St. Francis of Assisi considered “appropriation” as the root sin because it claims for a person what belongs to God alone. In calling us to live more truthfully, Pope Francis is inviting us to avoid claiming for ourselves what belongs to God alone.
To put it another way, Pope Francis, who was a servant leader as archbishop of Buenos Aires for 15 years, is encouraging Catholics and others to avoid appropriation, but, instead, to be humbly attentive to the truth, goodness, and beauty that come from God alone.
At his July 25, 2013, welcoming ceremony at Copacabana Beach, Pope Francis cited St. Paul’s advice, “Put on Christ” (Rom 13:14). The pope continued: “Place your trust in him and you will never be disappointed! You see how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican, because it removes us from the center and restores it to God; faith immerses us in his love and gives us security, strength, and hope.”
Francis of Assisi would heartily agree.
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