Pope Francis recently spoke of what he called the “grave sin” of using the needs of the poor for one’s own “vanity.” He did so in his visit to Cagliari, Italy. He told us that there are many who are always talking about the needs of the poor, but do so only to embellish their themselves, and it would be better for those people “to stay at home.”
Once again, our Holy Father is, in my opinion, calling us all to an examination of conscience. This examen, perhaps unlike what we are used to, is centered on the basis of the new law of love of God and neighbor. Even though so much of the press about Francis seems to be saying he is relegating morality to a secondary position to mercy, what I see him doing is reminding us in clear terms that true morality is centered on love and mercy, which is the same as saying Christian morality is centered on Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Yes, it is true we cannot reduce Christian faith to morality, but it is equally true that Christianity is at its core moral; it has always called men and women to live lives the challenge the world.
I have put a link to Catholic News Service where you can view a short video with an English translation of excerpts of the Pope’s comments.