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In his Pentecost homily the Holy Father noted that “oddly, the Holy Spirit is the author of division, of ruckus, of a certain disorder.”

“Yet at the same time, he is the author of harmony,” Pope Francis continued. “He divides with the variety of charisms, but it is a false division, because true division is part of harmony. He creates division with charisms, and he creates harmony with all this division. This is the richness of the Church.”

Taken from the following article https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/six-points-of-division-in-the-synodal-process

They also have a very unfortunate take on the affairs of the Syro Malabar Church. But that's a separate issue entirely.

I am trying to find a way to square what the Holy Father said and am having great difficulty. No matter how I look at this, it just screams heterodoxy. For someone with more experience doing all the mental gymnastics, can you please shed some light on this for me? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

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I don’t know why you would be troubled when we pray the very same thing at Pentecost.

Kontakion of Pentecost:

When the most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations; but when he distributed the tongues of fire He called all to unity. Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!


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The Holy Father's statement seems paradoxical but hardly heterodoxical. Our whole faith, though, is full of Truths revealed through paradoxical expression.

What he is saying -to me- is that God allows/ creates divisions so that we have the opportunity for a higher understanding of what unity truly is. And, each "disorder" already carries with it the power of healing ( charism). Further, this on- going effort to live the " harmony" that God intends, is what keeps the Church vibrant and relevent. And finally- and again paradoxical- diversity may very well be a part of this harmony..

In the end then..... what we perceive as a problem, is really a greater opportunity......yet another paradox.

The Pope seems to be expressing what Isaiah 55:8-9 said of God's methods:

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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The problem is that the Orthodox and Byzantine lectionaries fail to include the Genesis passage of the confusion of tongues.

Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as the nations migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise,we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” 5The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do’ nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

This passage was placed in the Pauline Three Year lectionary (Year C) which was later adopted by most Lutherans, Episcopalians, and other.

It has sinced vanished from most Western hearing "thanks" the the Marconist inspired changes of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL)

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Thanks everyone for the insight. Especially for bringing it back to Scriptures. I feel much more at ease reading the Holy Father's words in light of Scriptures.

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Originally Posted by Thomas the Seeker
The problem is that the Orthodox and Byzantine lectionaries fail to include the Genesis passage of the confusion of tongues.

Genesis 11:1-9
Not true. This is appointed for Thursday Vespers 4th week of Great Lent.


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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Thomas the Seeker
The problem is that the Orthodox and Byzantine lectionaries fail to include the Genesis passage of the confusion of tongues.

Genesis 11:1-9
Not true. This is appointed for Thursday Vespers 4th week of Great Lent.

Thanks for the correction.

I should have been more precise by stating that this pericope is not included with the readings for the Great Vespers of Pentecost.

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Why should this pericope be included for Pentecost? The readings included are prophecies of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the connection between the Apostles and Prophets, which is the main thrust of the feast, not speaking in tongues, or the division of speech or undoing Babel. Only the Kontakion makes reference to Babel, and the other references to language serves to highlight the disbelief of those who did not follow the Prophets in truth or that the various languages serve to teach the doctrine of the Trinity. Overall, the language aspect is secondary and not probed at any real depth.


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