In his annual Christmas address, Pope Francis advised the Vatican civil service not to allow “rigidity” to get in the way of “epochal change.”

In his Dec. 21 address to the Curia, the Argentinian pontiff discussed the inevitability and necessity of change in the Church, and warned against “rigidity.”

In the context of “the temptation to fall back on the past,” Pope Francis said: 

“All of this has particular importance for our time, because what we are experiencing is not simply an epoch of changes, but an epochal change. We find ourselves living at a time when change is no longer linear, but epochal. It entails decisions that rapidly transform our ways of living, of relating to one another, of communicating and thinking, of how different generations relate to one another and how we understand and experience faith and science. Often we approach change as if it were a matter of simply putting on new clothes, but remaining exactly as we were before. (…)

Brothers and sisters, Christendom no longer exists! Today we are no longer the only ones who create culture, nor are we in the forefront or those most listened to. We need a change in our pastoral mindset, which does not mean moving towards a relativistic pastoral care. (…) 

Let us always remember that behind every form of rigidity lies some kind of imbalance. Rigidity and imbalance feed one another in a vicious circle. And today this temptation to rigidity has become very real.”

The pontiff mentioned “change” in his address over 30 times.

The context of the pontiff’s latest reference to change was the ongoing reforms he wishes to make to the Curia.

Citing Paul VI in the footnotes to his speech, the pontiff wrote, “Saint Paul VI, some 50 years ago, when presenting the new Roman Missal to the faithful, recalled the correspondence between the law of prayer (lex orandi) and the law of faith (lex credendi), and described the Missal as “a demonstration of fidelity and vitality.”

Francis continued, “(Paul VI) concluded by saying: ‘So let us not speak of a ‘new Mass,’ but rather of ‘a new age in the life of the Church’ (General Audience, 19 November 1969).”

“Analogously, we might also say in this case: not a new Roman Curia, but rather a new age.” 

Full story at LifeSiteNews.