Hypocrisy kills the Christian community, pope says at morning Mass

IMAGE: CNS photo/Antonio Bat, EPA

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — The diabolical language of hypocrisy, which ensnares others
through flattery, has the power to destroy Christian communities, Pope Francis

Like the Pharisees
who spoke to Jesus with soothing words of adulation, Christians who engage in hypocrisy speak gently yet
“brutally judge a person,” the pope said June 6 at his early morning

is not the language of Jesus. Hypocrisy is not the language of Christians. A
Christian cannot be a hypocrite and a hypocrite cannot be a Christian. This is
very clear,” he said. “Hypocrisy can kill a community.”

his homily during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope
focused on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark, which recounts the Pharisees’
attempts to trick Jesus into answering a question on the legality of paying a
census tax.

attempt to trap Jesus with flattery, the pope said, is the first sign of their

always begin with adulation,” he explained. Adulation is “not saying
a truth; it is exaggerating, it makes vanity grow.”

answer that they “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” the pope
said, reveals that he can see beyond their duplicitous nature, and that he “responds
to hypocrites and ideologues with reality.”

“Let’s remember this: If it
begins with adulation, it can only be answered with reality. ‘Do not come to me with
these stories: This is the reality,'” he said.

In the end, the pope added, hypocrisy is the devil’s way
of speaking and the devil is the one who puts “forked tongues” into a
community in order to destroy it.

Pope Francis asked Christians to pray so that they may
“not fall into this vice of hypocrisy,” which applies the “makeup” of adulation to mask
“bad intentions.”

Christians, he said, should pray, “Lord, may I never be a hypocrite, may I
know how to say the truth and if I cannot say it, to be quiet. But never, never
a hypocrite.”

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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