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Pope says Christians who reject refugees are hypocrites

Francis tells German pilgrims that 'You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian'

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service International

October 14, 2016

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Meeting a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany, Pope Francis said he does not like "the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions."

"This is not something I've read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day," Pope Francis said.

Answering questions from young people in the group Oct. 13, the pope said, "the sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy," which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teachings of Christ.

"You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian," he said. "You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25," which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger.

"It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help," he said. "If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I'm a hypocrite."

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