Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

POPE-AUDIENCE Oct-9-2013 (510 words) With photos. xxxi

Faith, harmony, universality make church 'catholic,' pope says


Rain falls as Pope Francis arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 9. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Professing that the church is "catholic" means accepting its teachings, accepting the gifts it offers to help one grow in holiness and accepting the fact that it is composed of different people with different gifts and opinions, Pope Francis said.

"Let's ask ourselves: Do we live in harmony in our communities? Or do we fight among ourselves?" the pope asked Oct. 9 as he focused his weekly general audience talk on the meaning of the creed's profession that the church is "catholic."

"Is there gossip" in the parish or movement, do people "accept each other, accept that there is a correct variety" or "do we tend to try to make everything uniform?" Pope Francis asked the estimated 60,000 visitors and pilgrims who braved the rain to join him. Many in the square had umbrellas, but Pope Francis spent almost 30 minutes in the rain, riding among the crowd in an open popemobile.

"We are not all the same and we shouldn't all be the same," he said. Each person has his or her own gifts, qualities and character, which "is one of the beauties of the church -- everyone brings what God has given him or her to enrich the others."

"When we try to impose uniformity, we kill the gifts of the Holy Spirit," the pope said. He asked people at the audience to pray that the Spirit would make all church members more "catholic."



While the word "catholic" literally means universal, it is not first of all a matter of geography, but of unity in faith, Pope Francis said. "The church is catholic because it is the space, the home in which the faith is proclaimed in its entirety, where the salvation Christ brought us is offered to all."

Each diocese, each parish can say it is "catholic" because its members are united in the faith, the sacraments, the ministry of its priests, the leadership of its bishop and its unity with the pope, he said.

Being Catholic means being part of a family, he said. No one should or can go it alone; "in a family, each one of us is given what we need to grow, mature and live. We cannot grow alone, we cannot walk alone, in isolation, but we must move forward and grow in a community."

Pope Francis asked those at the audience to consider how they accept the gifts that the church offers them to help them grow and mature, because "in the church, we find all we need to be saints."

However, he said, if people go to Mass like spectators at a ballgame or movie, or if they are too wrapped up in their own problems to accept help and offer their gifts to others, neither they nor the church will benefit.

One obligation, he said, is to share the Gospel message with others and support the church's missionary activity. "The church is catholic because it is universal, it is present in every part of the world and proclaims the Gospel to every man and every woman."

- - -

The text of the pope's audience remarks in English is available online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20131009_udienza-generale_en.html.

The text of the pope's audience remarks in Spanish is available online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20131009_udienza-generale_sp.html.

END


Copyright (c) 2013 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250