Pope warns against dangers of 'adolescent progressivism'

Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7 2013 Credit Lauren Cater CNA CNA US Catholic News 6 10 13 Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7, 2013. | Lauren Cater/CNA.

In his daily homily Pope Francis cautioned against modern society's push for a unified secular ideology, saying that this does not create positive globalization but rather an "adolescent progressivism." 

"The spirit of worldliness also exists today, today also brings us this desire to be progressive, following a single thought," the Pope said during his Nov. 18 daily Mass.

The pontiff directed his reflections to those present in the Santa Marta guesthouse of the Vatican, including the new Vatican Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin.

Centering his homily on the day's first reading from the Book of Maccabees in which the Jewish community abandoned their cultural and religious customs because of the influence of the corrupt king "Antiochus the Illustrious," who destroyed their temple and built pagan altars.

Pope Francis explained how giving up one's identity like those in the reading "is a contradiction," because "we do not negotiate values, but we negotiate fidelity." 

"This is precisely the fruit of the devil, of the prince of this world, which leads us forward in a spirit of worldliness. And after, the consequences occur," he added, highlighting how not only did the people of God take the "customs of the pagans," they took it "a step further."

"The king prescribed in all the kingdom that everyone form a single people and every one will abandon their own customs," noted the pontiff, adding that "it is not the beautiful globalization of the unity of all Nations, but rather each one with their own customs…it is the globalization of hegemonic uniformity."

He then drew attention to the fact that this still happens today, because "the spirit of worldliness also exists today, today also brings us this desire to be progressive, following a single thought."

"If someone found the Book of the Covenant and if anyone obeyed the Law, the sentence of the king condemned him to death: and this is what we have read in newspapers in recent months" noted the Pope, observing that "these people have negotiated fidelity to the Lord."

"These people, moved by the spirit of the world, have negotiated their own identity, have negotiated the belonging to a people, a people that God loves so much, that God wants as His people."

Calling attention to the 20th century novel "Lord of the World" which focuses on this spirit of worldliness which leads to apostasy, Pope Francis cautioned against the attitude of wanting "be like everyone else," which he referred to as an "adolescent progressivism."

"What do you think?" he pressed, "that today human sacrifices are not made? Many, many people make human sacrifices and there are laws that protect them."

Despite this, continued the pontiff, "what consoles us is that the Lord, who cannot renounce himself, the Faithful one, always remains before this path that the spirit of the world makes."

"He always waits for us," stated the Pope, "He loves us so much and He forgives us when we, repentant of any step, of some small step in this spirit of worldliness, go to Him, God of faithfulness before his people, that are not faithful."

Praying "in the spirit of the son of the Church," Pope Francis encouraged the Mass attendees to ask the Lord "that, with his goodness, his faithfulness," he "save us from this worldly spirit that negotiates all."

He also prayed that the God "protects us and makes us go forward, as he has helped his people go forward in the desert, leading by the hand, like a father takes the hand of his child."

"We will go safely in the hand of the Lord."

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