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Pope again denounces 'doctors of law,' focus on rules rather than God's mercy

October 15, 2015

In his homily at morning Mass on October 15, Pope Francis warned against “doctors of the law” who place limits on the scope of God’s mercy.

The Pope reminded the congregation at the Domus Sanctae Marthae that Jesus denounced the scribes and Pharisees who fail to appreciate “the gratuity of salvation.” These teachers, the Pope observed, “though that by respecting all the commandments one could be saved,” and “anyone who didn’t do just that was condemned.”

In contrast, the Holy Father continued, Jesus emphasized that the two great commandments are to love God and love one’s neighbors. But the Pope went on to say that some people continue to take the attitude of the “doctors of the law,” and so the “fight for control over salvation… did not end with Jesus and Paul.”



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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 16, 2015 10:19 AM ET USA

    "Your sins are forgiven you. Go and sin no more." Why is this last bit such a problem?

  • Posted by: Leopardi - Oct. 16, 2015 8:52 AM ET USA

    There is no sin so grave that it precludes a penitential path to forgiveness. This includes divorce and remarriage. How dare the 'doctors of the law' deprive the most powerful of the sacraments to those who need them most. An 'attempt to control salvation' does describe it very aptly.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Oct. 15, 2015 9:09 PM ET USA

    While this could certainly be interpreted in a perfectly orthodox way, increasingly I suspect the Holy Father has some lacunae in his understanding of the doctrine of the Faith, of the kind that would see it as "mercy" to give Holy Communion to people objectively in grave sin, and to let local bishops' conferences have their own regional take on some doctrinal matters rather than adhering to the universal Catholic faith. I hope this is merely an illusion though.