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Pharisees show 'tragedy of the closed mind,' Pope says

Catholic World News - April 10, 2014

Pope Francis cautioned against a “dictatorship of a narrow line of thought” in his homily at a Mass on April 10.

Reflecting on the disputes between Jesus and the Pharisees, the Pope said that the Pharisees took pride in fulfilling God’s law, but had a tendency to “detach the commandments from the heart of God.” The result, he said, was a “cold law,” which led to “the tragedy of the closed heart, the tragedy of the closed mind.”

The problem, the Pope, was not merely a stubbornness of outlook. “No, it is more,” he said. “It is the idolatry of their own way of thinking.” During the 20th century, the Pope reminded his congregation, the “dictatorships of narrow thought” had cost many thousands of lies, because rulers insisted on rigid pursuit of their own ideological visions. Even today that attitude persists, the Pope said.

In the face of this narrow outlook, the Pope observed, Jesus always gives the same advice: “be vigilant and pray.”

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  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 10, 2014 10:43 PM ET USA

    OK, we are all against phariseeism. But with all due respect, His Holiness has a habit of condemning certain attitudes without explaining the concrete manifestations he is supposedly opposing. Everyone can use his warning to point to others. What does he thinks is "overly narrow-minded"? Trying to make the world safe for same-sex marriage or trying to promote traditional Catholic teaching? It is the lack of specificity that leaves this pope open to misrepresentation, if that's what it is.

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