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Catholic News Service is a leading agency for religious news. It was founded by U.S. bishops in 1920, and is an office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
VATICAN CITY — Though they may go to church and say they are
people of faith, the corrupt and “mafioso” have absolutely nothing
Christian about them, Pope Francis said.
“They call themselves
Christian, but they carry death in their souls and bring death to
others,” the pope said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s
Square March 28.
While the pope dedicated his audience talk to
explaining the Triduum liturgies that commemorate the Last Supper and
Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, he diverted often from his
prepared text and had particularly strong words against those who think
they are honorable and justified without ever recognizing their own
“If Christians truly let themselves be cleansed by Christ,
if they truly let him strip the old from them in order to walk in new
life — while remaining sinners, because we are sinners — they can no
longer be corrupt, can no longer live with death in their soul or be the
cause of death,” he said.
“Jesus’ justification saves us from corruption,” he added. “We are sinners, but not corrupt.”
are fake Christians, those who say ‘Jesus is risen. I have been
justified by Jesus. I have new life, but I live a corrupt life.’ These
fake Christians will have a terrible end,” he said.
“A Christian, I
repeat, is a sinner. We are all sinners; I am one,” the pope said. “But
we are certain that when we ask forgiveness, the Lord will forgive us.
The corrupt person pretends to be an honorable person but, in the end,
there is putrefaction in the heart.”
The new life that Jesus gives
people leaves no place for “death in the soul” or for being the cause
of someone’s death, which brings to mind “these so-called mafiosi
Christians,” the pope said.
They call themselves Christian, but
“they have nothing Christian about them,” he said, asking people to pray
that God may touch their souls.
With baptism, people are risen
with Jesus, and “we are dead to the things and logic of the world; we
are reborn as new creatures,” which also demands a real and concrete
response in life every day.
“The love that Jesus gave to us” now
must be given to one’s neighbor, especially the least and those most in
need, he said. “The world becomes the place of our new life” renewed in
“Standing with our head held high, we can share the
humiliation of those who still today, like Jesus, are suffering, naked,
in need, lonely, in death, in order to become, thanks to Him and with
Him, instruments of redemption and hope, signs of life and
resurrection,” he said.
He encouraged people to take part in a
tradition followed in his native Argentina and other countries: On
Easter, “mothers and grandmothers take their children and wash their
eyes with water as a sign” of seeing things anew, things Jesus would
“This Easter, let ourselves, our souls be washed, wash the
eyes of our soul so as to see things that are beautiful and in order to
do things that are beautiful,” the pope said. “This is wonderful. This
is exactly the resurrection of Jesus after His death, which was the
price for saving all of us.”
CITY — God always loves and always remains faithful to His children,
despite their sin and idolatry, Pope Francis said. “The faithful God
cannot disavow Himself, cannot disavow us, cannot deny His love, cannot
deny His people, He cannot because He loves us,” the pope said in his
homily March 22 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
God’s love is as “visceral” as a mother’s love for her child, he said, which means it is a bond that cannot be forgotten.
offers reassurance and hope, he said, because no matter how awful,
difficult or sinful one’s life is, God “does not forget you because He
has this visceral love.”
It is a love that offers joy, too,
especially with the sacrament of reconciliation, he said. The pope
reminded people that when they go to confession, “please, let’s not
think that we are going to the dry cleaners to get a stain out. No. We
are going to receive the loving embrace of this faithful God who always
waits for us. Always.”
— Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
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