“A Church where its people are always arguing and there are lobbies and people are betraying their brothers and sisters, is a Church where there is no Holy Spirit!”
Pope Francis made this strong statement today during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, particularly how the Christian community clashed between those who called themselves Christians but remained attached to Jewish laws, wanting to impose them onto the early Christians, and Paul of Tarsus who opposed this.
Specifically, the Pope spoke about the First Council of Jerusalem’s outcome in which the early Christian community succeeded, through the Holy Spirit, to dialogue, resolve differences of opinion and reach an agreement.
“They discuss this issue but like brothers and sisters and not like enemies. They don’t form external lobbies in order to win, they don’t go to the civil authorities in order to win and they don’t kill in order to triumph. They seek the path of prayer and dialogue.”
Discussions within the Church are to seek unity, the Pope said, noting they should not be places where people are always clashing, betraying each other and forming lobbies to win their argument.
The Holy Spirit, he said, has the power to create unity among all the members of the Church, for the Spirit brings change and moves things forward in the Church.
While acknowledging that sometimes this movement may at first appear to be confusion, Francis said that if the change or movement is welcomed with prayer and a spirit of dialogue, it always generates unity between Christians.
“A Church where there are never problems of this type makes me think that the Holy Spirit is not very present within it.”
“It’s the Spirit which creates change, which creates the momentum for going ahead, that creates new spaces, that creates that wisdom which Jesus promised: ‘It will teach you!’”
At the end, Francis said, the Holy Spirit “creates the harmonious unity between everyone.”
The Holy Father went on to invite those gathered to ask Jesus, “who will be present among us, to always send the Holy Spirit to us, to each one of us.”
“May He send it to the Church and may the Church always know how to be faithful to the movement that the Holy Spirit creates,” Pope Francis prayed.