The head of the world’s 1.2bn Catholics, Pope Francis, has hit out at members of the Church who profess Catholic values but live lives of ‘sin’.
In his eyes, for such people, it would be better to outright declare they are atheists rather than continue pretending within the church.
Francis, who has built a reputation since entering office as one of the most progressive popes in history, was speaking at a private mass ceremony at his papal residence when he passed the comments.
“It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.” Francis said, according to Reuters.
“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association’,” he said, adding that despite all these pronouncements, they lead lives not reflective of the values of the church.
“[They should also say] ‘my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, (I lead) a double life’.”
“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal,” he said, adding: “How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’.”