Three years ago I publicly blogged that Pope Francis was a heretic. The reason being that he stated, “if you do not feel you are in need of God’s mercy, then you better not go to Mass.” While we might initially react that this is sound advice, we must remember that Catholics are morally obligated to attend Mass every single Sunday. What we are not morally obligated to do is to receive the Holy Eucharist. We are only required to receive only once a year, and it is preferable to do so around Easter.
Being that this was still early in his papacy, not even completing his first year, I faced much criticism. I ended up taking the original post down and republishing it on the two-year anniversary of the original publish date. Interestingly enough, Pope Francis has again said something similar.
Speaking to the youth of the parish of Santa Maria in the city of Guidonia, Pope Francis said:
If I say I am Catholic and go to Mass, but then don’t speak with my parents, help my grandparents or the poor, go and see those who are sick, this does not prove my faith, there’s no point. So it is none other than parrot Christians, words, words, words, I wonder if you remember that song. Christian witness you do with three things: the word, the heart, the hands.
While these acts fall under both the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, they are not required, nor are they morally obligated to stay in a state of grace. What is necessary is going to Mass each and every week, whether you want to or not.
It is good to perform the works of mercy, as there is great grace that God bestows to those who perform them faithfully. But to say that one who does not perform these works makes Mass pointless, and then to call the individual a “parrot Christian,” is not only insulting to the Catholic who does fulfill his weekly Mass attendance, but to Christ and His Church who gave us the commandment.
Time and time again, we have witnessed the Holy Father insult the Catholic faith and those who make a conscious effort to follow Jesus faithfully. For those who have been paying attention these last four years, especially this past year, you have realized that we have a Pope who very likely doesn’t believe the Catholic faith, as he is constantly rushing to change pastoral practice at every turn.
There are still those out there who believe that Pope Francis is a holy man and is in the mold of his predecessors. Can you imagine Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI insulting Catholics who faithfully practice their faith by calling them “parrot Christians” for their shortcomings? Can you imagine either of these Popes being offended that a particular group prayed so many Rosaries for them? Can you imagine either of these Popes changing the rubrics of the Mass simply so that they can break them after they go into effect?
Simply put, upon the election of Pope Francis, it was very evident that there was a clear break from previous Popes. When faithful Cardinals who were very close to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were ostracized, and unfaithful Cardinals who were clear enemies by the previous two pontiffs become best friends with Pope Francis, you know that we have a problem. And you are silly for thinking that everything is just fine.