Pope Francis speaks about lukewarm Christians

Lukewarm Christians are those who want to build a church to their own specifications, but it is not the Church of Jesus: this is what Pope Francis said today during a Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Present at the Mass were volunteers from the pediatric dispensary “Santa Marta” in the Vatican, entrusted to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who for 90 years have supported children and families in need in Rome without distinction of religion or nationality.


the homily is of Saturday’s mass(20th April)

I have the impression the pope was also referring to some protestant denominations in his homily… :hmmm:

Truly, this man is filled with the gift of teaching and counseling. :slight_smile:

I think so too since, when he speaks of hard teaching and the question of whether the apostles will leave too, that is a reference to John 6 (where Christ tells others that they must eat and drink His body and blood).

It would be great, once again, if he/the Church was clearer about this, but I tend to think he is busy about laying the foundation for right now.

And once again, notice that this homily is nowhere to be found in the mainstream media.

Don’t want to let on that the Pope is Catholic… :wink:

I think Pope Francis is setting himself up as a “no nonsense” leader who is not going to pander to factions that falsify the Gospel by interpreting it ideologically (see the current thread on this topic at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=777812) or to people who may sit in the pews, but do not live the mission. Notice, he identifies those who offer “prudential judgement” arguments to justify their failure to help the poor (in contrast to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul) as well as all that is necessary to create a Culture of Life.

"They are Christians of good sense only: they keep their distance. Christians - so to speak they are - ‘satellites’, that have a small church, in size: to quote the words of Jesus in Revelation, ‘lukewarm Christians’. The indifference that is in the Church … They walk only in the presence of common sense, common sense … that worldly prudence: This is a temptation just worldly prudence. "

I think it would be a mistake to interpret his message to mean baptized Catholics who have openly left the Church, because they would be the first ones to tell you that they “are not united in the Church, they do not walk in God’s presence, they don’t have the security of the Holy Spirit, they do not make up the Church” - We do not need the wisdom of Pope Francis to open our eyes to them.

No, I believe this homily is about those who will openly or proudly declare themselves to be Christians, but who are “indifferent” for “prudential” reasons to Christ’s mission and who twist the meaning of the Gospel to suit their ideological world view. They are the angry and frustrated people who come across as “haters” and who only know how to preach the Jeremiad. Many of our separated Protestant brethren have this tradition in their churches, but it has never been a Catholic tradition. We need the wisdom of Pope Francis to see these people for who they are or perhaps to look in the mirror and ask ourselves - “Is this me?”

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.
Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders.
I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me
and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
Let me only know Your Will.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” - Galatians 5:22-23

"These people know exactly what Peter says to the Lord. They understand exactly what Peter says the Lord, when the Lord asks the question: ‘Do you also want to go, be’ Christian satellites ‘?’. Simon Peter answers him: 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life '. So from a large group there becomes a group a little 'smaller, but those who know perfectly well that they cannot go somewhere else, because only He, the Lord, has the words of eternal life. "

Christianity, and in particular Catholicism, is not for wimps!! It’s not easy to break away from the crowd to follow Jesus. But the “words of eternal life” are worth the effort!
This passage shows that Jesus spoke of absolute truths and that we have to accept these truths to be His followers. We can’t pick and choose what to believe.

According to Saint Faustina Jesus wasn’t too keen about lukewarm Catholics(?) either.

I agree with you.The 9th day of the Divine Mercy Novena is dedicated to lukewarm souls…whom(According to what Jesus told St Faustina) made Jesus ask our Father to take away his cup of suffering for these souls made him suffer alot.
Also…Jesus’ message to the church of Laodicea(Rev 3:14-22) also addresses the issue of luke warm souls.

