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The Church is 'catholic,' universal but not uniform, Pope tells audience

October 09, 2013

Continuing his series of weekly talks on the nature of the Church, Pope Francis dedicated his public audience of October 9 to a discussion of what it means to say that the Church is “catholic.”

The Church is catholic, first, because “she is the space, the house in which the faith in its entirety is announced, in which the salvation brought by Christ is offered to all,” the Pope said. In the Church, “every one of us finds what is necessary to believe, to live as Christians, to became holy, to walk this path in every place and in every age.”

Next, the Church is catholic because she is universal, he continued. The Church is not closed, she is sent to all humanity.”

Finally, the Pope said, the Church is catholic because she is “the house of harmony where unity and diversity know how to come together to create richness.” He compared the Church to a symphony orchestra, in which different instruments blend together. “We are not all the same, and we should not all be the same,” he said, adding that “when we seek to make it uniform, we erode the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”


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