Pope Francis gives an audience to children from middle schools across Italy belonging to the "Cavalieri," a group for young people that promotes living the Christian life, in this June 2 photo at the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. (Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP)
The diabolical language of hypocrisy, which ensnares others through flattery, has the power to destroy Christian communities, Pope Francis said.
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 Mass.
"Hypocrisy 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," Catholic News Service reported him as saying.
"Hypocrites always begin with adulation," he explained. Adulation is "not saying a truth; it is exaggerating, it makes vanity grow."
"Let's remember this: If it begins with adulation, it can only be answered with 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."
Source: Catholic News Service
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