Satan is attacking bishops; they must fight with prayer, pope saysPrevious Article
French Mystic BeatifiedNext Article
Breaking News

Avoid a humanitarian crisis in Idlib

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Avoid a humanitarian crisis in Idlib

It the end of the Sunday Angelus on 2 September, in St. Peter”€™s Square, the Pope
made an appeal to the international community and to all those involved in the
conflict in Syria to avoid the onset of a “€œhumanitarian crisis”€.

Expressing his grief over the “€œwinds of war”€ that continue to blow throughout the country
as well as for the “€œdistressing news”€ delivered most recently, the Pope urged all involved “€œto utilize the instruments of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiation, in respect of international
humanitarian laws and in order to safeguard the lives of civilians”€.

Previously, commenting on Mark”€™s Gospel passage (7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23) which recounts the dispute between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees on the observance of traditional ritual precepts, the Pope addressed the theme of the “€œauthenticity of our obedience to the Word of God, against any worldly contamination or legalistic formalism”€.

For Pope Francis, even today believers risk repeating the same errors made by the
Doctors of the Law, falling into a hypocrisy that aims to distort “€œGod”€™s will, disregarding his commandments in order to observe human traditions”€. The Lord, said the Pope, invites us to “€œavoid the danger of giving more importance to form than to substance”€. He calls us to recognize once again the true core of
the experience of faith, that is, love of God and love of neighbour, purifying it from the hypocrisy of legalism and ritualism.

In his reflection, the Pope also cited a passage from the Letter of St James in which the Apostle affirms that true religion is to “€œvisit orphans and widows in their affliction, and
to keep oneself unstained from the world.”€, that is, “€œto practice charity towards neighbours, beginning with the neediest, the frailest, most marginalized people”€. The Holy Father clarified that “€œto keep oneself
unstained from the world does not mean to isolate oneself and close oneself off from reality”€ Rather, “€œthere must be not an exterior attitude but interior, substantive: it means being vigilant so that our way of thinking and acting may not be polluted by the worldly mentality or that of vanity, of greed, of
arrogance”€. In reality, “€œa man or a woman who lives in vanity, in greed, or in arrogance and at the same time believes and shows him or herself as being religious and even goes as far as condemning others, is a hypocrite”€.

Beginning with this awareness, Pope Francis invited the faithful to “€œmake an examination of conscience to see how we embrace the Word of God”€, which is to be heard and internalized with “€œopen minds and hearts, as good soil, in a way that it may be assimilated and may bear fruit in real life”€. He recalled that “€œJesus says that the Word of God is like a wheat: it is a seed that must grow in concrete deeds”€. And in this way, the Word itself purifies our
heart, our actions and our relationship with God and with others and is freed from hypocrisy.


Vatican Live Video Feed

Pope Francis on Twitter