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Pope Francis: We cannot use Church doctrine 'as we please'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 31st, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The term "cherry picking" has been used to describe taking parts of a doctrine that best serves our own interests, and leaving other parts out. Pope Francis has since warned against such a practice, recently speaking about fidelity to Church teaching. The pontiff says this is a fundamental part of belonging to the Church, and that we cannot use Church doctrine "as we please."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis defined the three "pillars" of belonging as "humility," "fidelity" and "special service" speaking during his homily at his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

Fidelity, Pope Francis stressed, was the "second pillar," adding that "fidelity to the Church, fidelity to its teaching; fidelity to the Creed; fidelity to the doctrine, safeguarding this doctrine. Humility and fidelity. Even Paul VI reminded us that we receive the message of the Gospel as a gift and we need to transmit it as a gift, but not as a something of ours: it is a gift that we received.

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"And be faithful in this transmission. Because we have received and we have to gift a Gospel that is not ours, that is Jesus, and we must not - he would say - become masters of the Gospel, masters of the doctrine we have received, to use it as we please," Pope Francis added

Quoting Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis said that it was an "absurd dichotomy" to love Christ without loving the Church.

 "The Christian is not a baptized who receives baptism and then goes on his way. The first fruit of baptism is to make you belong to the Church, the People of God. You cannot understand a Christian without the Church.

"This is why the great Paul VI said that it is an absurd dichotomy to love Christ without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to be with Christ at the margins of the Church. It's not possible. It is an absurd dichotomy. We receive the Gospel message in the Church and we carry out our holiness in the Church, our path in the Church. The other is a fantasy, or, as he said, an absurd dichotomy."

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