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Autumn, 2014
Volume 40, Number 3
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In this 1996 image, children attend a festival in New York celebrating Greek heritage. (photo: Karen Lagerquist)
  
16 October 2013
Greg Kandra




Pope Francis wears a firefighter’s helmet as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 16 October. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis today spoke of how the church is “apostolic”:

The church can describe itself as “apostolic” only if it shares the Gospel with the world, remaining faithful to the teaching of the apostles and living out Gospel values, Pope Francis said.

“A church closed in on itself and its past, a church concerned only with its little rules, customs and attitudes is a church that betrays its identity,” the pope told more than 70,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on 16 October for his weekly general audience.

Continuing a series of audience talks about how the creed describes the church, Pope Francis said the adjective “apostolic” comes from the church’s connection to the 12 men Jesus chose as his closest companions and sent to share with the entire world what he had told and shown them.

The church, he said, has “the firm conviction of being sent,” and of having an obligation to “safeguard and transmit” the teaching of the apostles.

Pope Francis said he wanted to emphasize the connection between the church’s apostolic identity and its obligation to be missionary, “because Christ calls everyone to go out, to encounter others; he sends us, asks us to move in order to bring the joy of the Gospel.”

“Once again,” he said, “let’s ask ourselves: Are we missionaries with our words, but especially with our Christian lifestyles; are we witnesses? Or are we closed, both in our hearts and inside our churches? Are we ‘sacristy Christians,’ Christians in word only who live like pagans?”

The pope said he wasn’t trying to scold anyone. “I also ask myself: ‘How am I a Christian? With my witness?’ ”

Read the rest at CNS.



Tags: Pope Francis Catholic Evangelization