Don’t let Church failings distance you from God, Pope says on Christmas Eve

 Pope Francis led the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas on Tuesday, urging them not to let the Church’s failings lead them away from accepting God’s love.

Francis celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for thousands of people as hundreds of others watched on large screens outside.

As is customary on Christmas Eve, the 83-year-old pope weaved his sermon around the spiritual and personal significance of the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

“Christmas reminds us that God continues to love us all, even the worst of us,” Francis, presiding at the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, said in his sermon.

“You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you. How often do we think that God is good if we are good and punishes us if we are bad. Yet that is not how he is.”

Without mentioning them specifically, Francis also referred to recent Church troubles, including its attempts to come to grips with continuing sexual abuse scandals around the world and financial irregularities closer to home at the Vatican.

“Let us contemplate the Child and let ourselves be caught up in his tender love. Then we have no further excuse for not letting ourselves be loved by him,” Francis said.

“Whatever goes wrong in our lives, whatever doesn’t work in the Church, whatever problems there are in the world, will no longer serve as an excuse. It will become secondary, for faced with Jesus’ extravagant love, a love of utter meekness and closeness, we have no excuse,” he said.

In his latest attempt to confront a sexual abuse scandal, Francis last week announced sweeping changes to the way the Church deals with them, abolishing the rule of “pontifical secrecy” that previously covered them.

Advocates for the victims of a scandal that has rocked the Church for nearly two decades applauded the move.

On Wednesday, Francis will deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message and blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to thousands of people in the square below.

Unlike that on Christmas Eve, the Christmas day message is typically more about the significance of the Christmas message amidst the wars and conflicts of contemporary society.

Responses

  1. full disclosure: I have dear and close Catholic friends of deep faith which they practice daily. I can only wish to be as good and true to a belief as they are.

    They are NOT behind this Socialist Pope.

    As their friend it would pain me on their behalf that they would lose something which has given them fulfillment, meaning, and purpose in their lives.

    Faith is a very human thing and practicing it requires an internal and emotional strength which I respect and envy.

    This false pope, who cries about walls while living behind guarded walls and income inequality while enjoying a life of luxury is NOT it.

    Like I ask of any Socialist “what the hell have you personally surrendered to your cause?” Crickets chirp.

  2. Strange and contradictory message from the Socialist Pope.

    The church f’d up and will continue to do so. But you should still listen to what we say for moral and spiritual guidance.

    Is it possible he’s the Catholic-version of Obozo? If so, what the literal Hell were the Cardinals thinking? Deep State in the Vatican.

  3. It’s not the Church that drove me away from the Catholic faith. It was the Pope! Doing the work of the Devil, is this Popes clear calling.

  4. The problem with pedophiles within the catholic “church” is a direct result of their non biblical insistence that their priests be celibate , while not the only problem it is the worst of their problems. As far as any church being able to separate the faithful from God, it doesn’t happen. It does happen however that we separate from false churches.

  5. GOD gave us the ability to choose between good and evil so humans are not perfect. To turn your back on the church because of failings of some of those in the church is an example of those imperfections.

  6. I am a Methodist, so the Pope is not my religious leader. I asked my husband, who is a Catholic, to help me understand some of the comments posted below. He does not understand them either. Can any Catholic poster explain them?

  7. I don’t think he grasps the damage the Catholic church has done. It sure did wake me up to the sheer number of pedophiles out there.

  8. Catholic Church failings, or no church for that matter, don’t distance me from God but those failings do distance me from those churches and the Catholic Church, being the largest, I stay away from the most.

  9. If God “loves” evil the same as he “loves” good, then God isn’t God! Jesus said and taught: “If you love me, KEEP my COMMANDMENTS”. He didn’t say if you love me CONSIDER keeping my COMMANDMENTS. Neither did he say if you love me, BREAK my COMMANDMENTS. Jorge Bergoglio [aka POPE PANDEMONIUM] is to the Papacy what cancer is to life.

  10. It’s this idiot Pope’s failings that are separating people from God, NOT “the Church….”

    1. I am not Catholic, but my husband is and attend Catholic masses with him I asked my husband for an explanation of your assertion and he does not know. So WHAT is your assertion based?

  11. This coming from a man who try’s to rewrite the Bible everyday, who interprets the words of the Bible to fit the twisted logic if the left and their anti-Christian rhetoric. This from the most anti-Christian pope ever in modern times.

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