VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People who pretend to be Christians publicly, but follow their own selfish passions privately, destroy themselves and cause scandal to those around them, Pope Francis.
Jesus is severe with those who “lead double lives,” because they cause others to see Christianity in a bad light, the pope said Feb. 23 during morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“So many Catholics are like this and they scandalize. How many times have we heard — all of us, in our neighborhood and in other places — ‘But to be a Catholic like that one, it would be better to be an atheist.’ That is the scandal. It destroys you, it throws you down,” he said.
The pope focused his homily on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark (9:41-50) in which Jesus gives a warning about anyone who “causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin.”
Some people who go to Mass and belong to church groups still fail to live a Christian life, the pope said. “This happens every day; all you have to do is watch the news or read the newspapers. There are so many scandals in the newspapers and a lot of publicity on scandals. And these scandals destroy.”
On judgment day, he continued, those who lead double lives will present themselves before Jesus saying, “‘Don’t you remember? I went to church, I was close to you, I belonged to that association. Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?'”
“‘Yes, I remember, that I remember: All of it was dirty. All of it stolen from the poor. I do not know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to those scandalous ones who live a double life,” the pope said.
Christians should ask themselves if they are leading a double life or are “excessively confident” that they have plenty of time to convert, he said. “Let us think about this. And let us take advantage of the word of the Lord and remember that on this the Lord is very severe. Scandal destroys.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: If the shoe fits: Papal remarks on immigration apply to U.S., too
NEXT: Bible calls believers to live in harmony, pope says
Share this story