Vatican City, Rome | BAZZUP | Keyboard warriors have been admonished by Pope Francis to put aside online debates and leave their desks in order to share the gospel.
On April 12, the pope gave a speech in St. Peter’s Square where he exhorted Christians to “start moving” and spread the gospel to the rest of the world.
Pope Francis stated, “One does not proclaim the Gospel by sitting still, imprisoned in an office, at one’s desk, or at one’s computer, participating in polemics like “keyboard warriors,” and substituting the creativity of proclamation with copy-and-paste ideas gathered from many sources.
“By moving, by walking, by going, the Gospel is proclaimed.
In his audience on Wednesday, the pope issued a warning against “misdirected devotion” that is “doggedly persistent in the adherence of simply human and obsolete norms for the Christian community.”
He remarked, “We cannot ignore the enthusiasm with which some even inside the Christian community commit themselves to the wrong pursuits; one can boast of a fake evangelical zeal while actually pursuing vainglory or one’s own convictions.
Francis provided a reflection on two passages from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians as part of the pope’s cycle of catechesis on “passion for evangelization”: “Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand on the evil day and, having done all, to keep your ground. So, hold firm while wearing a breastplate of righteousness, girding your loins with truth, and shod with preparation for the gospel of peace.
St. Paul’s fervor for the Gospel, according to Pope Francis, is associated with footwear “because one who goes to preach must move, must walk.”
Evangelical zeal serves as the foundation for proclamation, and heralds resemble the feet of the body of Christ that is the church.
At the end of the audience, Pope Francis marked the 60th anniversary of the publication of St. John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, calling the document a “true blessing” for the world when it was published in 1963 amid the tensions of the Cold War.