Pope Francis States Ideological Christians Have An “Illness”

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After only stepping into power earlier in 2013 after Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, Pope Francis is creating quite the stir around his views on the “extremist” ideals of the Christian Right.

Pope Francis recently made quite the stir after commenting on the ideological purity in religion, particularly with regards to Christianity, claiming that such ideological extremism is dangerous to the entire world. This statement is pretty massive in respect to the current state of Christianity.  During a daily Mass in late October, the Pope spoke about economic inequality and anti-gay/anti-abortion opinions which have been at the forefront of American Christianity for the longest time.

According to a report from Radio Vatican, the Pope was quoted as stated the following:

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

Pope Francis’ statement is a radical one to say the least; no Pope prior to his reign has ever talked about Christianity in such a light. The beliefs around homosexuality, abortion, and contraception have held strong within the religion for many years now, and have been the cause of much protest and disagreement within North American society. Pope Francis suggests that the war on abortion has gone too far, and that homosexuals should not be hated in the way that is promoted by the extreme ideals of the Christian Right. He also states that this extremism has damaged religion today by abandoning the true teachings of Jesus, turning many away from its following.

The question begs, what could be the reason Pope Francis is suddenly speaking out against the theology in a way that rejects its deepest dogmas?  Perhaps the goal of Pope Francis is to transform the rigidity of a religion that has been so established in its views. Maybe the Pope is trying to attract a wider audience by promoting more liberal beliefs after the controversy that has plagued the Vatican the past few years, with allegations of pedophilia within the hierarchy circles and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year. It could be that Pope Francis is the radical leader who is going to make some changes within the archaic traditions of Christianity.

What is clear is that this is a major moment in the history of religion, and the words of Pope Francis could be the spark for a large divide within the religious communities. What do you think of Pope Francis’s words?

^^Pope Francis stating his views on Christianity’s current state ^^


1.) http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/10/21/pope-francis-right-wing-christians/

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  1. You still don’t seem to understand. The practice of homosexuality is still a sin but rejecting the homosexual is a sin too. Jesus received the sinner and show him love but advice them to run away from sin. If you start sending people to hell because of their sins but are incapable of receiving and loving them without menaces and presenting yourself as the truth carrier and rejecting those who do not belong to your religion then you play evil without knowing it. Open your heart to what love really is.

    • Jason

      I think you might have missed the point…completely.

  2. Charles1876

    “ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people”, he’s talking about religion!.

  3. He’s not trying to do anything. He recognizes the truth within himself. He has to be true to his own spiritual evolution just as many of us have too! . . . He knows that one way or another he will fall himself if he doesn’t stay true to Christ, yes this is what is required in the modern world in alignment with Christ’s teachings believe it! He has no choice. The truth is out there staring him in the face as he advances. It’s time, and never so important, to save Christianity.

  4. Yolanda Orona

    It has been a long time waiting for a Good Pope. He is a man of inspiration. Some other religions seems to interpit things wrong he is a smart man and know of God’s ways

  5. Aida

    There is always a divide when it comes to religion.

    • Yea, but this is a huge breakthrough in the marriage between neutrality and religion. This is the bridge from religion to spirituality and it’s amazing. I’m glad for it.

  6. Susun

    Listen carefully to what the Pope said. He did not refute one theological belief. The Church still condemns homosexuality, but not the homosexual. The Church still condemns abortion, but condemns the extreme, violent reprisals by the extreme right.

    Hate and violence are sins and tools of the devil. Rigid, extreme interpretation and dedication to ideology is an occasion for sin.

    As far as I can see, Christianity has never followed the teachings of Christ. Witness the Crusades, the Inquisition. I understand that we are supposed to be more civilized today.

    • len

      Christianity has always followed the teachings of Christ, witness the schools, the hospitals, the taking care of the poor

      • denny0069

        They follow some of Christ. Don’t assume just because they feed the poor that they follow the origins of Christianity. When did Jesus ever tell his followers to kill in his name, did he not teach the exact opposite of that? when did Jesus walk up to a homosexual and scream die faggot you’re going to hell? When did Jesus choose hate and bigotry, war, death, killing? When did Jesus turn his back on any man or creature regardless of their beliefs, sins, ideologies, sexuality… for anything? Christianity has done much the opposite of Jesus’s teachings in the past thousand or so years.

