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Pope Francis at his weekly general audience on Ash Wednesday (CNA/Daniel Ibanez)

The traditions of the Church should not be based on opinion or ideological leanings, but on whether they favour the proclamation of the Gospel, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.

“Everything in the Church must be conformed to the requirements of the proclamation of the Gospel; not to the opinions of the conservatives or the progressives, but to the fact that Jesus reaches people’s lives,” he said.

Francis asked: When there are ideological divisions in the Church, such as an identification as conservative or progressive, “where is the Holy Spirit?”

“Be careful,” he warned. “The Gospel is not an idea; the Gospel is not an ideology. The Gospel is a proclamation that touches the heart and makes the heart change. You are making the Gospel a political party, an ideology, a club …”

The Pope’s weekly general audience took place in a full Paul VI Hall on Ash Wednesday, the first day of the penitential Lenten season.

Speaking to pilgrims from around the world, he said, “Every choice, every use, every structure, and tradition [of the Church] is be evaluated on the basis of whether they favour the proclamation of Christ.”

“In this way the Spirit sheds light on the path of the Church, always. In fact, he is not only the light of hearts; he is the light that orients the Church: he brings clarity, helps to distinguish, helps to discern,” he said. “This is why it is necessary to invoke him often; let us also do so today, at the beginning of Lent.”


Pope Francis: The Gospel is not ‘a political party, an ideology, a club’ (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)