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Pope Francis laments the ‘wars between Christians’

By on Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Pope Francis arrives for the general audience (AP)

Pope Francis arrives for the general audience (AP)

Pope Francis called for peace between Christians today as he addressed the crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.

Taking his reading from the First Epistle of St Paul’s to Timothy, he asked “What does it mean to be ‘People of God’… Jesus does not tell the Apostles and us to form an exclusive group, an elite group. Jesus says: Go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:19). St Paul says that within the people of God, in the Church, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).”

Stating that the law of the People of God was one of “love, love for God and love for our neighbor according to the new commandment that the Lord left us”, he lamented: “We have still so far to go to be able to live concretely according to this new law, the law of the Holy Spirit working within us, the law of charity, of love! When we see in the many wars between Christians in the newspapers or on TV, how can the people of God understand this? Within the people of God there are so many wars! And in neighborhoods, in workplaces, so many wars due to envy, jealousy.

“Even within the same family, there are so many internal wars. We must ask the Lord to help us understand this law of love. How good, how nice it is to love each other as true brothers. How nice that is! “

He then called on the crowd to say in a loud voice, that though the Devil makes anger, “God is stronger!”

After the General Audience Pope Francis met the founders of Catholic Voices, Jack Valero and Austen Ivereigh.

  • 1Maccabeus

    An odd emphasis by the Pope at a time when Christians are being massacred left, right and centre by islamics and hindus.

  • Benedict Carter

    Very odd. As to wars between Christians, where is this happening? Have I missed something?

  • XYZ

    With internal wars I think the pope is talking about the disagreements and divisions that exists between the different christian groups. The evangelicals don’t accept catholics and some cannot accept each other because they themselves hold differences in opinion and varying interpretations of scripture etc . One example are the chinese christian church groups where subjectivity is strong causing dissent. People would fall out with their group and set up their own church group bringing their supporters with them. Many of these groups end up not being in harmony with one another. This is one reason why you get so many different christian groups/communities spring up, and from an outsider their church is seen to be growing very quickly. They also go about trying to proselytise catholics for they believe that their church is the true church. Christian divisions may have created some news for the media in argentina which we don’t see over here. In current times where the world is getting dark, despite our differences all Christians should put down their differences and work together to fight against modern currents and changing values. It is good to see that Archbishop Justin Welby has said that the anglican church will work closely with the catholic church to tackle some of these issues. I think it is this brotherly love that Pope Francis says we should have.

  • Benedict Carter

    Internal wars refers to the civil war going on inside the Catholic Church between the quasi-protestants and the Traditionalists.

  • 1Maccabeus

    I found myself asking exactly the same question. I hope I’m wrong but I’m beginning to get that terrible sinking feeling about this Pope. First atheists can be saved, without any reference to repentance and conversion; now Christians waging war against each other. Perplexing indeed!!

  • scary goat

    Well, that could be the case, but I’m more inclined to think it is what XZY said. Pope Francis seems to be interested in “Christian Unity”……quite how that can be achieved I haven’t got the faintest idea.

  • Julian Lord

    The Pope’s rhetorics, as well as his sense of humour, can, I’m sure, often be quite puzzling for those with little Italian or Spanish.

    They’re certainly quite the surprise after 34 years’ worth of the Northern European formalism of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI !!!

  • Julian Lord

    I’m with Ben on this one.

  • Clarity

    Naah, the Christian Unity thing is easy, everyone just has to quit messing about and build their house on the Rock….

  • Benedict Carter

    You are a kindly soul, Jabba. But I think the Pope thinks and opens his mouth at the very same moment.

  • Erin Pascal

    I can really relate to what Pope Francis is saying. There’s too much misunderstandings, quarrels, wars, hate, and the like out there and in so many places. I hope people would understand that in the end, there’s nothing good that we can get from it. It is the work of the devil and God is stronger. God is stronger indeed!

  • Christopher

    Unless His Holiness is refering to when the Protestants decided to Revolt and cause bloody havoc upon the Church. Otherwise your guess is as good as mine.

  • 1Maccabeus

    I don’t really think the Pope’s Italian/Spanish speaking background has got a lot to do with it. I lived and worked in Italy for many years, married an Italian, speak the language fluently and very much enjoy the Italian/Latin sense of ‘ironia mescolata con un pizzico di furbizia’ but I really don’t think that is what we are dealing with here – would to God we were!! Perhaps it’s just bad translation work. Boh!!

  • scary goat

    I know that. The problem is do they know that?