Vatican City, 23 October, 2019 / 10:30 am (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis said Wednesday that the first Christian evangelization of the pagans opened up “a very lively controversy” as the early Church discerned how to absorb new members from outside the people of Israel.
In the Acts of the Apostles, “a very delicate theological, spiritual and discipline issue is addressed,” Pope Francis said Oct. 23. “That is, the relationship between faith in Christ and the observance of the Law of Moses.”
“They proposed not to impose circumcision on the pagans, but only to ask them to reject idolatry and all its expressions,” Pope Francis said in his weekly catechesis in St. Peter’s Square.
The pope said that the assembly of Jerusalem, as described in the Acts of the Apostles 15:7-21, “offers us an important light on how to deal with differences and seek the truth in love.”
“It reminds us that the ecclesial method for conflict resolution is based on a dialogue made of attentive and patient listening and on the discernment carried out in the light of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit, in fact, that helps to overcome closures and tensions and works in hearts so that, in truth and in goodness, they may reach unity,” he said.