True doctrine unites, but when it becomes ideology it divides, Pope Francis says.


On May 19 at morning Mass, Pope told the congregation that doctrine unites the Church, but ideology divides believers.

Reflecting on the day’s days reading, which recounted the story of the Council of Jerusalem, and the debate on enforcing Mosaic law, the Pope said that the “liberty of the Spirit” led the disciples to an accord.

However, the Pope said that the dispute within the early Church was caused by “jealousies, power struggles, a certain deviousness that wanted to profit from and to buy power.” These temptations are always present in the Church, he said, and the Church must guard against them.

While it is “a duty of the Church to clarify doctrine,” the Pope said, some people cling to particular ideas, turning beliefs into ideologies. These, he said, are “fanatics of things that are not clear, like these fanatics who went there sneering to divide the Christian community.”

The disciples who had insisted on the enforcement of Mosaic law, the Pope said, “were not believers; they were ideologized.” He said that this temptation, too, is a frequent problem. “There have always been those people who, without any assignment, go on to disturb the Christian community with discourses that upset souls.”

The Spirit clarifies doctrine, the Pope said. But when “that doctrine becomes an ideology,” he warned, “this is the great error of these people.”

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