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Theme of Pope’s general audience: ‘The dangers of the Law’

August 25, 2021

Continuing his weekly Wednesday general audience series on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, Pope Francis spoke on August 25 about the “dangers of the Law.”

Previous addresses in the series were entitled “Introduction to the Letter to the Galatians“ (June 23), “Paul, the true apostle“ (June 30), “There is just one Gospel“ (August 4), “The Mosaic Law“ (August 11), and “The propaedeutic value of the Law“ (August 18).

“Dear brothers and sisters, in our continuing catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians, we have seen how Paul teaches that those living in the grace of Christ are set free from the demands of the Mosaic Law,” the Pope said, in the words of the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “Today we consider Paul’s claim that he had reprimanded Saint Peter in this regard.”

The summary continued:

Peter had taken meals with Gentile Christians, but ceased to do so when a group of circumcised Christians arrived from Jerusalem. For Paul, this was a form of “hypocrisy” (Gal 2:13) that caused division in the community.

All hypocrisy is born of a fear that holds us back from speaking the full truth; it leads to a life of pretense, where we say one thing but do another. Hypocrisy spreads like a virus. We find it often in our workplaces, in political life and, most detestably, in the Church itself.

Jesus told us to let our yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” (cf. Mt 5:37). To act otherwise is to jeopardize the very unity within the Church for which the Lord himself prayed.


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