Francis calls for doctrine within the spirit of charity

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox | Jan. 31, 2014 The Francis Chronicles

In an important address to staff of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis today essentially said, “tone it down.”

He called for Vatican doctrinal officials to work with a new spirit of service and charity and to cooperate more with local churches. He reminded the CDF that doctrine “must be taught and judged within the context of the needs of the community.” In other words, he emphasized his pastoral vision, his Vatican II vision, as the primary vision of church. There can be little doubt this represents a major shift from the papacies of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

He said, “right from the earliest times of the Church there has been a temptation to consider the doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a series of abstract and crystallized theories.” He went on to say that “doctrine’s sole role is to serve the life of God’s people and is meant to ensure a solid foundation to our faith,” according to Vatican radio.

There is a great temptation, he continued, “to take control of the gifts of salvation that come from God to domesticate them, maybe even with good intentions, according to the views and spirit of the world.”

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