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Pope warns against latter-day Pharisees, hypocrites

June 19, 2013

In a homily commenting on a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees, Pope Francis said that there are always people within the Church who live by rules rather than by love.

“They are ethicists without goodness,” the Pope told the congregation at a June 19 Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “They have no sense of beauty. They achieve only the beauty of a museum.”

In addition to the Pharisees who focus on rules and exterior behavior, there is another category of hypocrites, the Pope said: the “holy rollers” who make a show of their piety. In their case, the Pope warned, hypocrisy is “coming very close to the sin against the Holy Spirit.

The proper prayer for a Christian, the Pope said, should always be like the prayer of the publican: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, a sinner.” Pope Francis said that this “is the prayer we should say every day, knowing that we are sinners.”


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