"That word that gives me an allergy," he stated. "If something is, it is not necessary to say 'authentic.'"
The Church should be small "like leaven, small like salt," he urged. "This is the Christian vocation!"
To think the Church of the future will be a "Church of the elect" is to risk falling into "the heresy of the Essenes," he said, which is how "Christian authenticity is lost."
Francis added that "the resignation to cultural defeat... comes from the bad spirit, it does not come from God."
"Do not be afraid," he encouraged. "We are few? Yes, but with the desire to 'missionize,' to show others who we are. With witness."
He said he also is a "little allergic" to when people say something is "truly Christian." "We have fallen into the culture of adjectives and adverbs, and we have forgotten the strength of nouns," he argued.
"This is the mission of communication: to communicate the reality, without sweetening it with adjectives or adverbs."
Just say something is "a Christian thing," he said. It is unnecessary to say something is "authentically Christian."
The communicator must show the "true, the right, the good, and the beautiful," he said, and he does this with "the soul and with the body; he communicates with the mind, with the heart, with the hands; you communicate with everything."
"And it is true that the greatest communication is love: in love there is the fullness of communication: love for God and among us."
Something those working in Catholic communications should not do is proselytism, the pope said, adding that as "Benedict XVI said with great clarity: 'The Church does not grow because of proselytism, but because of attraction,' that is, testimony."
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"And our communication should be testimony."
Pope Francis concluded by thanking the members of the dicastery for their work, telling them to "communicate the joy of the Gospel: This is what the Lord asks of you today."