My Open Letter to Pope Francis: Please Recognise the real 21st Century Pharisees.


Dear Pope Francis,

I have supported you and defended you many times this year. Even when I was unsure of exactly what it was you were saying – I always gave you the benefit of the doubt and stood up for you against those who were criticising you. However regarding your recent comments denouncing the “rigid” attached to doctrine as “Pharisees” I am sorry but with a heavy heart, I have to disagree with you:

Pope Francis recalled how “Pius XII freed us from the very heavy cross that was the Eucharistic fast:

“But some of you might remember. You couldn’t even drink a drop of water. Not even that! And to brush your teeth, it had to be done in such a way that you didn’t swallow the water. But I myself as a young boy went to confession for having made the Communion, because I thought a drop of water had gone in. Is it true or no? It’s true. When Pius XII changed the discipline: ‘Ah, heresy! No! He touched the discipline of the Church.’ So many Pharisees were scandalized. So many. Because Pius XII had acted like Jesus: he saw the need of the people. ‘But the poor people, with such warmth.’ These priests who said three Masses, the last at one o’clock, after noon, fasting. The discipline of the Church. And these Pharisees [spoke about] ‘our discipline’ – rigid on the outside, but, as Jesus said of them, ‘rotting in the heart,’ weak, weak to the point of rottenness. Gloomy in the heart. This is the drama of these people, and Jesus denounces hypocrisy and opportunism: Even our life can become like that, even our life. And sometimes, I confess something to you, when I have seen a Christian, a Christian of that kind, with a weak heart, not firm, not fixed on the rock—Jesus – and with such rigidness on the outside, I ask the Lord: But Lord, throw a banana peel in front of them, so that they will take a good fall, and feel shame that they are sinners, and so encounter You, [and realise] that You are the Saviour. Many times a sin will make us feel shame, and make us encounter the Lord, Who pardons us, as the sick who were there and went to the Lord for healing.” 

You are correct in saying that the Pharisees of 1st Century Jerusalem were politicians. They were not interested in the spirituality of the Jewish faith in anyway shape or form. All they were interested in was satisfying their  lust for power and status over the people. In this way they held God’s people in contempt.  They used rules and regulations to keep people captive.

But Holy Father, don’t you understand?…

The religious politicians of the 21st century are your friends – the Walter Kasper’s and the Cormac Murphy O’Connor’s of this world. They are the ones trying to control the Family Synod. They are the ones manipulating the media. They are the ones doing deals and getting their mates into the position of Bishop to further their own political agenda, when they really, really should never have even been there (Kieran Conry). Just like the Pharisees of 1st century Jerusalem, they are primarily concerned with their own lust for power and status. They hide this behind a smoke screen of words and phrases that seem to offer salvation, but are in-fact as empty as the rules and regulations of 2000 years ago. They hold God’s people in contempt by offering them apparent solutions to the problem of sin. They do not do this by keeping them captive in rules and regulations, but instead they seek to abolish ALL rules and regulations and usher in a climate of relativism. When people perceive their sin as relative, the rules and regulations no longer apply: and consequently their sin no longer exists.

Holy Father don’t you see? The real 21st century Pharisees operate by keeping God’s people captive in their own sin.

I don’t know how the church works in Argentina. I feel there are some cultural differences in Europe that perhaps you are not fully aware of. You see, here, the church has been kept afloat by those who have remained loyal to church teaching. The church has suffered so much damage here over the last 50 years from people wanting to push their own political agenda – to put Man at the centre of the faith rather than Christ. The truth and beauty of Christ – the true spirituality and heart of the Catholic faith has been almost completely replaced by nothing more than a synthetic substitute.

I understand your message of mercy. You are reaching out to those who are not secure in their faith – to those who have perhaps suffered a massive lack of proper religious education and catecheisis and have never known the real Jesus or felt His love. I know there are many who are already secure in their faith who do not understand why you are taking this approach – but I do. But there are also those who want to twist this message to their own advantage. The mercy Kasper offers is focused on this life alone. He seeks to please man. He makes no mention of how it will effect people in the next life. To allow people to remain in mortal sin is to ignore God’s truth and God’s justice. How will Kasper’s teaching on mercy effect people’s time in purgatory – or worse? Is this real mercy?

Holy Father, I admire your courage for taking on the heavy cross of becoming Pope, and I pray for you every day. Please Holy Father, I beg you – do not be deceived by those who wish to put Man at the centre of the Catholic faith. Jesus did not come to ‘people please’. He came to set us free from ourselves. Please see the true 21st century Pharisees for who they really are.

I love you and you are in my prayers.

24 thoughts on “My Open Letter to Pope Francis: Please Recognise the real 21st Century Pharisees.

  1. This reminds me of today’s Gospel:

    “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.”

