Church must respect all cultures: Pope

Pope Francis at his general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican yesterday (Vatican Media)

The Church has a universal nature and embraces all cultures because Christ died for all people, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.

“This is the meaning of calling ourselves Catholics, of speaking of the Catholic Church: it is not a sociological denomination to distinguish us from other Christians. Catholic is an adjective that means ‘universal’,” Pope Francis said in his general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The Church contains within herself, in her very nature, an openness to all peoples and cultures of all times, because Christ was born, died, and rose for everyone,” he said.

The word “Catholic” comes from the Greek word “katholikos”, which means “universal”. The term was first used by St Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote in the second century that “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis reflected on St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (5:13): “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.”

Pope Francis said: “In the call to freedom we discover the true meaning of the inculturation of the Gospel ... being able to announce the Good News of Christ the Saviour while respecting the good and the true that exist in cultures.”

“It is not easy. There are many temptations to seek to impose one’s own model of life as though it were the most evolved and the most appealing. How many errors have been made in the history of evangelisation by seeking to impose a single cultural model.”


Pope Francis: The Gospel opens every culture to greater freedom in Christ (By Courtney Mares, CNA

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