Catholics must counter evil by actively living out charity in the performance of good deeds, Pope Francis told people gathered in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday. Source: Crux.
“If we do not oppose evil, we feed it tacitly. It is necessary to intervene where evil spreads; because evil spreads where there are no daring Christians who oppose with good, ‘walking in love,’ according to the warning of St Paul,” the Pope said.
Speaking to around 90,000 people before the recitation of the Angelus, Francis warned that people are guilty of the sin of omission when they could do something good but choose not to.
“It is not enough not to hate, it is necessary to forgive,” he said. “It is not enough not to have a grudge, we must pray for [our] enemies … it is not enough not to speak badly about others, we must stop when we hear someone talking badly.”
The Pope addressed, in particular, Italian young people, who had made a pilgrimage to Rome as a way to pray for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on youth, urging them to be “protagonists of the good!”
He noted that because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in every baptised person, Christians must strive to live their lives “in a coherent manner,” renouncing evil, temptation, and sin, saying “no” to a culture of death, and by adhering to the good and doing good.
St Paul urges in his letter to the Ephesians, remove “all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling … along with all malice” and replace it with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, “as God has forgiven you in Christ,” Francis said.
He explained that many times he has heard people say that they do not hurt anyone with their actions - “All right but are you good?” the pope asked. Not to do harm, but meanwhile neglect to live out the virtues, leads to apathy and indifference, he said.
Such an attitude is contrary to the Gospel and contrary to the character of young people, “who by nature are dynamic, passionate and courageous.”
“Remember this,” he said, quoting St Albert Hurtado: “It is good not to do evil, but it is bad not to do good.”
Pope Francis at Angelus: ‘It’s evil not to do good!’ (Vatican News)