Pope Francis shows the way to save the Church
By right living, not hypocrisy, the Church can be protected.
Pope Francis spoke plainly at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls on Sunday, telling attendees at Mass that hypocrisy within the Church was undermining its credibility.
"Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church's credibility," Pope Francis said during homily.
"Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!" he added.
Pope Francis is working to reform a Church that has fallen into quiet turmoil on the inside. Problems that have brewed for a long time within the walls of the Vatican came to public light following the embarrassing leak of internal documents. In addition, public outrage over the abuse of children has boiled over and is costing the Church both money and credibility.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI even left a not-so-secret report for Francis that detailed the problems the Church is facing.
Pope Francis, who has now been seated for just over a month, has electrified a Church that to some felt stagnant and was losing credibility. The Church was finding it increasingly difficult to shield itself from stinging criticism.
Now, Pope Francis has ordered an offensive, but not one aimed at the Church's external enemies. Instead, the battle is against internal enemies. Pedophile clergy, corrupt leadership, and loose practices are targets of his attention. Moreover, Francis is leading all Christians in a renewed call to serve the poor and needy.
He is leading by example. He has transitioned his Spartan and simple life to the Vatican where he has refused lavish papal apartments and regalia. He repeatedly plunges himself into crowds, stops to greet and kiss the sick, and blesses all those whom he touches.
Both Catholics and non-Catholic Christians alike are being widely inspired by his leadership.
Therefore, Catholics have new orders from the Holy Father, and those orders are to cleanse the self, to be followed by ministry for the poor.
The strategy is sublime in its genius. If Catholics concern themselves with resolving personal issues and issues within their own church, and busy themselves with caring for those who are most in need of love and charity, then there will be no enemy can harm the Church.
Indeed, the faithful will be too busy living a life of saintly merit to be distracted by enemies. Let's hope the Holy Father's call to action is well heeded by all.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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