Pope Francis is the supreme head of the Catholic Church, which counts over 1.2B members. Since his election, Pope Francis has been seen by some to very controversial. His views on abortion and LBGTQ issues have been a message of love and redemption in the body of Christ. He said of homosexuals in 2013, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
This week, during his homily at the Vatican, he once again touched on the troubled issue of spirituality and faith as relates to being a practicing Catholic. The prime message was the issue of hypocrisy among the faithful. Pope Francis stated during his homily, “I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money …A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.”
This is not the first time he confronted atheism in the world. In May 2013, he stated, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”
Pope Francis is echoing scripture. Revelations 3:15-21 states, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Though his message was to Catholics, it also sends a message to the entire body of Christ, as a whole.