Pope Francis is not afraid to speak out against hatred in the world, even if that hatred is coming at the hands of his own community.
Since becoming the pope in 2013, Pope Francis has made many bold statements that normally would be seen as taboo for members of the clergy. He granted priests permission to absolve parishioners who have had abortions. His Holiness also stated it's better to be Atheist than a "hypocritical Catholic."
Pope Francis also encourages Catholics to give money to the homeless, despite stereotypes that they'll be spending it on drugs or alcohol. His Holiness says we shouldn't be judging, but to "instead ask yourself what do you do on the sly? What ‘happiness’ do you seek in secret?”
Now, the Pope has a message for people who see themselves as perfect: here's a hint...he doesn't like it.
Pope Francis says God did not choose perfect people to form his church, but rather sinners who have experienced His love and forgiveness.
"There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect," the Pope said. "And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad."
Pope Francis says Jesus continued to perform "scandalous gestures" by forgiving women of sin, even though others denounced them as unworthy. His actions showed that as long as people are willing to accept their sin and repent, they should not be brought shame. This is what Christian hope is about.
"How many people continue today in a wayward life because they find no one willing to look at them in a different way, with the eyes—or better yet—with the heart of God, meaning with hope," he said. But "Jesus sees the possibility of a resurrection even in those who have made so many wrong choices."
Pope Francis says too often Christians become accustomed to having their sins forgiven that they don't believe they do anything wrong. His Holiness reminds the community that despite Jesus's forgiveness this doesn't offer a clean conscience, but rather offers "people who have made mistakes the hope of a new life, a life marked by love."
The church is a people formed "of sinners who have experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God," Pope Francis said. Christians are "all poor sinners" who need God's mercy, "which strengthens us and gives us hope."
Do you agree with Pope Francis's criticism of 'perfect' Catholics?
[H/T: America Magazine]