Pope Francis: ‘Jesus was popular and look how that turned out’

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Pope Francis blesses a painting depicting the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus during the weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-RADIO, originally transmitted on Sept. 14, 2015.

Pope Francis blesses a painting depicting the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus during the weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-RADIO, originally transmitted on Sept. 14, 2015.

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(RNS) In two wide-ranging new interviews, the pontiff talks about the perils of popularity, his plans to welcome divorced and remarried Catholics, and his fear that the church has locked Jesus up like a prisoner.

  • “Crosses exist. You can’t see them, but they are there.”

    So much is wrong with this answer. I don’t know where to begin.
    Sad to see grown men so full of nonsense.

  • Bernardo

    The real Jesus is now known but he is ~20% of the man depicted in the Gospels and therefore there has been a significant drop in his popularity. As there will be a significant drop in the popularity of Francis when he has to someday defend the absurdities of the resurrection, the eucharist, original sin, the ascension, and subsets of all these myths.

  • Fran

    Jesus was very popular with the common people in his day, since he gave them refreshing spiritual truths and felt love and compassion for them, besides performing many miracles, healing the sick and impaired, and resurrecting the dead, such as Lazarus.

    However, the Scribes and Pharisees, or religious leaders, hated Jesus and kept wanting to have him killed, which was accomplished when they wanted Caesar as their King instead of Jesus (John 19:15).

    The fact remains that Jesus knew he was going to be tortured and killed and told his disciples this fact (Matthew 16:21; 17:12; confirmed at Acts 3:14-15).

    Jesus had so much love for his Father, God, as well as for the entire human family, to give up his life as the perfect ransom sacrifice for imperfect and sinful mankind (Matthew 20:28). We should all be so grateful for his love and actions, so that we may eventually achieve everlasting life on earth (John 3:16; 17:3).

  • Betty Clermont

    Jesus didn’t have a Secretariat for Communications. He repeatedly said to those he helped to tell no one.

  • Bernardo


    You might want to read outside the NT box that you are stuck in. Some books to peruse are listed at Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

  • Fran

    I will stay completely focused on the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, which is all inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, reproving, setting things straight, and disciplining in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

    The Bible is God’s gift to man to get to know his loving and just personality, and his marvelous purpose for mankind on earth. Both God and his Word will receive full vindication by his future actions (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 21:3,4).

    Man cannot evidently get rid of all his problems on his own (look at his entire history), but God has taken the appropriate steps, through time, to put an end to all of them in the near future.

  • Bernardo


    Freeing you from the confines of the Torah and the NT:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ”

    ” Thomas Jefferson omitted Revelation along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he “considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac,

    Martin Luther once “found it an offensive piece of work” and John Calvin “had grave doubts about it”.

  • Fran

    Jesus did not want his miracles advertised (Mark 1:44; 3:12; 7:36), because instead of having people reach a conclusion based on sensational or possibly distorted reports, Jesus wanted them to see for themselves that he was the Christ and to make a personal decision based on that evidence (Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 8:4; 9:30; 12:15-21; 16:20; Luke 5:14).

    An exemption was the case of a formerly demon-possessed man in Gerasenes. Jesus told him to go home and report the matter to his relatives. Jesus had been entreated to go away from that area, so he would have little or no contact with the people there. The presence and testimony of a man to whom Jesus had done a good deed would counteract any negative talk about the loss of the swine (Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

  • Fran

    We all have the choice of believing either the words and promises of God, OR the words and promises of imperfect men.

    Jesus definitely came from Abraham’s lineage (Matthew 1:1-17), who definitely lived, and through whom all nations of the earth will be blessed, as God promised Abraham (Genesis 18:18; 26:4).

    You have definitely made your choice and I have definitely made mine. Time will only prove the truth of these matters.

  • Bernardo

    And you accept the word of M, M, L and J, four basically unknowns for your beliefs? Might also want to remember that were it not for Pilate ordering the crucifixion of all trouble makers that you would have no religion i.e. your religion should not be called Christianity but “Pilateity”!!!

  • Fran

    Yes, I do accept their words…over the imperfect “philosophies” of imperfect men and their governments. Although imperfect men were used by God to be inspired by Him to write for our “benefit,” I will never, ever give my trust to imperfect men and his “imperfect” governments or rulership! And “false religion” will finally be exposed for what it truly is by God and done away by Him. The truth will prevail in the end, as it always has! ?

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  • Bernardo

    The book of Revelation? You mean the book of in-sane nightmares?

  • Bernardo


    More food for thought:

    This also allows the “pew peasants” to now see the true foundations of their Christianity. i.e. the whims of Pilate, the embellishments and myths of the NT and Paul’s epistles (and the pseudo ones), the financial support of the Gentiles, and the swords of Constantine. Take away any of these pillars and there would be no Christianity. And Pilate and Constantine’s crosses and swords to use violence to achieve their goals.

  • Mik

    I wish the Holy Father would not have blessed this painting – it’s astonishing that the Savior and the Blessed Mother are still being depicted as having skin as white as an ceramic doll and blue eyes and blonde hair, to boot.

    Not right.

  • Fran

    Constantine was evidently not a true Christian, as he was involved in worldly conflicts or wars, and Jesus and the first-century Christians were not (Matthew 26:52). They also did not get involved in human politics, preaching instead the good news of God’s kingdom or heavenly government.

    As the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus:

    “For we have a wrestling, NOT against BLOOD and FLESH, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

    It was after the death of the last apostle in the Bible, John, that false religion started to make an appearance, and it has only grown and continued into our day.

    Jesus also prophecied that in the last days of a wicked era, false Christs and false prophets would arise to mislead many (Mark 13:21,22), and this has evidently taken place.

  • Fran

    God is a Spirit (John 4:24), Jesus (the last Adam) became a life-giving spirit person (1 Corinthians 15:45), the angels are spirit persons (Hebrews 1:13,14) and the apostle Paul confirmed that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; see also Luke 24:39).

    Those pictures are no longer applicable, since only spirit persons reside in the heavens, and only humans with physical bodies reside on earth (Matthew 5:5).

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