Pope Francis analyses the argument between St Peter and St Paul

At the General Audience, Francis continued his meditations on the Letter to the Galatians.

Newsroom (25/08/2021 20:30, Gaudium Press) At today’s General Audience at the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis continued his meditation on the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.

Today that Letter dealt with St Paul’s recrimination of the Prince of the Apostles who wanted to maintain certain Jewish customs that were not essential for the Christian life and carried, with excessive weight, especially the converts from paganism.

“Unwittingly, Peter, by this way of acting, was in fact creating an unjust division in the community,” Francis explained.

“Peter ate without problems with non-Jews who came from paganism, something that was forbidden by the Law, but when some circumcised Christians from Jerusalem arrived in the city, that is, who respected the Mosaic Law, Peter no longer ate with the Gentiles so as not to incur their criticism,” he stated.

The Pope’s example is much imitated

These attitudes of the first Pope, as was normal, had repercussions on the other apostles “also because Peter was imitated by the other disciples, the first of all Barnabas, who together with Paul evangelised precisely the Galatians”.

“People prefer to pretend rather than to be themselves. Pretending prevents one from having the courage to tell the truth openly and thus easily avoids the obligation to say it always, wherever one is and in spite of everything. In an environment where interpersonal relationships are lived under the banner of formalism, the virus of hypocrisy spreads easily,” said Francis.

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To combat hypocrisy, the Pope invites us to remember the words of Christ: “Let this be your manner of speech: yes, yes; no, no; whatever is beyond this is of the spirit of evil” (Mt 5:37).

In his greeting to the Spanish-speaking faithful, Francis invited them to ask Jesus Christ’s help to be coherent, to courageously combat everything that moves away from the truth and the professed faith, to be authentic builders of unity and fraternity.

With information from Vatican News.

 

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