VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Sixth Commandment’s mandate against adultery is a call to fidelity that applies not only to married couples, but to all Christians called to love others through their vocation, Pope Francis said.
Married men and women, priests and those in religious life are ultimately called to live out their vocation faithfully and follow the “path of love that goes from receiving care to the ability to offer care, from receiving life to the ability to give life,” the pope said Oct. 31 during his weekly general audience.
(See a related video.)
“Every Christian vocation is spousal because it is the fruit of the bond of love in which we are all renewed, the bond of love with Christ,” he said. “Starting from (Christ’s) fidelity, his tenderness, his generosity, we look with faith at marriage and at every vocation, and we understand the full meaning of sexuality.”
Among the pilgrims present at the audience were the members of the Together in Hope choir, an ecumenical choir comprised of Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, evangelical, and nonreligious people based in Minneapolis.
Accompanying the choir was Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Lutheran Bishop Ann Svennungsen, head of the Minneapolis Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who were greeted by Pope Francis after the audience.
During the audience, the pope continued his series of talks on the Ten Commandments, reflecting on the command, “Thou shall not commit adultery,” which he said was a “call to love that is manifested in fidelity acceptance and mercy.”
While the commandment refers to fidelity in marriage, the pope said it is not only addressed to spouses but is a “paternal word of God addressed to every man and woman.”
Being mature is being able to “take upon oneself someone else’s burden and to love without ambiguity,” he said.
On the other hand, the pope said, adulterers and those who are unfaithful are “immature” people who interpret situations according to their own “well-being and satisfaction.”
“In order to be married, it’s not enough to celebrate the wedding! We need to make a journey from the ‘I’ to the ‘we,’ from thinking for yourself to thinking for two, from living by yourself to living with another person,” the pope said. “It is a beautiful path; when we decentralize ourselves, then every act is spousal.”
Priests and those who live chaste consecrated lives, he said, must also follow this path and live it “faithfully and joyfully as a spousal and fruitful relationship of motherhood and fatherhood.”
“The church does not need aspirants to the role of priests, but rather men whose hearts have been touched by the Holy Spirit with an unreserved love for the bride of Christ,” Pope Francis said. “In the priesthood, we love the people of God with all the paternity, tenderness and strength of a spouse and a father.”
Pope Francis said that the call to not commit adultery is a reminder of the Christian duty to love as Christ loves and to respect one another.
“The human body is not an instrument of pleasure but the place of our call to love,” the pope said. “And in authentic love, there is no room for lust and its superficiality. Men and women deserve more!”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103