Pope Francis yesterday in his daily Mass homily blasted three groups with the Church:
“Uniformity, rigidity – these are hard. They do not have the freedom that the Holy Spirit gives. They confuse the Gospel that Jesus preached, with their doctrine of equality. Christ never wanted His Church to be so rigid – never – and such as these, because of their attitude, do not enter the Church. They call themselves Christians, Catholics, but their attitude drives them away from the Church.”
The second group or kind of Christian the Holy Father identified is made up of those who always have their own ideas about things – people who do not want to conform their minds to the mind of the Church. The Pope called these, “alternativists”:
“[They] enter the Church, but with this idea, with that ideology, and so their membership in the Church is partial. They have one foot out of the Church. The Church is not their home, not their own, either. They rent the Church at some point. Such as these have been with us from the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel: think of the Gnostics, whom the Apostle John beats so roundly, right? ‘We are … yes, yes … we are Catholics, but with these ideas – alternatives.’ They do not share that feeling of belonging to the Church.”
The third is made of those, who call themselves Christians, but do not come from the heart of the Church. These are the “exploitationists” he said, “those who ‘seek the benefits’, and go to church, but for personal benefit, and end up doing business in the Church”:
“The businessmen. We know them well! They, too, have been there from the beginning: think of Simon Magus, or Ananias and Sapphira. They took advantage of the Church for their own profit. We see them in the parish or diocesan community, too, in religious congregations, among some benefactors of the Church – many, eh? They strut their stuff as benefactors of the Church, and at the end, behind the table, they do their business. These, too, do not feel the Church as a mother, as their own.”
Go here to Vatican Radio to read the rest. Interesting criticisms with a fair amount of validity. PopeWatch would point out a fourth group within the Church, lets call them “holy beggars” who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time hitting up fellow Catholics for donations for the Church. These Catholics almost always work for the Church and give the impression at times that the money contributed comes off of money trees rather than the sweat and entrepreneurship of lay Catholics who might be pardoned for suspecting that sometimes they are looked upon as walking ATMs by some within the Church.