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Pope Francis to Catholics: ‘Who are you to judge others?’

Pope Francis blesses a boy as he arrives to lead a special Jubilee audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican on June 18, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Tony Gentile *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-HYPOCRISY, originally transmitted on June 20, 2016.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Stop being judgmental hypocrites and take a look at yourself in the mirror — without covering up your wrinkles — Pope Francis advised Catholics in a sermon that reprised one of his favorite themes.

In his last homily at morning Mass before taking a break for the summer, Francis on Monday (June 20) said those who constantly judge people should instead reflect on their own behavior.

“Look in the mirror, but not to put on makeup to hide the wrinkles. No, no, no, that’s not the advice! Look in the mirror to look at yourself as you are,” the pope said, in a report by Vatican Radio.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is still in your eye?” he continued. “And how does the Lord look at us then, when we do this? One word: ‘hypocrite.’ First take the log out of your eye, and then you shall see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.'”

Vatican Radio usually has a reporter present at the pontiff’s daily morning Mass in the small chapel at the Vatican guest house where Francis lives. The pope will continue to celebrate Mass daily as usual, but without coverage of his remarks.

In this latest homily, the pope said those who are overly critical of others rather than looking at themselves are viewed as hypocrites by the Lord, and should not try and take God’s place:

“Being judgmental is very ugly. Judgment belongs only to God, to Him alone!”

The pontiff instead urged his followers to focus on love, understanding and mercy — the latter being the theme of the Catholic Church’s current Holy Year jubilee.

His comments continue a central theme of his papacy, during which Francis has promoted a pastoral approach to Catholicism rather than the unforgiving imposition of canon law.

While such an approach has been widely praised, the pope has also been accused by traditionalists of trying to water down church doctrine.

Francis is famous — and controversial, to some — for once saying, in reply to a question on whether gay men could become priests, “Who am I to judge?”

(Rosie Scammell covers the Vatican for RNS)

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Rosie Scammell

22 Comments

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  • Love the sinner and hate the sin…

    The unthinking, unChristian’s way to avoid “judge not lest ye be judged”.

    Thanks, Francis.

  • God judged the behaviour long before “love the sinner and hate the sin” was conceived of. Jesus also said He would cleanse us of our sin.

  • Where was your mercy when the 10 year old rape victim was forced to deliver a baby? Then shortly after you gave a year of forgiveness, only too late for her. You pope, are a hypocrite of the worst sort.

  • And before your god, Zeus handled things. And before Jesus, Jeshua Ha Nozri forgave sin.

  • Yes, if we wash ourselves pure in the blood of a human sacrifice. Does this make sense?

  • Yahweh chronologically appears as a religious figure before Zeus appears as a religious figure to bronze-age Greeks. Unless you’re going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European Dyēus, in which case you’d have to also use Yahweh’s older names and when you do that both are too old to really figure out who came first. Your chronology is messed up.

  • Only statements I see quoted from Francis here are along the lines of “look at your own sins, not others” so I have no idea where you are extrapolating the “Love the sinner/hate the sin” message from.

  • Zeus may have been a poor choice from the many gods, but he certainly came before the christian corruption of the OT Jewish Yahweh, which they had counterfeited out of a Canaanite storm and war god.

  • How is my chronology messed up when you admit Yahweh was called by a number of names. Ironic isn’t it, that even the gods evolve?

  • Love the sinner, hate the sin, is the way that allows some judgmental Christians to look at my sins, pretend they are not judging, saying something vapid like”well, we’re all sinners” and keep on looking at my sins.

    Because they love me.

  • Will always be what? On his way? Always has been? Then let’s drop the silly christmas story.

  • ” Stop being judgmental hypocrites and take a look at yourself in the mirror — without covering up your wrinkles — Pope Francis advised… ”

    Sounds like common-sense plus love-sense with a tad bit of humor to me. Think how much better this world would be if we all practiced such things.

