Pope Warns of 'Adolescent Progressivism' and Desire to 'Play It Safe'

During his daily celebration of Mass in the chapel of his apartment residence, Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church can be hindered by dual temptations of wanting to remain in the past and “adolescent progressivism.”

The pontiff warned of the temptation to “go backwards,” which he said is part of a fear that “it is better to play it safe.” He also warned of another temptation, that of “adolescent progressivism,” which he said sends people offtrack.

According to the National Catholic Register, the pope said that the temptation of “adolescent progressivism” lies in seeing a culture and “not detaching ourselves from it.”

“We take the values of this culture a little bit from here, a little bit from there... They want to make this law? All right; let’s go ahead and make this law. Let’s broaden the boundaries here a little... In the end, let me tell you, this is not true progress..."

The danger of a progressive approach to the Holy Spirit is that believers become “like teenagers, who, in their enthusiasm, want to have everything, and in the end? You slip up,” he said at the June 12 morning Mass.

“It’s like when the road is covered in ice and the car slips and go offtrack... This is the other temptation at the moment! We, at this moment in the history of the Church, we cannot go backwards or go off the track!” the Pope said.

Referring to the words of the gospel reading for the day, Matthew 5:17, in which Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets,” Francis observed that Christ brought the new law of the Spirit, or the “road to maturity” for the Church.

Because Pope Francis has chosen to celebrate Mass daily in the chapel of his residence, Saint Martha’s House, with small groups of the faithful in attendance, there are many more opportunities to hear his words. According to CBCP News, the Vatican has chosen only to provide summaries of the pope’s daily homilies because of “the character of the situation, and the spontaneity and familiarity of the Pope’s remarks.”

Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi said in May that Pope Francis wants to retain the intimate atmosphere that characterizes his celebration of daily Mass in the chapel.

However, as CBCP News observes, the demand from the public for full versions of Pope Francis’ daily homilies in Saint Martha’s House has been high.


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