Faith, charity go hand in hand, pope says at weekly audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Being saved by faith in Christ alone and not by works does not mean that people can do whatever they want as long as they recognize Christ as their savior, Pope Benedict XVI said. Faith in Christ “necessarily means conforming oneself to Christ” and being like him, especially in loving and helping others, the pope said Nov. 19 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. With an estimated 15,000 people gathered in the square, Pope Benedict continued his audience talks about the life and teaching of St. Paul, focusing on the apostle’s teaching about how people become justified or made righteous in the eyes of God. A dispute over what St. Paul meant when he wrote that people are justified by “faith alone” was at the center of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, the pope said, but while people are justified by faith alone, true faith always translates into love for God and for one’s neighbor.

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