Udienza generale del 1 - ott 2008 - sintesi della catechesi in lingua inglese
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on Saint Paul, we now consider two events which
illustrate Paul’s relationship to the Twelve, which combined respect for their
authority with frankness in the service of the Gospel. At the Council of
Jerusalem Paul defended before the Twelve his conviction that the grace of
Christ had freed the Gentiles from the obligations of the Mosaic Law.
Significantly, the Church’s decision in this matter of faith was accompanied
by a gesture of concrete concern for the needs of the poor (cf. Gal 2:10).
By endorsing Paul’s collections among the Gentiles, the Council thus set its
teaching on Christian freedom within the context of the Church’s communion in
charity. Later, in Antioch, when Peter, to avoid scandalizing Jewish Christians,
abstained from eating with the Gentiles, Paul rebuked him for compromising the
freedom brought by Christ (cf. Gal 2:11-14). Yet, writing to the Romans
years later, Paul himself insisted that our freedom in Christ must not become a
source of scandal for others (cf. Rom 14:21). Paul’s example shows us
that, led by the Spirit and within the communion of the Church, Christians are
called to live in a freedom which finds its highest expression in service to
I offer a warm welcome to the new students of the Pontifical Irish College.
May your priestly formation in the Eternal City prepare you to be generous and
faithful servants of God’s People in your native land. I also greet the
Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary on the occasion of their General
Chapter. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Ireland,
Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the
United States, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.