Pope Benedict: Rejoice When Anyone Does Good in Jesus' Name

The Holy Father's Sept. 30 Angelus address

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Pope Benedict XVI says that Catholics should be delighted whenever non-Catholics do what is good or embrace what is true.

“Members of the Church should not feel jealousy, but rejoice if someone from outside the community does good in the name of Christ, provided this is done with right intention and with respect,” he said during his Sept. 30 Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo.

The Pope was reflecting on the Sunday Gospel, as recorded by St. Mark, in which “a man, who was not the follower of Jesus, had cast out demons in his name.

“The apostle John, young and zealous, wants to stop him, but Jesus will not allow him.”

Several thousand pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo for the Angelus, where they heard the Pope remind them of the words of the fourth-fifth century doctor of the Church St. Augustine: “Just as one can find that which is not Catholic in the Catholic Church, that is, in the Church, one can also find something that may be Catholic outside of the Catholic Church.”

This, the Pope said, is what Jesus wishes to explain to his disciplines: that “good and even miraculous things” can happen outside their circle when others “cooperate with the Kingdom of God,” even in small gestures such as “offering a simple glass of water to a missionary.”

The same tendency towards jealousy can also exist, observed Pope Benedict, within the Church when Catholics resent holiness and goodness being attained by co-religionists.

“Instead, we should all be able to always appreciate and respect each other, praising the Lord for the infinite ‘fantasy’ with which he acts in the Church and in the world,” advised the Pope.

He also touched upon the second reading from the Mass in which St. James rebukes those who “trust in the riches accumulated by dint of oppression.”

“The words of the apostle James,” said the Pope, are a warning against the “vain desire for material goods.” Instead, they are a “powerful call” to use wealth “in the perspective of solidarity and the common good, always acting with fairness and morality at all levels.”

In conclusion, Pope Benedict commended all those present to the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that all Catholics may “rejoice in every good gesture and initiative, without envy or jealously.”

He then led the faithful in the traditional midday Marian prayer before addressing pilgrims in their various native languages and imparting his apostolic blessing.