  7. Mario

    2 Timothy 3:16 says All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
    correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    Jesus said He is the Word. When we obey His Word and are led by His Spirit we follow Jesus and let it transform our lives.

    1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
    2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

    Everyone here has to choose who is right? The pope or the Word of God.

    • Tall Skin

      Pity that Timothy was written by someone who could hardly be called an apostle, Paul really ruined Christianity.

      • Indeed, Paul can not be called a apostle. He never met Jesus in the flesh and his dogma of “Confess Jesus as divine (or burn in hell)” hijacked the Jesus movement and turned it into what we know today as Christianity.

        Jesus taught salvation depends on the Torah Commandments of “Love God” and “Love Neighbor”, and said that “only those who do God’s will (i.e. the Commandments) will see the Kingdom of Heaven”.

        Saint Paul brought a new ideology: “Forget trying to follow those difficult commandments. Just confess Jesus as your savior, because Jesus has released you from having to trouble yourself with the commandments”. That’s Christianity.

        • gordon

          very insightful Ebioinim ! it seems like the institutionalization of spirituality gets so off track from the original message of love and acceptance. this driving the us vs them type mentality tied to sin and power over life and the after life. We don’t think enough about the context in translating the meaning of ‘repent for sin’, or many similar text. For instance which looking at latin roots , repent for sin, literally means, ‘change your mind when you miss the mark’ not that your going to hell.. As imperfect humans, we make mistakes in how we are thinking about something, miss our mark with our actions, and need to reconcile our thoughts, actions, and try to do better next time.. (to me, that is in line with a loving and forgiving God, as well as Buddhist or Christian teachings on mindfulness and forgiveness)

          • Mary

            Beautiful, Gordon!

          • Gordon

            Thanks Mary- I find the hardest thing is forgiving the self. This reminds me of an inspirational quote i read yesterday that went something like: ‘the only way to let go of the past is to live in the moment’. Only, I am learning this requires intentionality, not just a free spirit of the ‘now’ (by the way, watch the movie ‘The Spectacular Now’ if you have not already. it beautifully touches on intentionality).. As Joseph Campbell put it, ‘when you stumble, there lies your treasure’.. its that ability to recognize where we stumbled and be able humble the self and say ‘sorry’, letting those most close to us (who i most often stumble around) know that there was anger, or contraction/ confusion underlying a word or action. its almost as if when we recognize and own that quality of confusion or grasping, we are able to release it. In this understanding of imperfection, we recognize the fluid learning process that underlies the journey of our relationships, not the destination (as the mind often cant stop holding on to, when feeling angry about something in the past that we cant change as hard as we may want to).. Its in this humble recognition of when we ‘miss the mark’, and intentionality in our words and actions, where we find beautiful treasures, and deep connections with the fabric of relationships that bind us.

        • Mary

          Thank you for that explanation, Ebionim. It makes more sense.

        • It is a misnomer to call Paul’s vision Christianity. It’s really Paulism.

        • Rob Endert

          You’re wrong about Paul. He was a persecutor of early Christians. His life turned around by a personnel meeting with Jesus – like millions after him who met Jesus in another form than flesh and blood, like Jesus himself foretold. His apostleship was accepted by the apostles who walked with Jesus. Paul only acknowledged what Jesus said about himself that He was the fulfilment of the law. Paul did not bring a new ideology at al. Jesus never stated that salvation depended on the Torah like you state, but on faith. Abraham is stated as the example of faith because he believed God, and was justified by faith – and Abraham was before the Torah. Paul did not hijack anything, he was transformed his meeting with Jesus. The apostle John, the beloved disciple who walked with Jesus in flesh, wrote the Apocalypse after meeting Jesus again, this time in the same was as Paul.

    • I agree! We are supposed to be salt on the earth! The catholic church has always changed their rules, I remember when you could not go to church without a covering over your head, gee they have come a long way haven’t they, it is called compromising! Religion is of man….Salvation is of God! We don’t need religion we need a relationship with God and no man comes to the Father but through the SON!!!!

      • Andrew

        Karen I’ve often struggled with my beleifs in religion and god and I don’t think Ive ever heard anyone put it quite like you have. I think I now have a new understanding of myself and my personal belifs after thinking on your statements. Thank you very much for your inspiring words

    • I think that definition says a lot. Jesus loved everyone. He blessed the worst of them all and turned them into friends. That’s how he manufactured believers. With his love. Love conquers all. If Jesus example hasn’t taught the Christians this, than it’s only a matter of time until they figure it out. But I am very glad that I am able to see this in my lifetime.

