Pastry Shop Catholics

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In his homily in Assisi today, on this Feast of St. Francis, the Holy Father made the following point:

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos… That is not Franciscan either; it is a notion some people have invented! The peace of Saint Francis is the peace of Christ, and it is found by those who “take up” their “yoke”, namely, Christ’s commandment: Love one another as I have loved you (cf. Jn 13:34; 15:12). This yoke cannot be borne with arrogance, presumption or pride, but only with meekness and humbleness of heart.

Later, to a gathering of bishops and poor people, he warned of “pastry shop Christianity” (cristiani di pasticceria) which forgets the Cross in the vain hope that all will be sweetness and light. The National Catholic Register reports:

“And if we want to be Christians, there is no other way,” the Holy Father added. “We must undress ourselves today from a very serious danger that threatens each person in the Church: the danger of worldliness.”

There are some who want to “make Christianity ?a little more human? without the cross,” he said. But that is a kind of “bakery Christianity” in which everything is beautiful and sweet like a cake.

“That is not real Christianity,” Pope Francis said.

True Christianity embraces the cross, because it is the way of Christ. He said, “Jesus himself said one can’t serve two masters. Either serve God or serve money.”

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

Stephen P. White is a fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary political and cultural issues. Since 2005, Mr. White has been coordinator of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society: a three week seminar on Catholic social teaching, with an emphasis on the thought of Blessed John Paul II, which takes place every summer in Kraków, Poland. He studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the St. Patrick's Evangelisation School in London, England.

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