Notice he does no such thing. Here, even according to your citation, is where he speaks about prudence. It is in the context of popular pragmatism ("common sense’) which dilutes the hard message:

In the Gospel from the liturgy of the day many disciples truly believe the language of Jesus, they whisper, are shocked and eventually leave the Master:
"These people have turned away, they are gone, they say, ‘this man is a bit’ strange, he says things that are hard…It 's too big a risk to go down this road. We have common sense, eh? Let’s go ‘back a little and not so close to Him’. These people, perhaps, had a certain admiration for Jesus, but little ‘from afar: not to meddle too much with this man, because he says things that are a bit’ strange … “.
These Christians - the Pope said - " are not united in the Church, they do not walk in God’s presence, they don’t have the security of the Holy Spirit, they do not make up the Church”:
…The indifference that is in the Church … **They walk only in the presence of common sense, common sense … that worldly prudence: This is a temptation just worldly prudence. "**Pope Francis reflected on so many Christians “that now bear witness to the name of Jesus, even unto martyrdom.” These - he says - are not ‘Christian satellites’, because “they go with Jesus on the path of Jesus”:

May the Lord deliver us from the temptation of that ‘common sense’, and in inverted commas, “the temptation to whisper against Jesus, because it is too demanding, and the temptation from scandal. So be it. "
In fact, prudence is a Christian virtue, demanded of us in the very exercise of the Gospel, and to the Gospel’s purpose. By interjecting “wordly” twice, in front of “prudence,” he is distinguishing mere secular prudence from the prudence of an informed conscience in communion with Christ’s Church.

The Pope is condemning those who for any “common sense reason” use that excuse to dilute the Gospel and excuse themselves from its demands. That would include those who use the secular context of ‘common sense’ to support popular definitions of morality and popular excuses to legislate immorality.

You are absolutely right, he is not talking about the Christian virtue of prudence and neither was I.

What I believe he’s talking about in referring to lukewarm Christians are people who declare they are Christians and who argue that they are exhibiting the Christian virtue of prudence, when really their understanding of the Gospel is twisted by secular ideologies making their prudential judgement a reflection of secular or worldly prudence, rather than Christian prudence - which may not look at all like “common sense” to them.

I think these sorts of people can be identified by their contempt for the poor and the amount of anger or hostility they express towards those who think differently then they do. What commands does Jesus give us that are harder to follow than “sell everything and follow me” and “love your enemies”? Yet many believe the poor have what they deserve and disagreement is an excuse for lashing out at one’s enemies. That is not a sign of the Holy Spirit - quite the contrary.

When one is truly open to the Holy Spirit, what you feel and how you behave is described by Paul:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” - Galatians 5:22-23

If that is your experience, then your motivation is coming from the Holy Spirit. If it is not, then your motivation is coming from somewhere else. (I mean “you” in a general sense not you personally :)). Cardinal Wuerl makes this point when explaining how a Christian responds to persecution:

“I want to make something very, very clear. Our response must be the response of Jesus Christ, the response of his Church, a response rooted in love. When we are attacked, there will always be the temptation to respond in kind. But we must respond out of who we are. We are followers of Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis, Cardinal Wuerl, Cardinal George, Cardinal Seán are all talking about the same thing. Hostility pushes people out of the Church. Dialogue and personal witness to the Gospel is what gathers them in. In order to participate in God’s mission we need to get out of our comfort zone and be willing to cross boundaries and maybe enter dangerous territory. We must not care about accumulating wealth and need to be respectful and tolerant even if we are persecuted - how demanding and crazy is that!

No. You changed Our Holy Father’s words. That’s what you did. You claimed that he spoke of “prudential judgment,” and that in fact he specifically mentioned social justice as a context for “prudential judgment,” when he did no such thing.

No mention of prudential judgment. Rather, the condemnation of wordly (i.e., secular) prudence.

No mention of prudence in the specific context of the Church’s social doctrine either.

That passage in Revelations is devastating. Thank you for the reference.

I see what you mean. The quotes could be construed as if I am quoting Pope Francis. I was quoting the lukewarm Christian - not Pope Francis. If I had meant for it to refer to what Pope Francis said, I wouldn’t have included his quote.

Ninth Day
“Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”

Hmm, I’m not sure who these people are, can you clarify? Are you asserting that Pope Francis is here rebuking those who argue that government aid nominally intended to help the poor often establishes structures that perpetuate poverty instead?

Are you asserting that those who have made the “prudential judgement” that Jesus’s commands to aid the poor are direct commands to believers, not instructions on government policy are being condemned here? Is that what you’re trying to make this to say?

Just checking before I react. :wink:


What does “lukewarm” really mean?


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