Friday 23 February 2018

‘Better to be an atheist than a Catholic hypocrite’ – Pope

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Emile Laurac

Pope Francis delivered another criticism of some members of his own Church yesterday, suggesting it is better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.

In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning Mass in his residence, the Pope (right) said: “It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.”

“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association’,” he said.

But he added that some of these people should also say “’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’.”

“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal,” he said. “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’.”

Meanwhile, a representative of Pope Francis has gone on a shopping spree in quake-hit central Italy, buying prosciutto, cheese and local produce from struggling businesses and donating the food to soup kitchens in Rome.

The Vatican said Monsignor Konrad Krajewski’s expedition was a concrete gesture of Francis’s belief that “when you can’t earn a living you lose your dignity”.

Central Italy has been rocked by a series of powerful earthquakes that have driven thousands of people from their homes.

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