Pope Francis Says It Is Better To Be An Atheist Than A Hypocritical Christian

Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church with more than 1.2 billion members worldwide, has caused a stir by saying that “many” of his church members lead a “hypocritical double-life.”

The Roman Catholic pontiff warned people who claim to be Christians but live a hypocritical double lives that it would be better if they were atheists because many atheists, despite not believing in God, live good lives,

Pope Francis might have upset many complacent, professing Catholics when he made the comments during a sermon he delivered at his private morning Mass at his Vatican residence,

“It is a scandal to say one thing and do another,” he said, according to a transcript of his sermon by the Vatican Radio. “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,'” despite the fact that they live immoral lives and have no regard for the spiritual truths, Francis said.

He advised that Catholics living a hypocritical double-life should not say “I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association,” but should rather 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,” Francis continued. “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist?'”

According to Pope Francis, it is, in fact, better to be an atheist than to be a Christian who leads a hypocritical double life.

Pope Francis’ latest comments are typical of his penchan, since he was elected as pope in 2013, for challenging the moral and ethical complacency of members of the Catholic priesthood and the laity.

He has challenged priests to practice what they preach, live a simple Christ-like life and not to live as “princes.” He has condemned priests abusing children, describing it as “Satanic Mass.”

He has also admonished Catholics to live a life worthy of their calling as Christians and to shun immorality.

Soon after he was elected pope, Francis said that Christians should look upon atheists who live a good life as good people. His suggestion was contrary to the view held by many Christians that only Christians are “good people.”

Pope Francis also caused a stir in 2013 when he recommended that gay people should not be demonized and marginalized.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said, according to the BBC, while speaking with reporters on a flight back home after a week-long visit to Brazil where he addressed a huge crowd at Rio de Janiero’s Copacabana beach.

He insisted that only homosexual acts were a sin and that having homosexual orientation was not a sin. He advocated that gays should not be marginalized but that they should be integrated into society.

“The problem is not having this orientation,” he said, according to Reuters. “We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem.”

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

He explained that if anyone commits the sin of sexual immorality, church teaching allows the sinner to confess his sins and receive forgiveness.

He added although the church rules do not allow women to be priests, the church “must not limit the role of women to altar girls or president of a charity, there must be more.”

Later in 2014, he caused a stir when he declared that animals go to heaven because “heaven is open to all God’s creatures.” He made the declaration during a weekly address at St. Peter’s Square while trying to comfort a boy who had lost his pet dog.

According to Francis, the scriptures promise a new creation and not world annihilation.

“One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all God’s creatures,” Pope Francis said, according to the New York Times.

[Featured Image by Andrew Medichini/AP Images]

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