Pope Francis: Hypocrisy spreads like a virus

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25/08/2021
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Pope Francis discussed hypocrisy in his General Audience, reflecting on St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians. The Pope said that “hypocrisy is born of a fear that holds us back from speaking the full truth,” and which results in a “life of pretense.”

Most importantly, the Pope says, this can create divisions within the Church itself. Living differently than to what we preach “is to jeopardize the very unity within the Church for which the Lord himself prayed.”

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:

Dear brothers and sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians, we have seen how Paul teaches that those living in the grace of Christ are set free from the demands of the Mosaic Law.

Today we consider Paul’s claim that he had reprimanded Saint Peter in this regard. Peter had taken meals with Gentile Christians, but ceased to do so when a group of circumcised Christians arrived from Jerusalem. For Paul, this was a form of “hypocrisy” (Gal 2:13) that caused division in the community.

All hypocrisy is born of a fear that holds us back from speaking the full truth; it leads to a life of pretense, where we say one thing but do another. Hypocrisy spreads like a virus. We find it often in our workplaces, in political life and, most detestably, in the Church itself.

Jesus told us to let our yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” (cf. Mt 5:37). To act otherwise is to jeopardize the very unity within the Church for which the Lord himself prayed.

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. I pray that this period of summer holidays

will be a time of refreshment and spiritual renewal for you and your families. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus.

May God bless you!

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