The Pope today repeated his call for a Church “without borders” on guard “against all forms of intolerance and ideological perversion”, particularly in Europe.
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Francis devoted his catechesis in his first General Audience after holidays in the Vatican in July to an explanation of an episode in the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles in which Peter and John cure a beggar lame from birth at a gate to the Temple of Jerusalem.
“Here we see the portrait of a Church that looks at the person in difficulty so as to create relationships, bridges of friendship and solidarity”, the Pope explained to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican.
“This is the face of a Church without borders that knows itself mother of all, and that lives the art of accompaniment that is characterised by the care one takes treading on the sacred ground of another”, added Francis.
The Pope also recalled that the Temple of Jerusalem was used in ancient times not just for religious purposes for economic and financial ones as well.
“How many times I think about this when I visit a parish that believes money is more important than the sacraments”, lamented Francis.
“Please, a poor Church. Let us ask that of the Lord”, invited the Pope.
At a moment in which the reception of migrants and refugees is being fiercely debated in Italy, the Pope insisted the Church should be “a house with the doors open”.
“Never forget, hands always outstretched”, Francis told pilgrims.
In his greeting to the Arabic-speaking faithful, the Pope also expressed his closeness to the refugee children welcomed to Italy by the Auxilium cooperative.
Addressing Italian-speaking pilgrims, Francis also recalled the feast of co-patron saint of Europe, St. Edith Stein, this coming Friday 9th August.
“I invite everyone to look at her courageous choices, expressed in an authentic conversion to Christ, as well as in the gift of her life against all forms of intolerance and ideological perversion”, the Pope said.