While delivering his daily homily this morning in St. Martha’s House, Pope Francis warned believers to be wary in today’s secular culture, speaking out against what he called an “adolescent progressivism,” Vatican Radio reported.
Rather than bending to the ways of the world, the pontiff told believers to hold on to their faith and framed the word "progressive" as a move toward a single-mindedness that may not actually yield positive benefits for the culture as a whole.
"The spirit of worldliness also exists today, today also brings us this desire to be progressive, following a single thought," said Pope Francis.
The pontiff also warned the faithful to avoid the “spirit of the word that negotiates everything.” Rather than embracing today’s pleasure-seeking culture, Pope Francis told believers to avoid compromising values and personal faith for the sake of worldliness.
Pope Francis prays during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
He took aim at a “globalized uniformity,” which he said results from a secular worldliness, as people are oft-times willing to sacrifice their personal values and allegiance to God.
Pope Francis prayed that believers would be able to recognize the worldliness that could lead them to negotiate their faith and, thus, hamper their standing and relationship with the Lord.
"And this is a contradiction: we do not negotiate values, but faithfulness,” the pontiff told the audience. “And this is the fruit of the devil, the prince of this world, who leads us forward with the spirit of worldliness.”
Here’s how Vatican Insider described the message:
Today’s first reading was a passage from the Book of Maccabees. Francis focused on the perverted source of worldliness in this passage, which describes how the leaders of the people do not want Israel to be isolated from other nations, and so abandon their traditions to negotiate with the king.
So here we see leaders going to negotiate and they are excited about it. The pope says it is as though what they are saying is: "we are progressives; let's follow progress like everyone else does". The Pope noted that this is the "spirit of adolescent progressivism" according to which "any move forward and any choice is better than remaining within the routine of fidelity,” Vatican Radio reports.
In a world in which culture is increasingly changing, this message is certainly timely. While not everyone will agree with its merits, it speaks to the confusion and angst some faithful feel as cultural shifts move in directions that many believers find unpalatable.