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'Rigid' approach to faith is heretical, Pope Francis says in homily

June 09, 2016

At a morning Mass on June 9, Pope Francis said that Catholics who insist things must be done a certain way are heretics.

In his homily the Pope said that Catholics are often told "we must do this, this way." He firmly condemned that attitude, saying: "This is not Catholic; this is heretical."

The Pope compare the "rigid" attitude of those who insist on a certain way of doing things with the approach of the Scribes and Pharisees, and reminded his congregation had accused the Pharisees of killing the prophets, "those who were bringing fresh air."

Pope Francis said with regret that some Catholics have "a very creative vocabulary for insulting others." He said that such insults are sinful.


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Show 14 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Mar. 19, 2017 4:57 PM ET USA

    So resisting the moral relativism Benedict warned us against is now heretical? Was Our Lord the moral absolutist a heretic?

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jun. 11, 2016 10:34 PM ET USA

    Too bad St. Athanasius didn't have the benefit of Francis' wisdom. If only he had understood how important it was that he stop being so rigid about the Trinity, and come to some compromise with Arius!

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Jun. 11, 2016 1:53 PM ET USA

    I wish I understood half of what Pope Francis "means". I'm really sorry to say I've just come to a place where I tune him out. That should never be - - but it is.

  • Posted by: k_cusick1963 - Jun. 11, 2016 7:31 AM ET USA

    I have no idea what the Pope is talking about here and he doesn't give an example to clarify. What I do know is that we live in perilous times and God's people are crying out for clear direction as to how to live our faith in a culture that insists right is wrong and wrong is right, and if you disagree you are ostracized. I'm tired of trying to figure out what the Holy Father "really means" when he says these things. I wish he would just speak plainly so as to leave no doubt in anyone's mind.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jun. 10, 2016 7:50 PM ET USA

    Giving the Vatican Radio story a read reveals a quite confusing panoply of thoughts some of which is fairly straightforward such as reconciling or saying one thing and doing another, and others which are not the whole block on "healthy realism" (be ye perfect even as...seems to fly in the face of this). The vagueness in the important area of calling out "heretics" leaves the usual wake of confusion. Perhaps is all lost in translation where here is meant the translation in the head to the tongue.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jun. 10, 2016 3:10 PM ET USA

    Not sure I have any idea what he is talking about. Perhaps he is somehow trying to admonish Cardinal Kasper for his comments about the Africans.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 10, 2016 2:24 PM ET USA

    Matters regarding the practice of the faith do need a "certain firmness" in doing what's right.

  • Posted by: theabea7789996 - Jun. 10, 2016 11:27 AM ET USA

    You know what 'they' say: when you point a finger, there are three pointing back at you.

  • Posted by: BlaiseA - Jun. 10, 2016 11:13 AM ET USA

    Sounds like many of the Saints - MAY have been 'Heretics'??

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 10, 2016 10:16 AM ET USA

    Previously I thought the Pope was spending too much time among liberation theologians. Now I think he is spending too much time allowing himself to be caged in by Vatican bureaucrats. Having read the cited article, I think I am zeroing in on some of the meanings the Pope attaches to "rigidity." These include hypocrisy, the enshrining of positive human law above revealed and natural law, ideals that reflect the narcissism of the "me" generation, and other self references that exclude charity.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Jun. 10, 2016 8:09 AM ET USA

    What is rigidity, what is fidelity? I don't like when the Pope speaks this way. I have been called "rigid" for insisting to fulfill, myself, certain commandments. I wasn't imposing on anyone, I was trying to comply myself. I am certain that the Pope wouldn't call me a Pharisee (on account of that, I mean), but many who are misguided could understand his words in this sense.

  • Posted by: jeanneg117438 - Jun. 09, 2016 8:44 PM ET USA

    That sounds awfully rigid!

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Jun. 09, 2016 5:39 PM ET USA

    Having read the Vatican Radio story with more quotes from the sermon, I find as has generally been the case when the Holy Father speaks in this way, that his gives no specific examples. I still have no idea what he is talking about, or who he is talking to.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 09, 2016 4:20 PM ET USA

    But too much laxity in approach to things that really matter (like the Sacraments, or the Commandments, or Catholic morality) is also heretical - plain and simple.