Pope Francis has burst onto the Catholic landscape as a voice of humility and a true adherent to the words of Jesus in the Bible, and his latest target involves rigid Christian “ideology” that bears little resemblance to the direction of the Christian messiah.
While Pope Francis has made waves in many ways, a recent Mass, during which he struck out at ideological caucuses falling back on Christ, became the newest instance of His Holiness disrupting a lot of mainstream Christian doctrine.
The Bible’s New Testament offers up a lot of words from Jesus on how we should live, with many about caring for the sick, needy and poor, and zero about gay marriage and other Evangelical right cause célèbres.
Pope Francis sees you moralizing on the street corner, and he wants you to know he does not approve. His Holiness said:
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology… And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid.”
The Pope continued:
“… when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”
Pope Francis adds that not only is the embrace of ideology counterproductive, it’s also possibly driving people away from faith. He explains:
“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people… But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”
Prior to Pope Francis’ recent statements about the dangers of rigid Christian ideology, he also controversially spoke out on gay marriage, homosexuality in general, abortion, and ostensibly, atheists going to heaven on the basis of good works and not belief or adherence to a specific religion.
You can watch above as Pope Francis speaks at Thursday’s Mass about the confluence of faith and politics, and why he feels that ideology and religious belief don’t make good bedfellows. What do you think of Pope Francis so far?