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Pope Francis told an audience that any priest that indulges in “worldliness” is no better than a “pagan.”
The Roman pontiff told the audience at his Thursday homily that “idolatry” was a persisting problem among Christians, though not always easily recognizable. The pope claimed that “spiritual worldliness,” “pragmatism,” and “functionalism” all continued to dilute and corrupt both clergy and laity.
“One space of hidden idolatry opens up wherever there is spiritual worldlinesswhich is ‘a proposal of life, a culture, a culture of the ephemeral, of appearances, of the cosmetic,’ “Pope Francis said. He added,” A worldly priest is nothing more than a clericalized pagan. “
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The pope explained that “spiritual worldliness” is a form of “triumphalism, a triumphalism without the cross.”
“Jesus prayed that the Father would defend us against this culture of worldliness. This temptation of glory without the cross runs contrary to the very person of the Lord, it runs contrary to Jesus,” Pope Francis said.
The pope also criticized a focus on numbers and data, saying, “Those who cherish this hidden idol can be recognized by their love for statistics, numbers that can depersonalize every discussion and appeal to the majority as the definitive criterion for discernment; this is not good. This cannot be the sole method or criterion for the Church of Christ. “
The final instance of idolatry that the pope mentioned involves being “more enthusiastic about the roadmap than about the road.”
Pope Francis emphasized that an overly functional view of the world leads clergy and faithful to aim for efficiency and function instead of hope.
“The functionalist mindset has short writing for mystery; it aims at efficiency. Little by little, this idol replaces the Father’s presence within us,” he said.
Pope Francis has been derided by camps on both sides of the cultural rift for his audiences with a variety of politicians.
The pontiff has met with President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on separate occasions in the last year. Both Biden and Pelosi boast their Catholic faith despite vocal support for a slew of policies contrary to the Catholic Church’s teachings.
Both politicians claimed that the pope was friendly and supportive without mentioning disputes over such issues.
The pontiff has repeatedly spoken against gender theory and transgenderism, calling it sinful and a corruption of youth.
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“The young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created, for thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation,” the pope said as early as 2015.
He has also compared procuring an abortion to hiring a “hitman” and said that the practice is a form of murder.
“Abortion is more than a problem – abortion is homicide,” the pope said in September. “Whoever has an abortion kills.”