The National Catholic Review

The church is not a prop for one’s ego, a soapbox for ideas or a suit of armor protecting a sad life, Pope Francis said in an interview published in the Nov. 18 edition of Avvenire, an Italian Catholic newspaper. “The church exists only as an instrument for communicating God’s merciful plan to the people.” While most of the lengthy interview’s questions touched on ecumenism and the meaning of the Year of Mercy, the pope’s responses revealed his vision of the church and the “bad spirit” or psychological defects that foster division. He said some reactions to his apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love,” continue to reflect a lack of understanding about how the Holy Spirit has been working in the church since the Second Vatican Council.

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