‘Church mustn’t be museum of memories’

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY. — Pope Francis told a key Roman Catholic meeting on family issues yesterday that the Church should not be a hidebound “museum of memories” but have the courage to change if that is what God wanted.

The three-week meeting of bishops from the around the world, known as a synod, will discuss ways to defend the traditional family while seeking common ground with disaffected Catholics such as homosexuals and those divorced.

The gathering, attended by some 300 bishops and delegates, has been preceded by intense jockeying between conservatives and liberals on a number of sensitive issues.

In his address to open the first working session, Pope Francis said the bishops should not just talk but try to listen to what God wanted for the Church of 1.2 billion members.

In a nod to conservatives, he called for courage that “does not let itself be intimidated by the seductions of the world” and passing fads.

But, in what appeared to be a reference to unbending traditionalists, he said the bishops should also beware of the “hardening of some hearts, which despite good intentions, keep people away from God”.

He said Christian faith was “not a museum to look at and save” but should be a source of inspiration. Pope Francis called on the bishops to have “courage to bring life and not make our Christian life a museum of memories”. — Reuters.