VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.
At his weekly general audience June 25, Pope Francis continued his series of audience talks about the church, telling an estimated 33,000 people that there is no such thing as "do-it-yourself" Christians or "free agents" when it comes to faith.
In the Old Testament, the pope said, God called Abraham and began to form a people that would become a blessing for the world. "With great patience -- and God has a lot of it -- he prepared the people of the ancient covenant and in Jesus Christ constituted them as a sign and instrument of the union of humanity with God and unity with one another."
Pope Francis described as "dangerous" the temptation to believe that one can have "a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church."
Remember: being Christian means belonging to the church. If your first name is Christian, your last name is Member of the Church." (The pope moved the needle on the funny meter with this one)
At the end of his talk, the pope asked people to join him in praying that they would never "give into the temptation of thinking you can do without others, without the church, that you can save yourself, of thinking you can be a laboratory Christian."
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Pope Says: Church is essential for faith; there are no 'free agents'
Some prominent highlights of his address: