(CTN News) – Speaking just days after a proclamation permitting blessings of same-sex couples that conservatives have denounced, Pope Francis cautioned Thursday against rigid ideological stances that would prevent the Church from perceiving reality and progressing ahead.
In his customary Christmas greetings to officials of the Curia, the central administration of the Vatican, Pope Francis, who turned 87 on Sunday, made his remarks.
Francis used Christmas greetings to criticize the bureaucracy vehemently in the early years of his papacy, bringing attention to what he referred to as the “illnesses” and “diseases” within the institution.
On Thursday, he brought up that, sixty years after the Second Vatican Council—which brought the Church into the modern world—there is still a continual discussion between conservatives and progressives.
Pope Francis Faces Criticism Over Same-Sex Blessings, Fears of Church Schism
“Let us remain vigilant against rigid ideological positions that often, under the guise of good intentions, separate us from reality and prevent us from moving forward,” stated the president.
“We are called, instead, to set out and journey, like the Magi, following the light that always desires to lead us on, at times, along unexplored paths and new roads,” stated the theologian.
Priests can bless same-sex couples under specific conditions and as long as it doesn’t seem like marriage and isn’t part of Church liturgies or rites, according to a judgment he endorsed on Monday.
Many were happy to see the pope grant blessings to same-sex couples, but conservatives were worried it may cause a split in the Church.
Since his fellow cardinals elected him a decade ago, Pope Francis has worked to expand the Church’s embrace of marginalized groups, such as the LGBT community, without compromising its moral stances.
Christians, he said Thursday’s assembly, should be perpetually restless and adaptable.
“The Christian faith – let us remember – is not meant to confirm our sense of security, to let us settle into comfortable religious certitudes, and to offer us quick answers to life’s complex problems,” remarked theologian.
According to Pope Francis, when God beckons, “he sends us on a journey, draws us out of our comfort zones, our complacency about what we have already done, and in this way he sets us free”.