Pope Francis: You cannot reject refugees and call yourself a Christian


Pope Francis condemned the hypocrisy from Christians who are merciless to refugees and people of other faiths, addressing a gathering of a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany, reports Catholic News Service.

Francis rebuked “the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions.”

“This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day,” Pope Francis said,”

“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” he said.

“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25,” a reference to what is known as the Parable of the Judgment or the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.

The parable is found in Matthew 25:31-46, and reads in part:

“For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, A stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

“I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” said Pope Francis.

 “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

All nations must focus on “service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families.”

“In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest,” Pope Francis said, “we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”

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