On his last trip, during a question and answer meeting with the Jesuits in Slovenia, the Pope addressed the “fear of freedom” as a current temptation for the Church.
Rome (22/09/2021 21:15, Gaudium Press) – In a conversation without a fixed agenda with some Slovakian Jesuits on his last trip, Pope Francis answered several questions and made several considerations, recently published by La Civiltà Cattolica.
A Jesuit who lived during the communist regime said he realises that many want to go back or seek certainties in the past and asked the Pontiff what vision of the Church to follow.
The Church and the ideology of retrogression
The Pope then stated that today the Church suffers the temptation to go back: “We suffer this in the Church: the ideology of retrogression. It is an ideology that colonises minds”.
Pope Francis explained that this is not a universal problem, but is a deficiency in the Church in some countries. And he recalled a thought he had expressed at the ecumenical meeting earlier about the fear that freedom causes us.
The Fear of Freedom
“In a world so conditioned by dependency and virtuality, we become afraid of being free” and this explains our desire to return to the past in search of certainty.
The Pope went on to list a number of attitudes that can cause fear: celebrating before people who can tell the truth to their face, persevering in pastoral experiences, accompanying the sexual diversity of people.
“We are afraid of the intersections of paths of which Paul VI spoke. This is the evil of the moment. To seek the way in rigidity and clericalism, which are two perversions”
We must advance with discernment and obedience
The Pontiff concluded that our time is ripe to “carry forward the freedom of the Gospel” and advised the Jesuits present to take this lesson back to their respective communities and provinces.
However, the Pope concluded that his words were not an encouragement to imprudence: “(what I say) is not a praise of imprudence, but I note that to turn back is not the right way. But rather, to move forward with discernment and obedience” (FM)
With information from La Civiltà Cattolica.