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Sun Jun 26 08:15:59 SAST 2016

Too many fake Christians‚ says Pope Francis

TMG Digital | 23 February, 2016 20:14
The Pope emphasised: “Cease to do evil‚ learn to do good‚” and‚ 'relieve the oppressed‚ do right by the orphan‚ plead for the widow.' File photo
Image by: TONY GENTILE / REUTERS

Fresh from questioning the faith of Donald Trump‚ Pope Francis said on Tuesday that too many Christians were fakes.

They treat their faith as window dressing rather than as an opportunity for service‚ the Pope said at a Mass in the Chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican‚ according to Radio Vatican.

Reflecting on hypocrisy‚ and the difference between saying and doing‚ he called on his disciples to do as they say‚ and 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‚” the Pope said.

“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‚’ [they say]. This is the religion of saying: I say it is so‚ but I do according to the ways of the world.”

The Pope emphasised: “Cease to do evil‚ learn to do good‚” and‚ “relieve the oppressed‚ do right by the orphan‚ plead for the widow.”

Noting that the Christian life involved service to the sick‚ the hungry‚ the thirsty‚ the imprisoned and the stranger‚ the Pope said “mere talk leads to vanity‚ to that empty pretence of being Christian – but no‚ that way one is not a Christian at all”.

“May the Lord give us this wisdom to understand well where lies the difference between saying and doing‚ and teach us the way of doing and help us to go down that way‚ because the way of saying brings us to the place where were these teachers of the law‚ these clerics‚ who liked dressing up and acting just like if they were so many Majesties – and this is not the reality of the Gospel. May the Lord teach us this way.”

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