Pope says ideological interpretations ‘falsify the Gospel’

Pope says ideological interpretations ‘falsify the Gospel’

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — All ideological interpretations of Christianity falsify the Gospel by looking at it purely through the intellect, without regard to love or beauty, Pope Francis said April 19.

The pope spoke at morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he has been living since his election in March, and where he has regularly celebrated morning Mass for different groups of Vatican employees.

Speaking to a congregation of employees of the Vatican printing press and newspaper, Pope Francis commented on the day’s reading from the Gospel of John (6:52-59), in which learned Jews listening to Jesus argue among themselves, asking: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

“They are the great ideologues,” the pope said, according to a report by Vatican Radio. “These ideologues cut off the road of love, and also that of beauty.”

“All a matter of intellect!” he said. “When ideology enters into the church, when ideology enters into our understanding of the Gospel, we understand nothing.”

“Ideologues falsify the Gospel,” the pope said. “Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from — from one side or the other — is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues –we have seen them in the history of the Church — end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness. And let’s not even speak of beauty, because they understand nothing of that.”

“The path of love, the way of the Gospel, is simple,” he said. “It is the road that the Saints understood: … the road of conversion, the way of humility, of love, of the heart, the way of beauty.”

Pope Francis concluded by praying that God might free the church “from any ideological interpretation, and open the heart of the church, our mother church, to the simple Gospel, to that pure Gospel that speaks to us of love, which brings love, and is so beautiful. It also makes us beautiful, with the beauty of holiness.”