Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

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Pope says he’s saddened by ‘perfect’ Catholics who despise others

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – God did not choose perfect people to form his church, but rather sinners who have experienced his love and forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis kisses a child during his weekly audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Aug. 9. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano) See POPE-AUDIENCE-FORGIVENESS Aug. 9, 2017.

The Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman shows how his actions went against the general mentality of his time, a way of thinking that saw a “clear separation” between the pure and impure, the pope said Aug. 9 during his weekly general audience.

“There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect,” the pope said. “And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad.”

Continuing his series of audience talks about Christian hope, the pope reflected on Jesus’ “scandalous gesture” of forgiving the sinful woman.

The woman, he said, was one of many poor women who were visited secretly even by those who denounced them as sinful.

Although Jesus’ love toward the sick and the marginalized “baffles his contemporaries,” it reveals God’s heart as the place where suffering men and women can find love, compassion and healing, Pope Francis said.

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