“Do not turn soul into marketplace”

Angelus with Pope Francis © Giuseppe Lami

A "serious danger" if God is instrumentalized, Pope Francis said – not alluding directly to the election campaign in Italy – but to temptations in the Church.

Pope Francis has warned against turning one’s soul into a vanity fair. Instead, it should be a place of generous and solidary love, he said Sunday at the traditional noon prayer in St. Peter’s Square. There is often a temptation in the Church and society to exploit what are actually good causes for selfish ends, he said. This is "a serious danger," especially if God himself is instrumentalized in the process, the Pope said, without directly addressing the election campaign in Italy and the elections this Sunday.

"Cult of love"

The pope derived his admonition from the Sunday Gospel, Jesus’ expulsion of the merchants and money changers from the Jerusalem temple. This was a "prophetic action," the pope said, driven by the zeal of love, not violence. In this way, Jesus made it clear that neither the temple nor the human heart, which is also God’s dwelling place, should degenerate into a marketplace of selfish interests. Instead, the heart must be free for the "cult of love"

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