Freedom Demands Personal Responsibility

Pope Francis, via the Vatican:

Without freedom, there can be no true humanity, for human beings were created free in order to be free. The tragic chapters of your country’s history provide a great lesson: whenever freedom was attacked, violated and suppressed, humanity was disfigured and the tempests of violence, coercion and the elimination of rights rapidly followed….

It is not enough to be free outwardly, or in the structures of society, to be authentically free. Freedom demands personal responsibility for our choices, discernment and perseverance….

A Church that trains people in interior freedom and responsibility, one able to be creative by plunging into their history and culture, is also a Church capable of engaging in dialogue with the world, with those who confess Christ without being “ours”, with those who are struggling with religion, and even with those who are not believers….

Unity, communion and dialogue are always fragile, especially against the backdrop of a painful history that has left its scars. The memory of past injuries can breed resentment, mistrust and even contempt; it can tempt us to barricade ourselves against those who are different. Wounds, however, can always turn into passages, openings that, in imitating the wounds of the Lord, allow God’s mercy to emerge.