Pope Francis again blasts ‘fake’ Christians in Mass homily

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Pope Francis gives his blessings during a Jubilee audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, February 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile
*Editors: This photo may be republished with RNS-POPE-CHRISTIANS, originally transmitted on Feb. 23, 2016.

Pope Francis gives his blessings during a Jubilee audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, February 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile *Editors: This photo may be republished with RNS-POPE-CHRISTIANS, originally transmitted on Feb. 23, 2016.

Revelations-Series-Banner-770x150(RNS) Days after creating a stir by saying that Donald Trump “is not Christian” because of his harsh views on immigrants, Pope Francis again took up the theme of “fake” Christians in a homily Mass.

Referring to the readings of the day from Isaiah and from the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus warns of the judgment that awaits those who do not practice what they preach, Francis said Christians must act on their beliefs and care for the neediest — the hungry, the thirsty and those in prison.

“Merely talking leads to vanity, to faking being a Christian. But no, one is not a Christian this way,” Francis said Tuesday (Feb. 23).

Pope Francis gives his blessings during a Jubilee audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, February 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile *Editors: This photo may be republished with RNS-POPE-CHRISTIANS, originally transmitted on Feb. 23, 2016.

Pope Francis gives his blessings during a Jubilee audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, February 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile
*Editors: This photo may be republished with RNS-POPE-CHRISTIANS, originally transmitted on Feb. 23, 2016.


RELATED STORY: Pope Francis calls Trump ‘not Christian’


According to Vatican Radio’s report, the pontiff said the readings highlighted the “evangelical dialectic between saying and doing.”

He pointed in particular to the way Jesus called out the “scribes and Pharisees” as seemingly devout believers who in effect tell the crowds to do as they say, not as they do:

“The Lord teaches us the way of doing: and how many times we find people — ourselves included — so often in the church, who say, ‘Oh, we are very Catholic.’ But what do you do? How many parents say they are Catholics, but never have time to talk to their children, to play with their children, to listen to their children. Perhaps they have their parents in a nursing home, but always are busy and cannot go and visit them and so leave them there, abandoned. ‘But I am very Catholic: I belong to that association.’ This is the religion of saying: ‘I say it is so, but I do according to the ways of the world.’ ”

This type of religion “is a deception,” Francis continued.

“To be a Christian means to do: to do the will of God. And on the last day — because all of us will have one! — that day what shall the Lord ask us? Will he say: ‘What you have said about me?’ No! He shall ask us about the things we did.”

(David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS)

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  • Balthasar

    As much as he has preached about this before, I do think he had the recent kerfuffle in mind.

  • Lou

    What the Pope says matter not..
    The Bible, the Word of God is the true authority.
    The Bible states obedience is better than sacrifice. Doing God’s will is itmost.
    Jesus said, You must be born again, not that you have to attend a Catholic church or the Pope is infallible.
    Nowhere does it say you local priest can forgive sin, nor does it contradict Jesus saying ,your going to have a second chance in purgatory.
    If you want to study the Bible, think on this.
    How does God justify the ungodly and remain righteous while doing so..

  • Fran

    He will blast “fake Christians”; yet, he makes the statement that Jehovah, Allah, Jesus, the Bible and the Koran are all the same!! There are definite major differences concerning all of them…unbelievable!!

  • TimGolden

    [yoo-hoo] [yoo-hoo]
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    come out, come out, wherever you are
    G-D wants y’all to(o)
    ‘take and drink’ (t)HIS Cup of (not hemlock) T:
    Q1: has G-D ever caught you
    pretending to be a follower of CHRIST?
    Q2: have you ever caught you
    pretending to be a follower of CHRIST?
    p.s.
    sip! sip!

  • ebby

    Amen

  • Tim

    What the Pope says is what Jesus was teaching, so yes it matters greatly
    The bible is a Catholic book, the church put it together, review your history. We are the original Christians with over 2000 years of apostolic succession.
    Yes we are born again through Baptism by water and the spirit, not by words. Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:18 ” And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.(yes you need to attend his church, which is the Catholic Church).
    The Pope is infallible only by special declaration in regards to the matters of faith and morals (the last infallible declaration was over 50 years ago)
    Jesus instructs the apostles saying “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” a commission of forgiving sins.
    You do not seem to know your bible very well, or your interpretation is very fallible.

  • Tim

    The Pope never said these things, Beware of the media spin, they do a great job of mis-representing to achieve greater headline and ratings.

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    There’s a traffic light on the corner. It was green when I went past the other day. It was yellow when Fred went by, and Susan says she saw it was red.

    Fran says there are three traffic lights on the corner.

    -dlj.

  • David Price

    Which came first-the Christian Church or the Christian Bible?

  • Bonnie Rice

    It’s unbelievable for a reason. The pope never actually said those things, but the media have managed to twist his words to give that impression. The pope wasn’t really talking specifically about Trump, he was asked what he thought about the idea of building a wall and he responded without anyone naming any names. He often speaks in English, but it’s not his first language, and he’s not used to having to worry about being misquoted, which makes it easier to twist his words in English and to mis-translate what he doesn’t say in English to be more controversial.

  • Bryan

    As you no doubt already know, some interpret the rock on which Jesus will build his church as Peter’s preceding confession “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”. That does seem like a stronger foundation to the church than the dirty rotten sinner Peter. Which is to say, I think one needs to look at more than this one verse for the answer.

  • Now does this open the door for fake Christian financial officers? If so I have about a hundred questions for the Pope.

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  • Esther

    It also matters not how many good deeds one does, or how pious they appear. One must uphold the truth of the Word of God in every way, by word and by deed. Otherwise it is futile. Ex. 101: “Good” atheists do NOT go to heaven.
    Beware, the end is here.
    The bride (true church) obeys and honors the Bridegroom, Jesus; who comes in the name of the Father. The imposter comes in his own name. Those who follow after him are the harlot. Read the complete Old and New Testament and surrender your soul to Jesus Christ alone for salvation before it is too late! Only God can forgive your sin against God. His sacrifice is complete for once and for all, but you must accept it. See Bible; Hebrews. True salvation comes from Jesus, but there are MANY counterfeits. Read the Bible.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Baptism is the starting point. Then begins the Christian journey.

  • Bill

    Many of these comments represent an idea of a very small, petty, God that needs to be appeased. My God is an awesome lover full of mercy and forgiveness. I think a lot of people will be suprised when they get to heaven and see so many sinners there. Grace. Love is stronger than death. Grow up Christians.