Pope Francis denounced hypocritical Catholics who live what he called a “double life,” and said it would be better to be an atheist.
During daily Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis made his opinion clear, that he thinks it is better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic.
Pope Francis specifically referred to Catholics who laundered money or refused to pay fair wages to employees. However, many Catholics do live double lives of all kinds, attending Mass on Sundays while practicing contradictory habits. Such people do damage to themselves because they sin, and they harm the Church because they are a poor reflection of it. Worse, they may inspire others to sin as well.
Pope Francis’ homily was inspired by the Gospel in which Jesus warned against people who “causes one of these little ones to sin.”
“Cut off your hand…pluck your eye out,” Pope Francis said. “Scandal is to say one thing and doing another; it’s double life.”
He warned about living a life that is not Christian adding, “on this, the Lord is very severe.”
What then of atheists?
Pope Francis’ remarks suggest his opinion is that it is better to be a “good atheist,” than a bad Christian. A good atheist could be a person who still lives in accord with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, even if unwittingly, and despite their ignorance of God.
Few atheists realize that God has imprinted on the hearts of all people the knowledge of Himself and of right and wrong, good and evil. Though meditation and reasoning, a person can discern the right path, even in the relative darkness away from the lamp of the Church.
Perhaps it is better then, to walk the right path, though darkened than to walk the path in the light. But the fact remains it is best to walk the lighted path!
Each person should examine their life, obtain reconciliation, and strive to live better.
By Marshall Connolly