  8. The Pope needs to repent and get saved. He obviously does not know Christ otherwise he would stand with God’s Holy Word instead of contradicting it. The Bible makes it clear that homosexuality and the murder of babies is wrong. Of course this Pope says atheists go to heaven so that shows how off he is. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The Pope is the one seriously ill. He is sick with sin!

    • br.thomas

      Johnny Lee Clary: you sound just like the pharisees – they, too were rigid and legalistic – just like Taliban. They are more concerned with correct doctrine and pure morals, rather than being compassionate and filled with grace. But, I guess it’s hard to love others if you hate yourself. Repent!

    • Tony Serrao

      The ability to understand, teach, forgive and reconcile should ALWAYS be a stronger urge than that of finding fault, humiliating, and blaming, This was taught to our nation by the late Nelson Mandela. It’s a pity that so few “Christians” grasp this concept.

    • Chris R

      And of course you observe ALL the banned activities in the bible. Like the eating of shell fish, wearing gold, wearing mixed fabrics etc etc. Isn’t there another famous quote from this story book – “Let he who is without stone…” http://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus

    • gosouth

      Stop the hate Johnny, especially if you consider yourself a Christian – Please dont defend the catholic institution and condemn homophobia at the same time.. the church has institutionalized for closeted gay men that cant express thier desires in a healthy way, to take it out on little boys… Lets get off that issue of homosexuality being a sin because of one sentence in the bible, written to fit the political needs of a society.(what about the rest of the book that talks about loving acceptance and following a path of heart?) whats funny is that nobody seems to care about what goes on in one’s bed room except for closeted gay men that want to express thier insecurities by telling everyone how thier going to hell- just look at the tea party republicans- i would estimate that around 90% are closeted gay men. did you know that in 8 countries you get the death penalty for being gay?. what a loving spiritual path your preaching! (I can only imagine how dumbfounded Jesus would be in people like you getting brainwashed and then preaching such a backward interpretation of ‘love thy neighbor’). Lets talk about access to women’s health care too – did you know that in countries where abortion is illegal, back alley abortions are prevalent, with many babies and mommy’s dying as a result?. did you know we see the same results in this country when we restrict access to abortion and reproductive health services?. If you really want to protect life, then provide access to reproductive health care and education.. no two ways about it- your not a woman, so you really dont have a say in what they do with thier vaginas! we got bigger fish to fry in living a righteous spiritual path- the pope is calling out the hypocrisy of merging religion with consumerism in this country.. since when did capitalism become so untouchable by religious institutions? Somehow we have become brainwashed to not see outside of our egotistic, individualistic path, where money has become the false diety.. (thats frowned upon in the bible too bro). do you ever wonder why our bills have ‘in god we trust’ written all over them? It should say ‘in the love of money we lust’, not in god we trust! just remember, the greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing us he didnt exist… Look beneath the surface of the shallow interpretations of the bible you grasp on to.. stop the hate and you will feel better about your neighbors. hopefully accepting LGBTQ people (look it up) and women who want access to health care, so you can fight against the real devil’s playground that has inflitrated every area of our society. (start by looking deeper into the materialistic ‘American way’, and the selfish, unsustainable narrative it breaths, and tell me where you find a higher power worth defending in the name of Jesus)

      • Simone

        i am a women too and i know that you have a brain at birth,if you have it shure…that when you do sex to protect yourself and if you are incapable to raise a child then don’t do sex without your brain on….because a child meens responsability ….so the abortion law is giving weapons to some people to kill more people,this is not a solution,a law that gaves right to kill your own baby ..thats sickkk in all its ways,i lived in a country where abortion was stoped and i can say that in that time definitelly abortion number were low,if you haven’t think before to be pregnant then you have to take care of your own baby not to kill him …christianity is pro morality,turning back to imorality and perversion that your LGBTQ organization promote it ,this is how pedofiles come up to life feed by internet and all porno movies coming from a sick mind…and so on…i worked with gay people and to be honest i dont give a damn about their sexual lives everyone has the right upon their own life to live how they want ,i respect everyone,but if you choose a way in life you have to take all consecvences with it..if i am a crazy person probably nobody would like to stay with me..can i condemn them?..no..i am taking the consequences on my own style of life…but whats really bad in this thing with gays is the fact that all this tam-tam marriage law that came straight from America all over EU gave them a right to adopt a child, ..so human rights has to be fair for everyone and give that right to that child too…because we have enought problems with divorce and so on …in none of the animal reigns or birds has been found that 2 females/2 masc to live and have sex together,so for me this so clear that is unormal but as i said i don’t care if tomorow you’ll want to walk in hands its your own right,but whats not right is the fact to act in a name of a child that probably is not yours..humanity meen to keep your self under control,caz if you can’t control yourself so well you can be a killer,if you don’t manage your anger,and so on…definitelly we won’t change you,is not our right upon nobodys life but i think everyone has to have a word for that childrens that are adopted….

