People will forgive a weak priest, but not a greedy one: Pope Francis

In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading where Jesus pushes merchants from the Temple because they turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. The Pope said, even nowadays, Christians make those same mistakes.
“When those who are in the Temple – be they priests, lay people, secretaries, who manage the ministry of the Temple…when they become business people the community is scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity is too! Everyone. Because if I see this happening in my parish, I need to have courage and tell it directly the pastor.”
The Pope then added that there are two sins that a community cannot forgive. One is a priest who is obsessed with money. The other, a priest who disrespects people. He also explained that Salvation is free.
(Source: Vatican Radio)
“People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord’s Temple clean.
Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God because it had been profaned and with it the People of God.  The Temple had been defiled with the gravest of sins: scandal.
“People are good – continued Pope Francis- people went to the Temple and did not look at these things, they sought God and prayed … but they had to change their money into coins to make offers”. The people of God did not go to the Temple for these people, for those who were selling things, they went because it was the Temple of God” and “there was corruption that scandalized the people”.  Pope Francis recalled the biblical story of Anna, a humble woman, mother of Samuel, who goes to the temple to ask for the grace of a child: “she whispered her prayers silently” while the priest and his two sons were corrupt, they exploited the pilgrims, they scandalized the people. “I think of how our attitude can scandalize people – said Pope Francis – with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness … How often when we enter a church do we see  – even today – do we see a price list hanging there “for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions”. And people are scandalized”.


  1. November 24, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Robert, unfortunate part is pope is in opinion of many as in all corporate is symbolic to lay followers & amp; kept in place of disciple PETER. But institution of church is not controlled by him & amp; totally controlled by most corrupt charity on planet by roman curia (based on sicilian/malta methodology) whose founder is paul(saul) & not any disciple of jesus. instead saul was jewish noble in ROMAN EMPIRE of those days & switched over his loyalty to JESUS TEACHINGS for questionable reasons…!???


  2. Isaac Gomes said,

    November 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India’s (CBCI) recent press release that the silence on the part of the Narendra Modi government makes it an accomplice in the increasing attacks against minorities in the nation, needs some moderation.

    “The government is focusing on the development and city cleansing. What is needed is, first of all, a cleansing of the heart. We want a clean India, but above all from a clean heart, thanks to peace, justice and brotherhood,” said Father Charles Irudayam, Executive Secretary of the Justice, Peace and Development Commission in the CBCI.

    Expressing the Indian bishops’ point of view, the priest said, “The new government of nationalist leader Narendra Modi is not openly against minorities, but we are sad and worried about what is happening in India: The government says and does nothing to stop the right wing religious groups who attack minorities. This makes the government an accomplice.”

    CBCI should remember that law and order is a state subject. Therefore the incidence of atrocities on minorities in a state should technically be taken up with the respective State Administration without straightaway firing at the Central Government. The concerns have to be taken up with the constitutional authorities. Narendra Modi as Prime Minister can be kept abreast of Christian Concerns but blanket blame on him will only alienate him and make him cold to Christian concerns. In the interest of Christian Community, it would be better to meet Modiji now and then with constructive proposals for common good (like eco-friendly housing, health, sanitation, women empowerment, etc.) rather than roundly criticise him and arouse the alleged demon in him.

    CBCI should set up a PRO cell of professionals who would address the Media with our concerns backed up by evidences (videos). These can be shown in National Channels. But most national channels are now owned by big corporate houses which have links with big political parties to serve their own mutual agenda. Therefore Concerted Christian Concerns may not aired on these channels. We need our own TV Channel. This is the age of Communication. The sooner CBCI and our church authorities realise this, the better. PRO exercise is a MUST both for voicing our concerns on local and national issues and also for spreading the Good News. It cannot be only a Complaints Channel. Otherwise viewership will decline fast. To run this Channel, donations/ collection can be solicited in all the dioceses of India, by creation of a special fund. This fund should be transparent and be accountable. If it can be put under 80G, then donors will get tax exemption and will be encouraged to donate more.

    Last but not the least, seeking public sympathy will serve very limited purpose without alleviating our problems. We have other minority communities like us e.g. Parsis, Jains, etc. How is it they are not complaining? It may make very good news item but in effect our people will keep on suffering and even lose their lives. What is needed is:

    (1) Disaster Management Techniques
    – by taking help of renowned NGOs like World Vision India, Lutheran World Service, etc.)

    (2) Portable Shelters / Transportable Homes
    – to rebuild in quick time after a disaster – natural or manmade. These shelters should be stored in at least four zones of our country and arrangements made with a number of vendors to supply at short notice. We should not wait for Human Rights Commission or Government representatives to assess the quantum of our loss and thereafter wait indefinitely for help / compensation. By this time, the victims will be sunk into further distress and will only be fodders for photographs / news items.

    (3) Teaching the art of self-defence
    – Particularly our girls and womenfolk (the easiest targets for any atrocities). This should be taught / sponsored in a discreet manner by sending them in groups to civilian centres where they teach these arts.
    I sincerely hope Father Charles Irudayam, Executive Secretary of the Justice, Peace and Development Commission in the CBCI, will take note of the above suggestions. He might consult Christian legal experts like Human Rights Law Network Founder and Senior Supreme Court Lawyer, Colin Gonsalves who was presented with the award of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, by the University of Middlesex, UK.

    Isaac Gomes
    Member Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA)


    • Silent Voice said,

      November 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Dear Issac,

      This is a misplaced comment and is not related to the post. Please suggest on which post you wish to comment on and do accordingly.



      • isaacgomes said,

        November 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

        This I leave it to you. You are the best judge. For I do not know the slots / posts. Many thanks. Isaac


  3. November 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

    […] People will forgive a weak priest, but not a greedy one: Pope Francis […]


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