Amid Row Over Same-Sex Blessings, Pope Laments Split in the Church He Helped Create

Pope Francis on the feast of the Epiphany lamented the sharp division among Catholics of differing views, saying believers must imitate the three wise men in putting God at the center of their lives, rather than their own ideas of the faith.

Speaking to attendees of his Jan. 6 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope said that as members of the church, “instead of splitting into groups based on our own ideas, we are called to put God back at the center.”

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“We need to abandon ecclesial ideologies to find the meaning of holy mother church, the ecclesial attitude. Ecclesial ideologies no, ecclesial vocation yes,” he said, saying, “The Lord, not our own ideas or our own projects,” must be the focus.

“Let us set out anew from God; let us seek from him the courage not to lose heart in the face of difficulties, the strength to surmount all obstacles, the joy to live in harmonious communion,” he said.

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