Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Faith without prayer becomes ideology, Pope warns

Catholic World News - October 17, 2013

Christians who do no pray risk descending into an ideological version of faith, Pope Francis warned a congregation at morning Mass on October 17. And when one becomes “a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith.”

Commenting on a Gospel in which Jesus denounced the Pharisees, the Pope spoke about the danger of a dry and unloving approach to faith. “The faith passes through a distiller, so to speak, and becomes ideology,” he said. Ideology “chases away the people,” the Pope said, and—like the Pharisees—imposes burdens on ordinary people that tend to distance them from the faith.

The Pope said that the influence of “ideological Christians” is a “serious illness” in the Church.

Speaking of Christians who make it difficult for others to enter the Church, Pope Francis said: “When we go down the street and find ourselves in front of a closed church, it feels strange.” There are reasons—or “excuses, justifications”—for keeping churches closed, he said, but the result is ‘the image of Christians who have the key in their hand, but take it away without opening the door.”

“The key that opens the door to faith is prayer,” the Pope said. A Christian who does not pray is an “arrogant witness,” likely to drive others away from the Church.

Again referring to the Pharisees, the Pope cautioned: “I say to pray. I do not say to ‘say prayers,’ because these teachers of the law said many prayers.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 19, 2013 10:29 AM ET USA

    So far as "liberation" theology and other idealoligies, I think this Pope knows what he is doing, and about the "locked" Church door, Francis is exactly right. JP

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 14 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 15 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 20 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17