Pope Francis criticized attempts on both the left and the right to politicize the church in his weekly address at the Vatican Wednesday, according to remarks released by the Vatican.
Francis has been known for taking a more liberal approach to the papacy on issues of same-sex marriage, divorce and capitalism compared to his predecessor Benedict. The Pope said during his General Audience on Ash Wednesday that the church should not be run by any ideology and instead should focus on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, according to the Vatican. (RELATED: Pope Francis Says Homosexuality Is ‘A Sin’ But Should Not Be Criminalized)
“And when decisions are found in the Church – for example, ideological divisions: ‘I am conservative because…’ ‘I am progressive because…’ But where is the Holy Spirit? Be careful that the Gospel is not an idea, the Gospel is not an ideology: the Gospel is a proclamation that touches your heart and makes you change your heart, but if you take refuge in an idea, in an ideology, whether right or left or centre, you are making the Gospel a political party, an ideology, a club of people,” Francis said.The Pope also lamented the “sterile and exhausting debates” that have polarized the church and worried that the church had become “nothing more than a parliament.”
“It is very sad to see the Church as if it were nothing more than a parliament,” Francis said. “The Church is something else. The Church is the community of men and women who believe and proclaim Jesus Christ, but moved by the Holy Spirit, not by their own reason.”
During his time as pope, Francis has been criticized for taking more of a liberal stance on controversial issues by many Catholics who are concerned that the church is moving away from many traditional teachings, according to The Washington Post. Francis has been outspoken about climate change on multiple occasions, saying in 2022 that climate change had become a “state of emergency,” according to Vatican News.
The Pope defied more conservative views on homosexuality in 2020, saying in a documentary that he would be supportive of a “civil union law” for same-sex couples. However, in January, he clarified that he believed homosexuality was a “sin” but not a “crime.”
The Vatican did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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