You know I am really starting to think that Pope Francis does not like the model of the Church being like another NGO (Non-governmental organization).
Here are just some examples:
We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord.
We are not an NGO, and when the Church becomes an NGO she loses her salt, she has no savour, she is only an empty organization.
The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out … if they don’t, they become an NGO, and the Church cannot be an NGO.
A functionalist approach has no room for mystery; it aims at efficiency. It reduces the reality of the Church to the structure of an NGO.
The Church is an institution, but when she makes herself a “centre”, she becomes merely functional, and slowly but surely turns into a kind of NGO.
The Church – I repeat once again – is not a relief organization, an enterprise or an NGO, but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in this path.
These are important corrections to one of the major errors of our time. Of reducing the salvific mission of the Church to just merely social work. Yet this flattening of the Church seems to me to be quite common in so many organizations tied to the Church. A narrowing and political secularization that looses sight of preaching the Gospel. Organizations willing to make compromises in promoting what they now see as their main mission. A loss of the fullness of the Catholic faith with not much both/and-ing going on. An easy temptation to fall into when pursuing a worthy cause and subsequently loosing sight of the larger context of the great commission.
Blessed Mother Teresa put this quite well when she said:
Without out suffering, our work would just be social work, very good and helpful, but it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of the Redemption. All the desolation of the poor people, not only their material poverty, but their spiritual destitution, must be redeemed. And we must share it, for only by being one with them can we redeem them by bringing God into their lives and bringing them to God.
This is I think the same problem the Pope identifies in seeing the Church as just another NGO. This is a no go.