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Pope Francis Reflects on Fraternal Correction and Condemns Gossip

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Pope Francis, in his weekly address from the Apostolic Palace on September 10th, delved into the theme of "fraternal correction" and emphasized the importance of approaching it with "real courage." Drawing from the Gospel reading of the day (Mt 18:15-20), where Jesus instructs his followers on how to address conflicts, the Pope underlined the significance of correcting others with love and humility.

Photo credit: brainforceone

Photo credit: brainforceone

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/11/2023 (9 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, Ukraine, gossip, correction, fraternal

Fraternal correction, as the Pope explained, is an act of love that can be immensely challenging. It involves addressing a fault or wrongdoing committed by a fellow believer without harboring resentment or ill will. Pope Francis emphasized, "When a brother in the faith commits a fault against you, you, without rancor, help him, correct him: Help by correcting."

In contrast to fraternal correction, Pope Francis condemned gossip, referring to it as "chattering" and stating unequivocally that it is "not right" and "not pleasing to God." He described gossip as a destructive force that breeds division, suffering, scandal, and offers no constructive solution or growth.

Fraternal correction, on the other hand, provides an opportunity to help the person in error understand their mistake. It requires approaching them with meekness and kindness, without pointing fingers or shaming them. Pope Francis cautioned against the unproductive practice of blaming and shaming, as it often hinders the individual from acknowledging their wrongdoing.

However, the Pope acknowledged that sometimes fraternal correction might not be enough, and in such cases, he urged seeking assistance. But, crucially, this assistance should come from those genuinely willing to help, not from groups engaged in gossip. Quoting Jesus, Pope Francis said, "Take one or two others along with you," emphasizing the importance of involving supportive individuals who can aid the person in need.

In the event that the person still does not comprehend the issue, Pope Francis encouraged the involvement of the community. This, he clarified, should not involve public shaming but should instead unite everyone's efforts to assist the individual in changing their ways.

Pope Francis Expresses Solidarity and Calls for Prayer

Following his reflection on fraternal correction, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Morocco after a devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake on September 8th, which claimed thousands of lives and left numerous others injured.

The Pope also briefly mentioned the beatification of the Ulma family in Markowa, Poland. This devout Catholic family, JĂłzef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children, were brutally executed by the Nazis in 1944 for sheltering eight Jews in their home during World War II. Pope Francis highlighted their courage and evangelical love, emphasizing that they serve as an inspirational model for acts of charity and service to those in need.

Pope called for acts of charity to counter violence and urged intensified prayer, particularly for countries afflicted by war, with a special focus on Ukraine. 

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