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At Mass for Italian lawmakers, Pope distinguishes between sinners and the corrupt

Catholic World News - March 27, 2014

Preaching to 500 members of the Italian parliament at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis distinguished between sinners and the corrupty.

Pope Francis said that at Jesus' time, “the ruling class-- the doctors of the law, the Sadducees, the Pharisees”-- had become so hardened in their sin that they were corrupt.

“We are all sinners, all of us,” the Pope preached. All of us who are here are sinners. But these [the corrupt] were more than sinners,” because it was impossible for them to listen to the Lord's voice.

Resisting the salvation brought by the Lord, the rulers “slipped” from a “theology of faith” to a “theology of duty,” from a “dialectic of liberty” in which there can be love to a “logic of necessity” in which there is no place for God. On the other hand, those who loved Jesus knew their need for his mercy and compassion.

Lent, the Pope concluded, is a time to ask for the grace to be open to the salvation that comes only from God, rather than following the “pastoral theology of duty.”

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