PopeWatch: Thank God Pope Francis is not Like That Pharisee

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on delicious
Share on digg
Share on stumbleupon
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print




Pope Francis has a new book, or rather a book length interview with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli:  The Name of God is Mercy.  In the book the Pope bashes a favorite whipping boy of his:

In the book, Francis condemns what he calls the “scholars of law” — the doctrinaire-minded rigorists who throughout the history of the church have challenged Jesus’ message of unconditional love and mercy for even the most wretched of sinners. He says often these self-righteous Christians are hypocrites themselves, using the law to hide their own “deep wounds.”

“These are men who live attached to the letter of the law but who neglect love; men who only know how to close doors and draw boundaries,” Francis is quoted as saying.

Francis has rankled many conservatives with his frequent dismissals of theological and legalistic arguments stressing doctrine over his more pastoral message of welcome and mercy for society’s most marginal. The clash in approaches has been particularly evident in recent church debates over marriage and divorce.

“We must avoid the attitude of someone who judges and condemns from the lofty heights of his own certainty, looking for the splinter in his brother’s eye while remaining unaware of the beam in his own,” Francis says. “Let us always remember that God rejoices more when one sinner returns to the fold than when 99 righteous people have no need of repentance.”


Go here to read the rest. How fortunate we are to have a Pope so unlike a harsh Pharisee who condemns people who have the temerity to disagree with him.  PopeWatch cannot wait for him to tackle the judgmental fellow who said this:

[16] I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. [17] For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. [18] But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. [19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, [20] Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,

[21] Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, [23] Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. [24] And they that are Christ’ s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.


More to explorer

The Antithesis

The word “antithesis” is a noun meaning a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else. The


  What a sad sack Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman truly is.  In the Red Army, political commissars, Zampoliti, tended to be quietly

Firing Line: The Fight Over Catholic Orthodoxy

  The more things change… Michael Davies, Joseph Champlin, Malachi Martin and William F. Buckley discuss the fight over Catholic Orthodoxy.  All


  1. It certainly appears that our good pope has mastered the art of identifying massive beams in the eyes of all traditional Catholics.
    I can’t help but to conclude that, either he is right–or the past 2000 years have been deceitfully wrong.
    The missing ingredient can arguably come down to the one word. Both John the Baptist and Jesus stated it conclusively when they opened the kingdom to mankind….Repent!

  2. “We must avoid the attitude of someone who judges and condemns from the lofty heights of his own certainty, looking for the splinter in his brother’s eye while remaining unaware of the beam in his own,”-

    Key phrase: OF HIS OWN CERTAINTY- One who relies on scripture and the clear teaching of the Church is not judging by “his own certainty”. Hopefully, the Holy Father appreciates the distinction.

  3. Seems among his many other characteristics, our current occupant of the See of Peter is quite irony challenged.

  4. I don’t understand why traditional/orthodox/conservative Catholics insist on agreeing with their contemporaneous/heterodox/liberal brethren that the Pope is talking about them.
    Seriously. The most inflexibly rigorous Catholic commentator I’m aware of is Mark Shea.

  5. Nice to have a pope that models himself after the Christ the Pharisees killed. Of course, present day Pharisees will be out to crucify such a pope. No mercy for him from these Pharisees.

  6. One of many distinctions between Christ and this Pope is that He tended to be more strict than the Pharisees. For example, His words about marriage which the Pope has done his best to ignore took away a right to divorce which the Pharisees accepted as being given by God to Moses. The Pope could not be further from the example of Christ when he assails those who seek to uphold laws and rules mandated by Christ as Pharisees. Of course the Pope does tend to speak and write sloppily so perhaps Pharisees is short hand for those who have the temerity to agree with Christ and disagree with this Pope.

  7. There are also many differences between me and Christ since I am a sinner. But there are plenty of legalistic lawyers who see the speck in their brother’s eyes but not the beam in their own. They think they live by the letter of the law. But the Apostle Paul said the letter of the law kills because no one can keep it. It is the Spirit that gives life, even to lawyers if only they can go beyond the law and risk being captivated by Christ.

  8. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    [9] Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, [10] Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

    It is not mercy to give the impression to people that repentance for sins and amendment of life are not necessary for forgiveness of sins.

  9. That may be the impression of a legalistic lawyer but I doubt it is the impression of one who goes beyond the old law as Christ preaches in the Sermon on the Mount and Paul does in his letters.
    You bet we need repentance and amendment. One indication that we have wandered far from that is reflected in the welfare/warfare state that we support which is perpetuating death, destruction, and debt in America and throughout the world.

  10. Ernest,

    I repeat, i.e. present Biblical documentation,
    Where in Scripture do we find “Jesus’ message of unconditional love and mercy”?

  11. Forgiveness/Mercy does not equal excusable of sin and/or the enabling of sin. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more after He told her that He did not condemn her.

    John 3:17 says “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” What is the world being saved from? The death and penalty of sin. There is no way to avoid the penalty of sin without repentance which brings cleansing from sin. Turning away from that sin keeps us clean and makes sure that we don’t continue to reap death. The reason is because sin brings death (spiritual and otherwise.) The only way to not reap (a harvest you have planted,) is to not sow it.

    Mercy without repentance & cleansing (changing directions in our own sincere attempt to do God’s will versus our own will)– is not forgiveness. Now, with that said, I will be the first to admit that I have had to pray many times and ask God to help me want to do His will, because I wanted to do my own, instead. So it takes grace, at times, to even want to not sin.

    Galatians 6:7-9 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

    Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

    I John 1:9 “f we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    The entire purpose of Christ’s finished work was to make us over, again, in the image of Christ (make us like Christ.) Christ did not live in sin. He came to replace our sin with His righteousness. It is nonsensical to say that we should endorse peoples’ sins when it is antithetical to the very reason that Christ came.

    Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

    Romans 6: 1-23 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
    Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. hat then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
    I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

  12. Ken,
    Jesus demanded unconditional surrender, that we die to ourselves, that we take up our cross and follow him.

  13. The christian consensus over the past two millennia has been this: that true faith entails repentance. One cannot divorce repentance from faith. It is no longer authentic.

  14. Is the guy asking, “but what about their wedding garments?” a fuddy duddy legalistic stickler (who probably just wants to keep the shrimp cocktail all for himself) trying to keep the street people and hedge hoppers from entering into the feast, or is he trying to keep those from being cast into outer darkness for presuming to showing up unsuitably attired?
    The justice is that the banquet is black tie. The mercy is that the house keeps a supply of dinner jackets on hand

    for those who ask.

  15. Pope Francis is full of it. Full of himself. Full of nonsense. Listen to Jesus. Listen to St Paul. Don’t listen to Pope Francis who, when he speaks, the devil is pleased.

Comments are closed.