Pope Francis on Thursday suggested that "it is better to be an atheist" than Catholics who he said lead "a double life", according to a report on Reuters.
He then quoted a sentiment that he said he has heard expressed repeatedly: "But to be a Catholic like that, it's better to be an atheist".
"But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another".
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The pontiff read the day's gospel, which was the warning St. Mark gives Jesus about anyone who "causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin", which also instructs to "cut off your hand, pluck (your eye) out, but do not 'scandalize the little ones, ' " referring to those "just ones" who believe in God. He granted an interview to an atheist journalist, and told the reporter that efforts to convert people to Christianity are "solemn nonsense" and each person "must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them".
He added that some of people should also be saying: 'My life is not Christian, I don't pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, (I lead) a double life.
Pope Francis suggests it's better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic who leads others astray. Will He say: 'What you have said about me?' No.
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"I start by saying - and this is the fundamental thing - that God's mercy has no limits if you go to Him with a honest and contrite heart". The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. The Pope's most recent condemnation of "bad Christians, " like America's religious right, is a near reiteration of his harsh criticism barely four months ago where he cited the "West's" hypocrisy in claiming Christianity while persecuting different faiths and mistreating the least fortunate among us; refugees.
"In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals". They may call themselves Christians, but according to the Pope and the mythological Messiah he represents, they are never gaining admission to Heaven.
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