There is no freedom without responsibility: Pope Francis to Poles

“There is no freedom without responsibility and love for the truth,” Pope Francis told Poles during the general audience on Wednesday. He also spoke to the faithful about the mistakes made in the past during evangelisation such as imposing a single cultural pattern.

“This week is the anniversary of the election of Saint John Paul II and the liturgical memorials of Saint John XXIII, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Jadwiga of Silesia,” the Pope reiterated.

“Their lives are an expressive example of Christian freedom. Let the experience of these saints remind you that there is no freedom without responsibility and without love for the truth. And the greatest fulfillment of freedom is love, which is realised in service,” he added.

The Pope also emphasised that Christian freedom does not contradict the received culture and traditions and allows us to “open ourselves to the universalism of faith.” As he pointed out, the vision of freedom presented by the Apostle to the Nations resembles the obligation to respect the cultural background of each person.

“There are many temptations to impose one’s own model of life as if it was the most developed and desirable one. Many mistakes have been made in the history of evangelisation when only one cultural pattern was to be imposed. Sometimes even violence has been used to make one's own point of view dominant,” he pointed out.

“Thus, the Church deprived itself of the wealth of numerous local manifestations that carry with them the cultural traditions of entire peoples. And this is contrary to Christian freedom,” he stressed.

Pope Francis also warned that if the Church spoke “the language of centuries past,” there is a risk that it would not be understood by younger generations.

In his opinion, Christian freedom “does not show a static but a dynamic vision of life and culture.”