        • gosouth

          Hi Simon, i respect your views, but wish you would base them on more than assumptions about how being gay affects kids, or how banning aboration saves kids
          (both of these assertions have been shown by countless studies to be wrong, yet the conservative agenda keep perperating these strange beliefs). Too often, straight people in a homophobic society like to assume that thier model is the right one, without questioning thier frame. In light of doing so, please keep reading article below and please explain why sexuality has anything to do with being a good parent when all studies show otherwise. Also, please explain how restricting access to reproductive health services kills more children- you will see every study ever done is contrary to your assumption (if you find one example please send).

          For instance, this was a good article, i think Christians/ Catholics should read as they ponder same sex couples and the affect on kids being raised: http://www.livescience.com/17913-advantages-gay-parents.html. To me, i see that society is the sick one, and not the parents, in regards to the detriment of children:

          Gay parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents,” said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. “That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.”

          And while research indicates that kids of gay parents show few differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures, these kids may have the advantage of open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships, according to some research. Not only that, but gays and lesbians are likely to provide homes for difficult-to-place children in the foster system, studies show. (Of course, this isn’t to say that heterosexual parents can’t bring these same qualities to the parenting table.) [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]

          Adopting the neediest

          Gay adoption recently caused controversy in Illinois, where Catholic Charities adoption services decided in November to cease offering services because the state refused funding unless the groups agreed not to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Rather than comply, Catholic Charities closed up shop.

          Catholic opposition aside, research suggests that gay and lesbian parents are actually a powerful resource for kids in need of adoption. According to a 2007 report by the Williams Institute and the Urban Institute, 65,000 kids were living with adoptive gay parents between 2000 and 2002, with another 14,000 in foster homes headed by gays and lesbians. (There are currently more than 100,000 kids in foster care in the U.S.)

          An October 2011 report by Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute found that, of gay and lesbian adoptions at more than 300 agencies, 10 percent of the kids placed were older than 6 — typically a very difficult age to adopt out. About 25 percent were older than 3. Sixty percent of gay and lesbian couples adopted across races, which is important given that minority children in the foster system tend to linger. More than half of the kids adopted by gays and lesbians had special needs.

          The report didn’t compare the adoption preferences of gay couples directly with those of heterosexual couples, said author David Brodzinsky, research director at the Institute and co-editor of “Adoption By Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension of Family Diversity” (Oxford University Press, 2011). But research suggests that gays and lesbians are more likely than heterosexuals to adopt older, special-needs and minority children, he said. Part of that could be their own preferences, and part could be because of discrimination by adoption agencies that puts more difficult children with what caseworkers see as “less desirable” parents.

        • gosouth

          and more resouce to challenge your assumption about gay animals. Sorry you are very wrong that “in none of the animal reigns or birds has been found that 2 females/2 masc to live and have sex together”, – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/10/30/pope-francis-denotes-christianity-as-an-illness/#comment-135396‘:http://listverse.com/2013/04/20/10-animals-that-practice-homosexuality/. ;)

          Scientific research is spotting a surprising range of animals that engage in same-sex relationships. In this mind-expanding list, we will look at the “Lesbian Albatrosses” of Hawaii; male dolphins who keep boyfriends; and sam-sex seagull couples who adopt young to raise together. In the animal world, big surprises always await us.

    • Absolutely right, Johnny.

    • s.sparks

      Johnny, worshipping the Bible (and its ‘translations’ through the millenia) is not the same as following Jesus’ teachings about loving enemy, neighbor, and self. Some of his words may even be altered in translation, but his emphasis on compassion and mercy are too consistent to be misconstrued.

