Nicosia: Pope Francis from Cyprus has reminded us that we need a church that is to be an instrument of patience, brotherhood and peace, and not to have walls in the Church of Christ. The pope said the church should not be disturbed by changes, but welcome the new and evaluate the situation in the light of the gospel. On the first day of his visit to Cyprus, he was addressing church ministers, including bishops, at the Church of Our Lady of Nicosia.
Highlighting the presence of various churches in Cyprus, the Pope shared his message regarding the mission of St. Barnabas, the mediator of Cyprus. Barnabas was a great man of faith and patience. He viewed converts from other religions as an explorer. Enthusiastic but also tried to understand their weak faith. He sought to see the works of God without hastily evaluating the new, and was patient enough to study other traditions and to hold them by the hand without breaking their faith.
Like Barnabas, you are called to be faithful and visible signs of patience. Cyprus is also a message to the church in Europe, welcoming people with open arms. The Catholic Church is a universal, open space that welcomes everyone by the grace of God and the invitation to love. The church is the common home, the place of relationships and diversity of coexistence.
Church ministers must be careful to seek God more and to be more patient in their encounters with others. The ability to hear and understand the differences of people and to understand the different spiritualities is also essential. The church does not want to unite everyone, but to bring them together patiently. The church has the freedom to discuss different ideas and visions with each other. But discussions should not be used to impose one’s own ideas, but to live in the spirit of the Holy Spirit.
It is home to a variety of spiritual and church values, as well as various local customs and traditions. But never think that diversity is a threat to their very existence. The pope warned that if it did, it would lead to fear, disbelief, disbelief, doubt and even wars, and he reminded them again and again that we are brothers who are loved by the same Father.
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