Pope Francis once again shocked the world with remarks that could have come from a progressive activist instead of a religious leader.
During his morning mass in Casa Santa Maria, Francis warned his church against living lives of scandal and hypocrisy, and told hypocrites within the church to stop living “a double life.” Francis even went so far as to say it would be better to not believe in anything at all than to be a hypocritical Catholic. When reading his homily closely, Francis seems to be speaking about a certain world leader who lives in constant scandal and falsely claims the mantle of Christianity.
“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighbourhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”
Pope Francis spoke critically of a Catholic business owner who was exploiting his workers and not paying them the wages they earned, refusing to confront the angry laborers and instead going on a beach vacation in the Middle East.
“Jesus talks, in the Gospel, about those who commit scandal, without saying the world ‘scandal,’ but it’s understood: But you will arrive in heaven and you will knock at the gate: ‘Here I am, Lord!’ – ‘But don’t you remember? I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?’ ‘Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life.”
In addition to his remarks about hypocritical religious and political leaders, Francis is also a frequent critic of capitalism, calling it “terrorism” as it encourages those who live in it to worship a “God of money.”
Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report from the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook.