Pope Francis blasts 'pagan' Christians as 'enemies of the cross' [CNA]

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Pope_Francis_celebrates_a_Mass_of_Thanksgiving_for_two_new_Canadian_Saints_in_St_Peters_Basilic_a_on_Oct_12_2014_Credit_Lauren_Cater_CNA_2_CNA_10_13_14.jpgVatican City, Nov 7, 2014 / 10:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily for Mass at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis urged the faithful against living as lukewarm pagans who are merely Christian in name, for these are “enemies of the Cross.”

Reflecting on the day's reading from Paul to the Philippians, the Holy Father spoke of two types of Christians: those who advance in their faith, and those who behave as “enemies of the Cross of Christ.”

Pope Francis condemned this latter group as “Christian pagans,” describing them as “worldly, Christian in name,” but living a “pagan life.” They are “pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, in order to appear as Christians.”

There are my Christians today who live out their faith in this way, the Holy Father said. He warned the faithful to be attentive so as to not become like these “Christian pagans,” who are merely “Christians in appearance.”

The downfall of such Christians is their mediocrity, he continued, for their hearts become lukewarm. “Because you are lukewarm, I vomit you from my mouth” the Pope said, citing the Lord's words against lukewarm Christians.

“They are enemies of the Cross of Christ. They take the name (Christian), but do not follow the demands of a Christian life.”

Continuing his reflection on Saint Paul, Pope Francis said these Christians “are citizens of the world,” not of Heaven.

The Holy Father then challenged the faithful to ask themselves if they too exhibit the same worldliness and paganism, and whether they are citizens of Heaven or the earth.

Unlike the citizens of Heaven who await the coming of the Savior, Pope Francis said the citizens of earth are destined for damnation.

“Where will the citizenship which you have in your heart take you?” the Pope said. Worldliness leads to ruin, whereas the Cross of Christ leads to “to an encounter with Him.”

Pope Francis noted there are signs “in the heart” which show one is “drifting toward worldliness”. Among these are self love, attachment to money, vanity, and pride.

On the contrary, if “you seek to love God, to serve others, if you are meek, if you are humble... you are on a good path. Your citizen card is good: it is of Heaven!”

The Holy Father recalled how Jesus asked His Father to save his disciples “from the spirit of the world, from this worldliness, which leads to damnation.”

Pope Francis turned to the Gospel reading for the day, in which Jesus gives the Parable of the rich man and the dishonest steward. The steward did not reach the point to where he was cheating and stealing from his master overnight, the Holy Father said. Rather, he arrived at this level of corruption “little by little.”

Thus is “the road to worldliness of these enemies of the Cross of Christ,” he said. “It leads you to corruption!”

Pope Francis concluded by calling on Christians to remain “firm in the Lord,” as Paul says, for “there lies the transfiguration in glory.”

feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/catholicnewsagency/dailynews?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/catholicnewsagency/dailynews/~4/blv6q1jOZCg

Full article…

Why does this —> &ldquo keep appearing in the first post?

:confused:

It’s a glitch. It means quotation marks: ".

The Pope is right.

For a great many Catholics, their Catholicism is more a product of their culture than their search for faith. When their culture is transformed through modern media (owned and run by those with pagan morals) these people seem to want to inject the paganism they like in the outside culture into the churches doctrines.

That can come in the form of a conservative who has no sympathy for the poor or a liberal who wants to change the core values of the church to be more friendly to things that have been core beliefs in the church from the beginning.

If the catholic church changes its core values in the next one hundred years then it wont be catholic itself any more as religions are defined by the values they teach and not just the name on the church doors.

Demographically such accommodation is a mistake anyway. The traditionalists have more children by far and are the future of the church. Just look at how the SSPX group has thrived despite complete loss of influence in the church and surrounding French society.

The time tested values are in the churches vault and the surrounding cultural values are just fad. In thirty years pop culture will be pushing something totally different, and if the church gives in to its own pop culturalists then it will have sold its own soul.

I doubt that this will happen. The Holy Ghost inspires the church from within its leadership and so I think the Truth will prevail.

I am with you 100%. But I read this more closely and do detect an emphasis on worldly in the sense being a citizen of the world; didn’t catch the sin message in this one. Just saying.

Pope Francis noted there are signs “in the heart” which show one is “drifting toward worldliness”. Among these are self love, attachment to money, vanity, and pride.

Maybe it is due to my background as an evangelical, but I tend to equate worldly with sinful.

Do you not think that is the valid implication?

I do indeed; I see upon further review that my post was unclear (and quite possibly wrong) in this regard. :smiley: For whatever reason, I have a habit of scoring the references to sin in the sense of materialism or capitalism, *that *kind of worldliness, and the other kind of sin, SIN, immorality. I think liberal fans of Pope Francis love the former; conservative fans the latter. Just sayin’ I am putting this in the former group. (IMHO) :slight_smile: I now see the “pride” and “vanity” references which weaken my argument somewhat, but don’t kill it…

Capitalism is simply a form of economy that places high emphasis on developing and building up manufacturing capital (heavy machinery, computers, more efficient methods and processes) and Marx argued that this process devalues the human labor added. I think he overlooked how the highly efficient mature industry that is highly capitalized then helps make way for entirely NEW industries that give several generations gainful employment as it gradually capitalizes also.

The immorality found so often in capitalism is due to greed, which can find its way into ANY economic model.

I do think that government taxes to give everyone an fairly even start in life, protect everyone, negotiate settlements of disputes and provide a social safety net are very valid roles for the government and note that some who oppose them are often doing so out of sinful motives but not always.

I hope that makes more sense.

What does Pope Francis consider to be a “pagan” life?

Pope Francis is referring to an orientation – placing a false idol higher than God.

He made a similar warning last year (found here).

I’ll tell you what I think - 80% of the people I know are pagan! IMHO. :smiley:

“Pagan life” probably means ‘looking like a catholic’ but not ‘living the way as a catholic should be’. more of just projecting an ‘image’ rather than doing Christ’s and church teachings.

People who argue for government intervention for a “safety net” can do so out of sinful motives also. People don’t seem to understand that even social workers aren’t always altruistic.

Also, note the people who want a smaller government tend to be more charitable as a whole.

They can, but that doesn’t poison the goal itself.

I think most people realize that.

Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean that they are right or altruistic in opposing welfare.

The thing is, up until about 1930, most people lived on a farm. The folks who lived in cities, if they lost their jobs and no money to fall back on, unusual for the most part, they could go to a relatives farm and work for room and board. It happened all the time. When people got too old to take care of themselves they went to live with the nearest farm relative that they could tolerate and vice versa. The people were their own safety net.

But now less than 1% of Americans claim to live on farms. epa.gov/oecaagct/ag101/demographics.html

It is impossible for the vast majority of urban Americans to fall back on extended farm family/relatives to take up the economic slack any more.

So we have social security, Medicaid, medicare, and scores of welfare programs to let people know that they will be taken care of.

In our current economy, the old subsistence living homestead farm is a dream of a great many people due to the perception that our safety net is tattered and ready to rip out altogether. These people are money/labor now off the grid and not contributing to the overall economic health of the nation and so many businesses are using zoning laws to harass people back into the cities.

Everyone has an angle, everyone has their own pet interests.

We do not pull together any more and it is killing us.

This seems like almost a protestant viewpoint in my interpretation of what he’s saying. I think he’s saying to be a Christian you must strive to live a Christ-like life. If you reject all of Christ’s teachings about love and charity and everything else, you are actually a pagan even if you nominally claim to be a Christian.

Generally, protestants don’t consider that being a church member or taking communion or attending church or being baptized make you a true Christian. They mostly believe you also have to actually believe in what Jesus taught and strive to live that out in your daily life.

My very limited experience with Catholics seems to be that most I know believe belonging to the church and receiving the sacraments makes you a Christian regardless of what you believe or how you try to live your daily life.

Those are two viewpoints I am really struggling to reconcile, and I suppose I won’t really know the truth until after I die.

Well, surely this a bit of a slam to Catholics. Obviously there ARE Catholics like this. (This is what a lot of Protestants believe about Catholics.) Just as there are Protestants that just believe whatever they want, prosperity gospel, etc., with no recognition of the traditional doctrine of Christianity - the commandments, the beautitudes. (I don’t think I’ve ever met a believing Protestant who didn’t take baptism very seriously but I agree that they do emphasize following the Bible in their lives as the primary means of being a Christian.)

I have always felt that it is my duty as a Catholic to set a slightly better example than the so called works mentality. And I actually admit to stealing a bit of the Protestant thunder on the faith side (I think of course it is actually our thunder reclaimed to its proper home.) :slight_smile:

Maybe your best bet is just to take the best of both for now. :wink: And, of course, the saints lived pretty faith-filled lives as well.

The problem is, it doesn’t matter that the goal is well intentioned if it creates a mess. Thre modern welfare state is a mess that is bankrupting the country. If you look at the stats, it has little to show for itself since Johnson began his “war on poverty”.

Also, the goal of the welfare state was never about helping the poor. It was about buying votes. Dupes with a misplaced sense of charity went along with it.

I agree, which is why my family has a tightly knit social circle that helps each other out in hard times. Funny, we don’t need government to do that.

It wasn’t intended to be a slam on all Catholics which is why I clarified my view by saying my experience is limited and also limited it to Catholics I know personally, not all Catholics. And we are discussing what the Pope said to Catholics.

Or maybe it is intended to be a slam on all those of any religion who are hypocrites, professing one thing verbally while living out something completely different in their day to day lives. I interpreted the Pope’s remarks to be directed to those who profess one thing while living another. You may interpret his remarks differently.

And again, my limited experience with most of the Catholics I know is that they have a different criteria for being called Christian or Catholic than most of the protestants I know. Or maybe protestants are just more judgmental as it seems common to look at fellow church-goers and say, “John is a baptized church member, but he cheats on his wife, steals from his business partners, and evicts poor widows and orphans into the snow so obviously he isn’t really a Christian.” I think Catholics (again, clarifying, limited to most of those I know personally) are more prone to think, “John is a baptized Catholic, attends mass most weeks, goes to confession, etc, so even though he cheats on his wife, steals from his business partner, and evicts poor widows and orphans into the snow, he’s a Christian, just a poor example of one.” I’m interpreting the Pope’s remarks to mean that John’s daily actions might be stronger evidence of his Christianity or paganism than that one ocassional hour on Sunday morning, not that all Catholics act like John or condone John’s behavior.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.