Churches shouldn’t be like supermarkets : Pope Francis

Vatican City: On Nov 24, Pope Francis said that at some churches it is difficult to tell whether you are in a house of God or a supermarket.

“There we have a business, including the price list for the sacraments – nothing is free!”  the pope said during his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

The pontiff was continuing his reflections on the readings this week from 2 Maccabees, the Old Testament work about the Jewish revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the ruler of the Seleucid Empire.

The king tried to Hellenize the Jewish people, and outlawed various Jewish practices and religious rites.

The Maccabean revolt led to the re-dedication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which is commemorated in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah.

Meanwhile, the Gospel reading was the passage from the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus drove the merchants from the temple, that he said was transformed into a den of thieves.

According to a report by Vatican Radio, Francis said watchfulness, service and gratuitousness are three things that can help us keep clean the temple of the Holy Spirit.

The pope said the temple can be safeguarded through service.

The pope mentioned St. John Chrysostom reprimanding those who were making many offerings to decorate the church but were not caring for the poor.

“This is not good.  First service, then decoration,” the pope said.

“Purifying the temple means caring for others,” he continued. “When we come forward to serve, to help, we resemble Jesus who is inside us.”

The pontiff then said it was “sad” when someone entered a parish or bishop’s house, and could not tell “whether we are in the house of God or in a supermarket,” and complained about clerics charging for sacraments.

The pope said God does not make people pay for salvation.

Francis anticipated the main objection to this point: That money is needed to maintain the buildings, provide for the priests, etc. … but responded by saying, “Give freely, and God will do the rest. God will give what is lacking.”

He concluded by saying our churches should be “churches of service, churches that are free of charge.”


(source: Crux)

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5 thoughts on “Churches shouldn’t be like supermarkets : Pope Francis

  1. It is good that the Pope himself has said this. When the lay leaders say the same things, they are termed as anti-Catholic and called all sorts of names. Are the priests willing to administer sacraments free of charge?

  2. Instead of Pope Francis making radical steps in too many areas, it would be best to concentrate on renewal of religious congregations (the monasteries, orders, societies etc.) which is called the salt of the church. This system has lost its saltiness now. All other things which we criticise are only the symptoms. Pope Francis being brought up from a religious congregation it would be easy for Pope to make steps easily.

  3. One poor man came to know about the person Of Jesus. And he got transformed following jesus’s word of God. He was catchiesed that go to priest, nuns, bishop and church etc to be a good Christian. But he went and saw big huge buildings like that of cruel kings of the olden times.
    The rules to approach it is very hard. At last he felt bad about following Catholic Church. It is now more better be non Catholic and to believe and accept Jesus is better.

  4. JESUS got mad at the Temple while watching the commerce was going on in high level, HE was really mad and threw away some of the business.

    As Pope Francis has said, the Church has became pure ” religious Supermarkets “. A few years back while attending a mega Church religious conference in the U.S., I was confused and surprised to see the number of restaurants like Indian-Chines-Mexican etc; then the the book sales of the leading prosperity gospel preachers, printed clothing for high price; everything was focused towards making big profit in the name of religion. Then big TV screen to hear the preaching at the conference while eating food. More than five decades back, there were drive in movie theaters, what a fun time it was to watch the movie from the car which led to major moral degradation of the U.S. society added with the spreading of drug culture.

    Real religion is to look after the widows and orphans, the discarded sick and old of the society. But, now the worship has became a supermarket shopping experience of fun and delight.

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