To Our “Christian” Neighbors

From the Pope…

While many of this Pope’s pronouncements are often assumed to be novel interpretations of Christian doctrines, Francis was also touching on an ancient debate: Is salvation open to all believers, or only those who do good while on earth?

The Pope suggested the latter, in characteristically blunt language.

He imagined a wealthy Christian knocking at the gates of heaven and saying, “Here I am, Lord! … I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?”

To which Jesus may reply, according to the Pope:

“Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life.”

Thursday’s sermon is far from the first time Francis has targeted Christian hypocrites. In a sermon last February, the outspoken Pope called out the “fakeness” of Christians who talk piously, but do little to help others.

“To be a Christian means to do: to do the will of God — and on the last day — because all of us we will have one — that day what shall the Lord ask us? Will He say: ‘What you have said about me?’ No. He shall ask us about the things we did.”

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