VATICAN - Pope: sloth and hypocrisy, the "disease" of many Christians incapable of "bringing salvation" [AN]

There are “anesthetized people”, “without apostolic zeal” who “are of no use, do not do the Church any good. And how many Christians are selfish, out for themselves”. Then there are “formalists”, like the Pharisees who “close the door to the grace of God, we have so many in the Church”. The “Christian path” is “drawing close to so many people, the injured in this field hospital, and also often wounded by men and women of the Church”, asking: “Do you want to be healed?”, “Sin no more”.


That’s telling us! :o

I have observed this. First, God knows I’m a sinner. But whenever a message of hope or healing or good example in real life is given, the message of hope for each of us is sometimes rejected. It is judged as ‘not for me,’ ‘it’s too hard’ or some other negative thought. We are all wounded in some way. Some more gravely than others. We are all burdened by something - some more than others. Turn to Jesus first for the strength and the grace and the joy of hope. Ask Him for this. Too often, what we see and hear from the world is the bad, the dysfunctional, the negative. But the whole world is not like this.

God has given us, through the Holy Spirit, various gifts. I encourage everyone - use them. Make a plan, seek guidance and good counsel. Then walk in faith. Nothing worthwhile is easy and we should be realistic, but let us do something. Even posting here is something.

God bless Pope Francis


What are some of the gifts? Do you have any? For me, humbleness and kindness seem to come easy. I’m not a ‘show-off’ at all…

But if were all called to be ‘givers’ then that means we’re all the same.

…I know there used to be Catholics during the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s who were spiritually ‘cold’, but since the pastoral council was enacted, their numbers have become less and less. Probably there aren’t many of them left. The Pope must be trying to address the remaining handful of them that are left.

The pope seems to believe there are still a lot of ‘cold’ Catholics in the Church. Where are they?

I’m reminded of Chesterton’s famous bon mot:

A newspaper once asked for responses to the following topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”

Chesterton replied:

*Dear Sirs,

I am.

Yours sincerely,
G.K. Chesterton.*


We need not look too far and wide to find cold Catholics: I see one in the mirror every day. Mea culpa. :o

Here is an explanation of the Gifts.

It is Biblical:

I believe God has given me the gift of knowledge.


I don’t know if this approach to our own spirituality is really in line with true Catholicity though. When we go to confession, we don’t confess sins we haven’t committed we say, very carefully, what we have done exactly.

I don’t believe that you are a cold Catholic. To claim that you are might be in opposition with true agape, expressed through the love of your own life and the love of all life in its entirety.

I think that there are different ‘cultures’ in the Church and in the world that are labeled as ‘cold’. I think they get this label because they’re different. But God loves us all the same.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Pope, and I still am. But after reading the article, I feel like the pope is attacking culture and personality.

What about shy people? According to the article, they are living in sin since they do not have zeal. They are a “disease”, and are of no use to the Church.

Or what about those who like formalities. How can we read their hearts?

Surely there must be room in this Church for many cultures or types to coexist together. Surely there cannot be only one way of being -if there were, there would only be one not a trillion.

But we confess things we could/ought to have done but didn’t. Skipping Mass. Skipping school. Not praying for months on end. Things like that. As the confiteor says, we often sin in what we fail to do, and sometimes confess those failings.

That’s true. But then there’s the issue of culpability. For instance, when I’m walking in a store someone might walk directly behind -not giving me more than a couple inches of space… That bothers me, because my human nature feels comfortable with a 4 ft. Space all around me.

Someone from Arabia, OTOH, might be unfamiliar with my rural American custom or ‘culture’ and feel the need to leave but an air gap of space when walking by.

…should they confess for not leaving me more room? Or should I confess for not being open to other cultures? In all honesty, nobody needs to be sorry even though there existed friction. Neither one understood the culture of the other.

Similarly, the way we are raised and our personality types might not make us culpable for our wrongdoings in other ways -ways which some people feel we have done wrong… But no wrong was done.

I thought no person could “bring salvation” and that it is only possible for God to do such a thing?

All around.

That’s strange. Why assume anything? Shy people aren’t mentioned. Following formalities is clearly a reference to those who did not do what was needed, Sabbath rules or no Sabbath rules. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. And got criticized because He broke a formality. I have no idea what types you are referring to. Beyond your attempts to read into the Holy Father’s words - what types?


But if they don’t know who they are, and nobody knows who they are then how can they be helped? If this disease is to be cured, the “anesthetized people” will need to be identified, unless we accuse all formalists and quiet people of being the problem and start evangelizing them all by profiling.

You’re way over-thinking this. This Pope challenges each of us directly. When he speaks this way, he is prompting us to ask these questions of ourselves. He’s not saying, 'look at your neighbor and examine how he can be a better Christian - he is asking you to challenge yourself, as, let’s face it, the only people we have control over are ourselves.

I have seen a number of people on this forum fail to understand this and claim I am watering down the faith for doing like the Pope says here.

I think we shouldn’t over-analyze what the Pope said. :slight_smile: He is speaking to us pastorally, not condemning a particular culture or personality type.

Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee was not violating any of the Ten Commandments - he was speaking honestly when he said that he followed the Law. Yet, he did not go home “justified” - because though he followed the rulebook, he was still cold towards those, like the publican, who had fallen short.

What about shy people? According to the article, they are living in sin since they do not have zeal. They are a “disease”, and are of no use to the Church.

:confused: Not at all. He’s talking about people who voluntarily refrain from following their faith, and who are content to do “the bare minimum”. A person who is shy - or depressed, or intellectually disabled - does not choose to be that way.

Or what about those who like formalities. How can we read their hearts?

Formalities are disciplines, and they are excellent. But they cannot be an end in themselves - otherwise, why are we still not following the 616 mitzvot, or sacrificing exactly as per Leviticus? The way of Christ is “a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 13)

Surely there must be room in this Church for many cultures or types to coexist together. Surely there cannot be only one way of being -if there were, there would only be one not a trillion.

Of course there are. That’s not what the Pope was saying at all. :slight_smile:

I am not sure who the Pope is referring to as formalists in today’s church.

I take it he is referring to those of us who, like the Pharisees, proclaim that we must follow each and ever law to the letter to achieve salvation. They are more concerned with the legalities of our Christian lives. Pope Francis cares more about the spirit of the law along with acceptance of the grace of God which achieves our salvation even when we technically don’t dot each i and cross each t.

Do I have it right? Could anyone supply an example of formalism? :shrug:

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