Pope Francis addressed an audience for his daily homily on Thursday with a message of open-mindedness.
"Even today there is a dictatorship of a narrow line of thought" which kills "people’s freedom, their freedom of conscience," the pope said. "This is the drama of the closed heart, the drama of the closed mind, and when the heart is closed, this heart closes the mind, and when the heart and mind are closed there is no place for God."
Francis urged listeners to shun stubbornness and the "idolatry" of a closed way of thinking:
"It is a closed way of thinking that is not open to dialogue, to the possibility that there is something else, the possibility that God speaks to us, tells us about His journey, as he did to the prophets. These people did not listen to the prophets and did not listen to Jesus. It is something greater than a mere stubbornness. No, it is more: it is the idolatry of their own way of thinking. 'I think this, it has to be this way, and nothing more'. These people had a narrow line of thought and wanted to impose this way of thinking on the people of God, Jesus rebukes them for this: 'You burden the people with many commandments and you do not touch them with your finger.'"
Not only is closed-mindedness detrimental to the personal connection to God, the pope continues, but it is dangerous for society.
"There is no possibility of dialogue, there is no possibility to open up to new things which God brings with the prophets. They killed the prophets, these people; they close the door to the promise of God. When this phenomenon of narrow thinking enters human history, how many misfortunes. We all saw in the last century, the dictatorships of narrow thought , which ended up killing a lot of people, but when they believed they were the overlords, no other form of though was allowed. This is the way they think."
What we need instead, the pope continues, is to foster humility so that dialogue and cooperation may flourish.
"Be humble and pray that the Lord always gives us the freedom of an open heart, to receive his Word which is joy and promise and covenant! And with this covenant move forward!"
Just over a year into his papacy Pope Francis has been a pioneer for such open-mindedness, from saying there is "no Catholic God," to declaring the salvation of atheists, to his famous "Who am I to judge?" statement.
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