Church can’t constantly put up ‘Do not enter’ signs, Francis tells Colombians

(Crux) Pope Francis said Saturday that following Jesus is much more demanding than following a set of rules, and being paralyzed by a rigorous interpretation of the law.

Instead, he said, it presupposes other priorities, such as reaching out to encounter the sick and the sinners.

“We cannot be Christians who continually put up ‘do not enter’ signs, nor can we consider that this space is mine or yours alone, or that we can claim ownership of something that is absolutely not ours,” Francis told Colombians.

Jesus, Francis said, told his disciples that in order to be fulfilled, they must follow him on a path that will put them among “lepers, paralytics and sinners,” instead of blindly following “precepts, prohibitions and mandates that made them feel secure.

“Jesus’ freedom contrasts with the lack of freedom seen in the doctors of the law of that time, who were paralyzed by a rigorous interpretation and practice of that law,” the pope said. [More]