Pope Francis. Cool.
The Guardian: Pope Francis: better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic
Pope Francis has delivered another criticism of some members of his own church, suggesting it was better to be an atheist than one of many Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.
In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning mass in his residence, he said: “It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.
“There are those who say, ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to mass, I belong to this and that association’,” the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.
He said some of these people should also say “‘my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life’.”
“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal,” he said. “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’.”
In his often impromptu sermons, he has condemned sexual abuse of children by priests as being tantamount to a “satanic mass”, said Catholics in the mafia excommunicate themselves, and told his own cardinals to not act “as if they were princes”.
AJC: Pope: Atheists better than greedy Christians
Pope Francis called out Christians in a sermon Thursday, suggesting it would be better to be an atheist than to lead a double life, exploit people or manage a greedy business.
“So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others,” Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, CNN reported, quoting Vatican Radio. “How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — ‘But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal.”
“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another.”
Francis’ sermon was an extension of Thursday’s Mass readings, which include a passage from the Gospel of Mark. In it, Jesus says it is better to be drowned than to cause others to sin.
Drawing on that passage, Francis gave a blunt example.
He said he imagined a wealthy Christian knocking at the gates of heaven and saying, “Here I am, Lord! … 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?”
To which Jesus may reply, according to Francis:
“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.”
It is not the first time Francis has referenced atheists. In 2013, he said that heaven is open, potentially, to all people.
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” he said. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”
This, in my opinion, biased being an atheist myself, may be the biggest civil rights speech of this young century. And for as long as I got on this imperiled planet, I and other non-believers in heaven and deities and believers of other faiths and catholics also owe this man infinite gratitude for his wide ranging acceptance and tolerance.
This recognition of the rancid exploiters of the catholic faith and various other religions of those who believe, especially the vulnerable and desperate should make those perpetrators sleep a little harder at night.
Like the gangsters the Pope mentioned, exploiting the catholic faith to cover for their murders, larceny and intimidation in the old country and metropolitan areas in this nation. Especially watching them mulling around the locales of Queens in my formative years, and documented in one of greatest movies of all time
Like the ministers abusing their positions manipulating the public to prop up their favorite politicians, despite their dubious popularity.
Like those priests entrusted by parents with their children, in the dim hopes of instilling them with hopeful beliefs but instead were victims of their repressed feral carnal desires.
Like false freedom fighters imposing their extremist doctrines on their own people with threats of execution amidst living under a dictator.
Like the monarchies in energy rich Arab nations and economically isolated African states oppressing women with century old customs and barbaric interpretations of implementing punishment for crimes
Like all those elected to serve by the Potamic Swamp in the exalted halls and rooms in the Congress and Senate, concocting new orthodoxies and cutting basic individual freedoms in damaging bills being written and laws being rewritten in the name of God and Country.
And last but not least, for which this is certainly what the Pope was referring to, and being the insecure megalomaniac he is, the President of the United States, Donald Trump. Who literally had to double down on the optics to show his alleged devotion to his catholic upbringing to mollify the faithful that voted for him.
And who since then has lied and lied and broken every promise to those who thought he would drain the swamp of officials and the billionaire donor class ripping off the government for decades. And is using his position to sow expensive chaos with his current blanket immigration policy, which as Obama proved previously, was doing just fine.
Pope Francis is a very astute man. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Don Worthless is going to respond on social media to this subtle yet apt slight on his character and his faith-based ruse.
As for all atheists out there, Francis is reassuring us that there is an afterlife out there besides dirt in the ground. Which shows that he’s in touch and respects our convictions, but he will not stop trying to get us to believe, yet without imposition or guilt. And that makes him a living icon, and we haven’t had many of those in a while, and you should actually thank God for a moment that he’s here for us.