The Church must be welcoming: Pope

Pope Francis waves to the crowd at St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis said yesterday the Church must be open and welcoming toward others, warning that division and exclusion come from Satan. Source: CNA.

“We need to be vigilant about closure in the Church, too,” he said before leading the Angelus prayer at the Vatican.

“Because the devil, who is the divider – this is what the word ‘devil’ means – always insinuates suspicions to divide and exclude,” he added.

Speaking from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square, Francis said sometimes Catholics, instead of having humble and open communities, “can give the impression of being the ‘top of the class’ and keeping others at a distance.”

“Let us ask for the grace to overcome the temptation to judge and categorise,” he said, “and may God preserve us from the ‘nest’ mentality, that of jealously guarding ourselves in the small group of those who consider themselves good.”

Pope Francis warned that sometimes there are groups of people, such as a priest and his parishioners, some pastoral workers, or movements and associations with particular charisms which close themselves off to outsiders.

“All this runs the risk of turning Christian communities into places of separation and not of communion,” he stated. “The Holy Spirit does not want closedness; He wants openness, and welcoming communities where there is a place for everyone.”

The Pope also spoke about yesterday’s celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

He said “it is necessary to walk together, without prejudice and without fear, placing ourselves next to those who are most vulnerable: migrants, refugees, displaced persons, victims of trafficking and the abandoned. We are called to build an increasingly inclusive world that excludes no one.”

FULL STORY

Pope Francis: The Catholic Church must be welcoming (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA

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