Friends, I have sat through many bad sermons in my life. Sermons where the pastor re-told the account of Noah’s Ark as a moralistic message of the dream he had inside him. I have heard pastors lambast other churches for their style of music from the pulpit. I have sat through weak sermons where if I continued to connect the dots I could sort-of draw out the point the speaker was making. But if the preacher said this at the beginning of his message I would have to get up and walk out on the spot. The preacher in this scenario is none other than Pope Francis, and these are his opening remarks from the message he gave at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. (New York City, it really never get’s old–Also, you can read my thoughts on St. Patrick and how the Catholic Church commandeered him as their own saint here) So the pope said this to begin his message:
I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.
Yes, he called muslims “brothers and sisters” MUSLIMS! Muslims don’t want a christian for a brother or sister. Muslims want a christian dead. In fact according to muslims the only good christian is a dead one. Muslims do not believe in and put their saving trust in Jesus, they think he was just a good teacher…but here is the thing…you don’t execute good teachers.
Pope Francis wasn’t done there though…no, after going on to praise the works and sacrifices of good Catholics across the country and calling them to more WORK lest they stray from the faith or grow weary doing good. The Pope then went on to say the work of Christ on the cross was a failure.
The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross. (Emphasis mine)
Did he caveat it by saying “humanly speaking”? Yes. Did he go on to explain that while it may appear the cross was a great failure to us it was really His greatest triumph, for without the cross we could not have the forgiveness of sin, without the cross we would still be aliens and strangers to God? No! Not at all..in fact from there he simply moves on to warn of guarding our free time and surrounding ourselves with worldly comfort. I am tired of having to do the work of trying to figure out the preachers implied meaning of his sermon. Fortunately, the point of his message wasn’t to convey that you are a sinner in desperate need of salvation that ONLY Christ can give? No. The point of his message was this:
Gratitude and hard work, these are two pillars of the spiritual life which I have wanted to share with you this evening. With you, the priest and religious men and women this afternoon.
Gratitude and hard work, Oh, Boy…the flogging will continue until moral improves…thank you, sir may I have another.
Needn’t I remind you that this is the very same pope that said you didn’t need faith to have eternal life. and and that sin is simply a matter of disobeying your conscience. (No, sin is disobeying God, it is a state you’re born in and can do NOTHING about by your own efforts, that’s why Jesus died on the cross.)
The Pope then concluded his message at St. Patrick’s by praying, not to Jesus, but to Mary. I don’t know where I heard it on the interwebs but they were right: “There is no hope in the Pope.” there are no words from God either.
NOTE: You can read the full transcript of the Pope’s message at St. Patrick’s here. But, honestly, why would you want to? It just amounts to heresy, law & works.