In his homily in Santa Marta, the pope spoke about the seriousness of clericalism, meaning priests who feel superior to the people. He said that Jesus was among the first to criticize them.
"But the Son didn’t join the game of these people: the Son went with the sick, the poor, the discarded, the publicans, the sinners – and that is scandalous – the prostitutes. Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: 'The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven.'”
He concluded by saying that the problem is that these clerics are pushing people away, while God is trying to approach them.
EXTRACTS OF PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"But a law that they have remade many times: so many times, to the point that they had arrived at 500 commandments. Everything was regulated, everything! A law scientifically constructed, because this people was wise, they understood well. They made all these nuances, no? But it was a law without memory: they had forgotten the First Commandment, which God had given to our father Abraham: 'Walk in my presence and be blameless.' They did not walk: they always stopped in their own convictions. They were not blameless!”
"Judas was a traitor, he sinned gravely, eh! He sinned forcefully. But then the Gospel says, 'He repented, and went to them to return the money.' And what did they do? But you were our associate. Be calm… We have the power to forgive you for everything! No! 'Make whatever arrangement you can! It’s your problem!' And they left him alone: discarded! Poor Judas, a traitor and repentant, was not welcomed by the pastors. Because these people had forgotten what it was to be a pastor. They were the intellectuals of religion, those who had the power, who advanced the catechesis of the people with a morality composed by their own intelligence and not by the revelation.”
"The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing! It is a new edition of these people. And the victim is the same: the poor and humble people that awaits the Lord. The Father has always sought to be close to us: He sent His Son. We are waiting, waiting in joyful expectation, exulting. But the Son didn’t join the game of these people: The Son went with the sick, the poor, the discarded, the publicans, the sinners – and that is scandalous – the prostitutes. Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: "The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven.”