    For you will be treated as you treat others. The standards and words you use in judging others will be the standards and words by which you will be judged….Matthew 7:12

    For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned…..Matthew 12:37

    …who art thou that judgest another?…..James 4:12

  • “Herods [that] destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying Creation. Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let’s think also of […] the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

    Recounting the story of a public education minister he knew who was offered money to construct new schools for the poor, Francis said to receive the money, the minister had to agree to use a course book with students that taught gender theory.

    “This is the ideological colonization,” the pope said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure. It is not new, this,” he continued. “The same was done by the dictators of the last century. They came with their own doctrine — think of the Balilla [youth groups of Fascist Italy], think of the Hitler Youth.”

    –Pope Francis, on transgender & other gender non-conforming/LGBT people.

    But the rest of you, who are YOU to judge?

  • More dishonest reporting. Accurately, here is the question: “Also another image went around the world, which was that of Monsignor Ricca and of the news of his private life. I would like to know, Holiness, what do you intend to do about this question? How will this question be confronted and how does Your Holiness intend to confront the question of the gay lobby?” Ricca was this pope’s first Vatican appointment and then he was “outed” for a scandalous affair involving favors granted to his male lover. So the pope was defending his appointment. As others have noted, Bergoglio is homophobe calling gay marriage an “anthropological regression” in 2014.

  • Since humanity began, people have created millions of gods. Today everyone is agnostic on all of them – except that one they were brainwashed into believing before they reached the age of reason.

  • Is there some particular reason why you are trolling this site,”Found One”? What are you hoping to accomplish here? I await your reply.

  • “How is my chronology messed up when you admit Yahweh was called by a number of names.”

    You’re making this horrible mistake where you’re assuming that I’m either a Jew or a Christian and you think that your point is somehow true as long as a Judeo-Christian notion of “Yahweh” is somehow discredited.

    Rather, I’m just offering criticism as a theology geek who is interested in all religions from all time periods and who knows that Zeus came AFTER the God of the person of whom you claimed Zeus precedes. I’m not arguing for the eternal existence of Yahweh, as you apparently think I am, but I’m arguing against your false, foolish statement that Zeus predates Yahweh, which, as a total religion-nerd, I know is blatantly false and easily proven wrong by the historical record.

    Brah, the Hebrews were worshiping Yahweh before the Mycenaeans were even AROUND to appropriate the pantheon of!!

    “Zeus may have been a poor choice from the many gods,”

    Which was pretty much just my point.

    “but he certainly came before the christian corruption of the OT Jewish Yahweh,”

    Debatable. It pretty much comes down to how you choose to measure change in deities and when one “becomes” another. In reality, most of these changes happen over a very, VERY long period of time, and you sort of have a Ship of Theseus situation in which it is near impossible to tell when one figure becomes another.

    “which they had counterfeited out of a Canaanite storm and war god.”

    Again, because I am a TOTAL geek when it comes to religions, I’m still gonna need to dispute this point here because, like the Zeus claim, you are WRONG here. The God associated with Yahweh from that Canaanite pantheon is El, which we know because they pretty much use the same name and titles.

    Ba’al Hadad is the “storm and war god” you are thinking of. You’re probably conflating the few similar points that Yahweh and Ba’al Hadad share. The biggest point of similarity is that Ba’al Hadad kills a dragon and prophecy says Yahweh WILL kill leviathan, which isn’t ENOUGH of a similarity to discount the fact that Yahweh has many, many more obvious similarities with El.

    El is the Canaanite Supreme God and Creator. Ba’al Hadad is the ENEMY of El in the Ba’al cycle. You’re confusing a god for his rival and enemy.

    Brah, it’s like you don’t even theology!! Maybe stay out of theological discussions or discussions on the historical origins of different beliefs until you go get a book and read up on ancient Mesopotamian religions, because as of right now you don’t know jack about the subject and are making all kind of mistakes.

  • I specifically said “Your god”, while speaking to a christian. If nuance escapes you, religion is not your subject.

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