Pope warns of sick, closed-in Church

Pope Francis says a closed-in Church system is a sick Church subject to evil and disease.

It is better for the Church to be “outgoing” like God, and offer salvation to all, he says.

Comparing God to the owner of a vineyard who goes out again and again looking for workers, he told the congregation listening to his Angelus message last week:

“God acts like this today too: he continues to call anyone, at any time, to invite them to work in his kingdom. This is the style of God, which we in turn are called to accept and imitate.”

“He is not locked up in his world, but ‘goes out’: God is always going out, looking for us. He is not locked up. God goes out.”

“He continually goes out in search of people, because he wants no one to be excluded from his plan of love.”

Catholic Church communities are also called to leave their boundaries to offer everyone the word of salvation that Jesus came to bring, the pope said.

“It is a question of opening up to horizons of life that offer hope to those who are stationed in the existential peripheries and have not yet experienced, or have lost, the strength and light of the encounter with Christ.”

“The Church must be like God: always outgoing; and when the Church is not going out, she falls ill with so many evils that we have in the Church. And why are these diseases in the Church? Because it is not out.”

Even though there is always the possibility of accidents, it’s better for the Church to go out, to proclaim the Gospel, than to be a closed-in Church, that is sick.

“God always goes out, because he is the Father, because he loves. The Church must do the same: always outgoing,” the pope says.


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