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Christians must avoid conforming to this world, says Pope

Pope Francis has warned Christians that they should avoid the ways of the world.
Pope Francis has warned Christians that they should avoid the ways of the world.
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

In his Sunday Angelus address to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis said on August 31st that Christians desperately need to avoid the temptation to conform to the ways of this world, and to avoid worldliness of every kind. The Pope said that instead, Christians should allow for their faith to transform the world around them. “Christians live in the world, fully integrated into the social and cultural reality of our time, and rightly so,” the Pope reflected, “this carries with it the risk that we might become 'worldly', that 'the salt might lose its flavor',” he explained. Pointing to today's Gospel, Francis said that in pointing to his coming suffering and death, Jesus drew the contrast between his way and the way of the world reflected in Peter's attempt to "rebuke" the Lord. “the apparent contrast between Jesus' way of thinking and that of the disciples emerges,” the Pontiff said, “Jesus, in turn, severely rebukes Peter, because he does not think 'according to God, but according to men', and plays – without realizing it – the part of Satan, the tempter.”

“Be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God,” the Pope said, quoting the words of St. Paul. “When the power of the Gospel remains alive in Christians, it can transform 'mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation',” reflected Francis, making his point from a 1975 Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Paul VI, Evangelii nuntiandi.