Pope Francis: It’s better to be ‘atheist’ than attend daily mass as hypocrite
During his general audience at the Vatican today, Pope Francis condemned Catholics who go to church every day but “go on hating” their fellow men. He said it “is better” that they not go.
“How many times have we witnessed the scandal of those who go to church and spend all day there or attend every day, and later go on hating others or speaking ill of people. This is a scandal,” the Argentine pontiff said.
Pope Francis has been unstinting in his criticisms of some Catholics, particularly traditional-minded ones, whom he asserts have failed to meet the mark. In 2013, Catholic blogger Laurence English released “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults,” which continues to document the epithets used by the pontiff to describe those whom he criticizes. These include: “superficial Christian,” “climbers…attached to money,” and “fomenters of coprophagia!” The pope has regularly referred to some traditionalist Catholics as “rigid.”
During his regular Wednesday audience for pilgrims to the Vatican, the pope issued a homily on the Gospel of Matthew which refers to the “hypocrites” who pray so that “they can be seen by people.” This is repeated today, the pope said, by “atheists, without God, to be merely admired.” “Pagans,” the pontiff said, “think they pray by talking, talking, and talking. I think that many Christians believe that praying is to talk to God, if you’ll forgive me, like a parrot. No, praying is done in the heart, from within.”
On the other hand, Pope Francis said that Jesus Christ “crowned with joy” those persons who “were given little consideration in those days, but also today,” including the poor and the merciful. “This is the Gospel revolution. Everyone is capable of love. Peacemakers that until then had been on the margin of history are building the Kingdom of God.” He emphasized, “Where the Gospel is, so too is revolution. The Gospel does not leave us unmoved. It pushes us; it is revolutionary.”.