The Catholic Church gives an authentic witness of God’s love for all men and women only when it fosters the grace of unity and communion, Pope Francis said.
Unity is part of “the DNA of the Christian community,” the pope said during his weekly general audience on 12th June.
The gift of unity, he said, “allows us not to fear diversity, not to attach ourselves to things and gifts,” but “to become martyrs, luminous witnesses of God who lives and works in history”.
“We, too, need to rediscover the beauty of giving witness to the Risen Lord, going beyond self-referential attitudes, renouncing the desire to stifle God’s gifts and not yielding to mediocrity,” he said.
Despite the sweltering Roman heat, thousands of people filled St Peter’s Square for the audience, which began with Pope Francis circling the square in the popemobile, occasionally stopping to greet pilgrims and even comfort a crying child.
Picture: Pope Francis poses with a group of Palestinian scouts during his general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 12th June 2019. The scouts presented a Nativity scene to the pope. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).