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Pope Francis: Church conflicts are solved by confronting, discussing, praying

Catholic World News - May 19, 2014

In his May 18 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis reflected on the first reading from Sunday Mass (Acts 6:1-7) and discussed how the Holy Spirit helped resolve the Church’s earliest divisions.

In the earliest days of the Church, he said, the unity of Christians was fostered by “a single ethnicity,” “a single culture”-- a Jewish one. As Christianity opened to Greek culture, there were “complaints, rumors of favoritism and unequal treatment. This also happens in our parishes!”

The apostles, the Pope continued, did not pretend that the problem did not exist, but addressed the problem by convoking a large gathering of the disciples and discussing the issue. The apostles proposed a division of labor in which they would devote themselves to the ministry of the Word, while seven deacons would serve the poor. These deacons were not chosen because they were “experts in business,” but because they were “honest men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom.”

Thus by “confronting, discussing, praying,” rather than by gossip, envy, and jealousy, conflicts in the Church are solved.

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