Vatican City, Oct 9, 2019 / 03:41 am America/Denver (CNA).
In his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis warned Catholics to not turn their faith into an ideology, as he said St. Paul did when he was persecuting Christians before his conversion.
St. Paul, called Saul before his conversion, was “an ideologist; for Saul, religion had become ideology, religious ideology, social ideology, political ideology,” the pope said Oct. 9.
Reflecting on Saul’s behavior toward Christians is a chance for everyone to consider how they are living their faith, he said, suggesting people ask themselves: “How do I live my life of faith? Am I going to meet others or am I against others? Do I belong to the universal Church, good, bad, everyone? Or do I have a selective ideology?”
“Do I love God, or do I love dogmatic formulations?” he continued. “How is my religious life? Does the faith in God that I profess make me friendly or instead hostile to anyone who is different from me?”
Pope Francis, in his catechesis, spoke about St. Paul before and after his conversion and baptism. Saul, as he was called then, wanted to “destroy the Church,” the pope said, but later became “the instrument chosen by God to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.”