Pope Francis Makes Thinly Veiled Attack On Accusations In Bid For Christian Populism

REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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Pope Francis denounced accusations and quarrels Saturday during Mass in a bid for a Christian kind of populism that supports open immigration.

Francis made the comments in response to ardent criticism from Italian politicians over his support for for migrants. The pontiff denounced country-based populism and argued for a Christian populism that does not include shouting, accusations or quarrels. (Pope’s ‘Don’t Close Your Doors’ Refugee Initiative Begins On 445th Anniversary Of Papal Army Driving Out Islamic Invaders)

“The only possible populism,” Francis said, is a Christian kind that “listens to and serves the people without shouting, accusing, stirring up quarrels,” according to The Associated Press.

While the pope’s comments came in response to criticism over his support for open borders and the plight of migrants, they also came as part of a recent series of homilies in which Francis denounced those bringing accusations of sexual abuse against Church leaders as doing the work of Satan. The pontiff said that the only proper response for a Christian toward wrongdoing, even in the face of systematic abuse and cover-ups perpetrated by church leaders, was forgiveness and silence.

“Only the merciful resemble God the father. ‘Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.’ This is the path, the path that goes against the spirit of the world,” Francis said in a Thursday homily.

“Among us is the great accuser, the one who will always accuse us in front of God to destroy us: Satan. He is the great accuser. And when I enter into this logic of accusing, cursing and looking to do evil to others, I enter into the logic of the ‘Great Accuser’ who is a ‘Destroyer,’ who doesn’t know the word ‘mercy,” he added.

Francis also urged Christians to accuse themselves instead of accusing church leaders, saying that it would help them contemplate the Father’s mercy.

The pontiff’s rebuffs of accusatory attitudes come in response to rising furor over revelations of sexual abuse and cover-ups in both the American, Irish, and Chilean Catholic churches.

Francis has also long admonished western nations to be more open to migrants, despite their security concerns over majority Muslim migrants who refuse to integrate culturally and the possible threat of terrorist attacks coming from within the migrant population.

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