      • There is only one place where you find the teachings of Jesus Christ, and it is not in your heart. We don’t worship a book, but the Bible contains the living words of Christ, whether you like it or not. Many words and verses, up to half a chapter have been altered in new translations, so stick with the Textus Receptus, the Authorized KJV. .

        • Tim

          LOL…the KJV that cracks me up, think about that, it’s the King James VERSION. It says it right there, it’s not GOD’s word it’s King James’ VERSION!

    • http://www.lionking.org/~kovu/bible/section01.html Please read this in it’s entirety….. people have so changed the ORIGINAL words in the Bible….. sad

    • Wow Johnny, I will pray for you.

    • Charles1876

      If the murder of babies is wrong, then why god sended his people to kill all those babies?

    • Billy Bob Cletus

      There is no “saved” and there is no “God’s Holy Word.” Just an old book compiled at the tail end of a crumbling empire and then translated, twisted and parsed to say whatever you want it to. Get a grip.

  9. antonio petrarca

    he’s speaking out because people who claim the title of “christian” have so much hate. when they should be embracing instead of dividing our people. they are focusing on what is different instead of what makes us the sam. this way we will never have an end to war

  10. Hannah McMonagle

    There is religion and faith then there is spirituality, I just keep asking what would Jesus do / say, and follow my heart. this is indeed the Holy spirit working, the RCC has become much too conservative in the past twenty odd years. Jesus was no conservative idealogue

  11. Sam

    “The question begs, what could be the reason Pope Francis is suddenly speaking out against the theology in a way that rejects its deepest dogmas?”

    “Maybe the Pope is trying to attract a wider audience by promoting more liberal beliefs”

    Perhaps if this is what you’re taking away from the Pope’s words, you might be doing exactly what he’s suggesting one doesn’t do: replace Jesus with an ideology. It’s not about being right (insert liberal/conservative/your theology or political views here), it’s about trusting Jesus to be right and holding your thinking about such things much looser than you hold to him. Of course, that could never make real sense to anyone who doesn’t think Jesus will actually interact with him or her in real time – the precise reason why the Pope speaks about prayer as the key to the kingdom (rather than ideology).

    It seems this article misses that point altogether, which is exactly why the Pope addressed it in the first place.

    • I agree. People think that he is eroding the values of Christianity; in fact he is calling for a return to them and away from a fixed inculturation of christianity. Faith should be dynamic and not a set of rules as laid out by our theological ideology. If our ideology is all we have our faith disintegrates as soon as the ideology is shown to be fragile or flawed.

  12. If you must have a hierarchy, then insist that women be included in leadership roles. Otherwise it’s just bread and circus distractions.

  13. bjr

    It seems that Pope Francis is intent on focusing on the very Heart and Soul of Christ’s teachings~ and creating a church that reflects Christ’s Love, more than dogma.

    ~ If the church is not first and foremost a place of love, compassion, service, tolerance and forgiveness~ then of what value could it possibly be…

    We have to live Christ’s teachings~ 24/7 ~ or at the very least, aspire to, and work toward that goal in every thought, action and word~ every day… and I see Pope Francis doing this~ it is very beautiful~

    These values, while always present, have perhaps, at times, been overshadowed by dogma and ideology ~

    It is beautiful to feel the essence of Christ’s Love in Pope Francis’s words~ No matter what our beliefs, or lack thereof, I feel we are very blessed to witness the way in which this Pope is working to help ‘the Church’ focus on the simplicity and pure blessed qualities of Jesus Christ.

    I have a feeling that Jesus would approve~

  14. AWESOME !! JUST ABSOLUTELY AWESOME !! I am starting to think that maybe, just maybe Jesus has fullfilled His promise and returned to Earth in the guise of this Pope. I believe the separation of the wheat from the chafe has begun.

    • Michele Gilbert

      Sorry, but he is definitely not Christ returned to earth. If Jesus had come back, I wouldn’t be here. He is something, though.

    • Lynley Butt.

      Chafe… Or chaff? Will the second coming be literally in the form of a body or return to the genuine article minus the wrappings? Already people have committed suicide in the US when an expected Messianic return date yielded nothing… But did it yield nothing? The leader of the Ahmadis believed he / his doctrine was the second coming of Christ…

    • Great comment Jeff Mitcler, so well stated! I believe it has begun.

    • Yes the false christ! Anit-christ! When Christ returns it say everyone will see him and everyone will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…don’t be ignorant~

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