Pope Francis suggested in a homily on Thursday in Rome that if you claim to be Christian, but behave in an unChrist-like manner, that you should not call yourself a Christian. Hypocrisy and greed has no place in Christianity, yet so many Christians willfully and consciously behave in such a manner.
“So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others,” Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, according to Vatican Radio. “How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — ‘But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal.”
“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another.”
The wording may sound a little derogatory towards atheists, but it is clear from his example below that he is not insulting non-believers, he is chastising hypocritical believers.
In his sermon, Pope Francis imagined a wealthy Christian knocking at the gates of heaven and saying, “Here I am, Lord! … I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?”
To which Jesus may reply, according to the Pope:
“Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life.”
According to his beliefs, one could extrapolate that Jesus would let in an atheist who has led an honest and charitable life, than a greedy believer. In other words, goodness weighs far heavier than belief, and I couldn’t agree more.