The people of God can forgive their priests when they have a weakness, or when they slip up, said Pope Francis Friday. “But there are two things that the people of God cannot forgive: a priest attached to money and a priest who mistreats people. That they cannot forgive!” he said.
The Pope made these remarks during his homily at Mass Friday morning, as he reflected on the gospel passage where Jesus casts out the moneychangers from the Temple.
“I think of the scandal that we can give people with our unpriestly attitude and habits in the Temple,” Francis said, “the scandal of commerce, the scandal of worldliness. How many times when we enter a church, even today, we see there is a price list for baptisms, blessings, Mass intentions. And people are scandalized,” he said.
Francis related that once when he was a young priest there were a couple of college students who wanted to get married. They had gone to a parish, and said they wanted to have the wedding with a Mass. And the parish secretary said, “No, you can’t.” “Why can’t we have a Mass?” they asked, since this is what the Church recommends. “No, you can’t, because you are only allowed 20 minutes.” “But why?” “Because there are other shifts.” “But we want the Mass!” “Then you have to pay for two shifts!” And so they paid for two shifts. “This is the sin of scandal,” said the Pope.
When people working in the temple “become businesspeople,” the Pope said, “people are scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity, too. All of us”
“It is a scandal, when the Temple, the House of God, becomes a business,” he said.