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Faith and violence are incompatible

· At the Angelus Pope Francis says that the real strength of a Christian is gentleness ·

And he asks the faithful to continue to pray for peace in Egypt

The peace of Christ is neither “neutrality” nor “compromise at all costs”. Following Jesus “entails giving up evil and selfishness and choosing good, truth and justice, even when this demands sacrifice and the renunciation of one’s own interests”. These were the words of Pope Francis at the Angelus on Sunday, 18 August, in St Peter's Square with the faithful gathered.

When Jesus said that he came “to bring division”, the Pontiff explained, “it is not that Jesus wishes to split people up. On the contrary”, he sets a standard for us “to live for ourselves or to live for God and for others; to have oneself served or to serve; to obey one’s own ego or to obey God”. As a result, he said, the use of force cannot be authorized for the purpose of defending the faith. “Faith and violence are incompatible”, said the Pope, “the Christian’s real strength is the force of the truth and of love, which involves renouncing all violence”.

After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis invited everyone to pray for the victims of the ferry accident in the Philippines, as well as for peace in Egypt, and reminded all to remember that to follow Jesus “means being involved” because faith is not a decoration, it means “choosing God as the criterion and basis of life”.

The Pope explained in his meditation that “living faith does not mean decorating life with a little religion, as if it were a cake and we were decorating it with cream. No, this is not faith”. After Jesus' coming “it is impossible to act as if we did not know God”. Indeed, “God has a real face, he has a name: God is mercy, God is faithfulness, he is life which is given to us all”.

The Pope tweeted on the same theme Monday morning, 19 August, writing: “We cannot be Christians part-time. If Christ is at the center of our lives, he is present in all that we do”. Just today on the Pope's Italian account reached over one million followers. There are over 8,600.000 people who follow the Pope through the digital platform by connecting to the nine different language accounts of @Pontifex.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 15, 2018

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