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 CNS Story:

POPE-HYPOCRISY Jun-4-2013 (460 words) xxxi

Truth must be spoken with love, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians need to "speak the truth with love," overcoming the temptations of wanting always to be liked or of always thinking their own status or desires are what counts, Pope Francis said.

In his homilies at his early morning Masses June 3 and 4, Pope Francis spoke about people who are corrupt: their attitudes, actions and ways of speaking.

"Hypocrisy is the language of corruption," he said during the June 4 Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Even if dressed in "soft words, beautiful words," if a statement is motivated by self-love or self-gain it is not true, the pope said.

"There is no truth without love. Love is the first truth," he said. "If there is no love, there is no truth."

Commenting on the Pharisees who try to trick Jesus, asking him whether it's right to pay taxes to Caesar, Pope Francis said, "they did not love the truth," but only themselves. "Their narcissistic idolatry led them to betray others, to abuse others' trust."

The meekness of Jesus and the words he expects of his followers, the pope said, are simple, "like that of a child."

"Today let us ask the Lord that our speech would be the speech of the simple, to speak like a child, like children of God, speaking the truth in love," he said.

At Mass the day before -- a liturgy attended by the staff of the Congregation for Saints' Causes -- Pope Francis spoke of three categories of Christians: saints, sinners and the corrupt.

"We are all sinners," he said. "If someone feels he isn't, he needs to make an appointment with a spiritual doctor because something's wrong."

The corrupt, he said, "are sinners like all of us, but have taken it a step further," they are hardened in their sin and see no need for God.

The truth, Pope Francis said, is that "in our genetic code" there is a need for a relationship with God, so the corrupt, denying their need for God in heaven, make themselves into gods.

"This is a danger for us as well: to become corrupt. There are some who are in the Christian community and they do great harm," the pope said. The corrupt have forgotten all that God has done and that he is the Lord and creator of all.

"They have cut off their relationship with that love and have become adorers of themselves," he said. "The Apostle John says the corrupt are the antichrist, who are among us, but not part of us."

The saints, he said, "are those who obey the Lord, those who adore the Lord, those who have not forgotten" that God loved them and created them and the world.

END


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