. And “a Church where are never such problems,” he added, “makes me think that the Holy Spirit is not very present”. Certainly, “in a Church where there is always discord and where there are factions that betray their brothers, one against another, there is also no Holy Spirit”. Indeed, “The Spirit is what brings newness, moves situations forward, creates new spaces, brings the wisdom that Jesus promised: ‘He will teach you’”. The Spirit, therefore, “moves but in the end creates harmony among all people”. And in continuing the celebration, the Pope asked “the Lord Jesus, who is always present among us, to send always the Holy Spirit among us, to each one of us; to send Him to the Church and enable the Church to be faithful to the movement of the Holy Spirit” (Homily, Santa Marta, May 8, 2015 – Full text in Spanish)
[Francis]: Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and continue being Christian. The Church is not a soccer team looking for fans.(Interview with Avvenire, November 18, 2016 – English summary)
Teachings of the Magisterium
Enter the various parts of our study
I – Desire for union justifies concession to error?
II – True unity is achieved only in the truth
III – Do novelties always proceed from the Holy Spirit?
IV –Integrity of faith and morals does not allow for compromise
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