    When Jesus tells the Pharisees that the tax collectors and harlots will get into the Kingdom of Heaven before them, is it because the tax collectors and harlots repent and believe. It’s not because they are poor or need mercy (who doesn’t?). It’s because they hear good news and repent and believe whereas the Pharisees don’t.

    There are rigid Catholics who are Pharisaical. There are also progressive Catholic power brokers and “nice guys” who teach lies. Neither is concerned with those who are hungry for the Gospel, with holiness. I pray the Holy Father recognizes and works to protect the flock from all the wolves in the fold.

    Drusilla Barron

    • The thing about “Pharisees” that people miss is that they were “hypocrites.” Jesus rarely criticizes their teachings; just the opposite–“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” The Pharisees would interpret the law to suit themselves while laying down burdens for others.

  2. Wonderful article.

    I do think he is stuck in a Argentine, Peronist, Jesuit paradigm: and doesn’t understand us…and doesn’t seem to really want to…and is incredibly, pointlessly, and unfairly insulting.

  3. @pontifex obviously hasn’t read the Catechism of Pius X that states that edibles left in the mouth do not break the Eucharistic fast:
    39 Q. If one were to swallow a particle that had remained between the teeth, or a drop of water while washing, might he still go to Communion?
    A. If one were to swallow a particle that had remained between the teeth, or a drop of water while washing, he might still go to Communion, because in both cases these things would either not be taken as food or drink, or they would have already lost the nature of either.

  4. what a wonderful Holy Father we have, yes he is certainly aware of the modern day Pharisees who look down their noses at the poor. How Blessed we are by The Holy Spirit who gave us such a caring Vicar. Glad that Pope Francis got rid of that “bishop bling” and that his Holiness’ Priority is serving God.

    • He is the MOST judgmental Pope I’ve ever seen or read about. He throws insults and has open contempt at any who hold to what the Church teaches and constantly uses “straw men” arguments, leaving people to question “who is he talking about?” Not much of a shepherd.

  5. This sounds like a really earnest plea. It’s the plea I too had many months ago, but the reality soon set in very hard. It was painful setting my fears coming true, but I had to face this reality. It was the reality of conservatives in America in the months following the election of George Bush as president. He made useless many laws of the country while succeeding to appear truly conservative. I defended him many times over because I was afraid the liberals would win–I didn’t want them to have the last laugh. It turns out the laugh had always been on me and other conservatives. You see, George Bush has never been conservative. He just talked a great game. To keep flexing his machismo (sadly appealing to conservative men) he used the events of 9-11 to go to countless wars and strip Americans of their many civil rights. This he did right under their noses, and with their implicit permission, because Americans love rhetoric in speech. Before we knew it, his term was over,and he passed the baton to Obama who has realm done nothing differently from Bush. My goodness, they even share a good number of staff. My point to all of this is that Pope Francis has said many things that are great and could be seen as sensational. He talks about the reality of the devil and of sin with his right hand, but then with his left hand he lashes and whips those who cares out doctrine. He appoints cardinals to spread new ideas with his right hand, then says because he is turned away he cannot speak to the blemishes of his right hand. When he turns to the left, he bows and worships with the Orthodox (and truly schismatic), but his henchmen of progressive bishops call followers of SSPX unCatholic and schismatic. To be sure, it is duplicitous. I don’t judge the pope, but judge his public actions and words that are confusing and sowing heterodoxy. Surely, since nothing new was taught at Vatican II (as is often said) then surely it won’t be dangerous for me to stick to papal documents and other teachings that preceded the confusing council.

    Surely, the pope has the power to speak definitively, but he sticks to just encyclicals and interviews (so far). Many fears would be allayed if the pope demoted Kasper, Wuerl et Alia rather than reward them. We are in such trouble today because we want to close our eyes and dig ditches. Our voices are much louder combined. Our cries can be heard if despite our fear we cry out for help. It is not disrespectful to petition Rome to rectify its course by confirming Catholics in their age old beliefs so that progressive cardinals, priests and religious can form their own church. In the end, without fail, as bishop When said, there will be two churches. One will be True and the other will ape the True church. Many will be deceived for the sake of human respect.

  6. I would also like to know what the “small-minded rules” of the Church are that Francis referred to early in his pontificate. I don’t think any journalist has asked him that question.

  7. Funny how the pope decries rigidity in the Church, and yet he had no problem acting rigidly in suppressing a good and holy order of priests.

  8. Reblogged this on Deaconjohn1987's Blog and commented:
    Holy Father: “I love you and you are in my prayers” constantly, every day, all day, at Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, fasting, abstaining, etc., etc. Does that make me a Pharisee? I hope not, because I do it all for love from my heart, united with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my Teacher and Guide!

  9. I don’t know how the church works in Argentina.

    Like most things in Argentina, it doesn’t. But as for Argentine culture being different from Europe – you could not be more wrong. Of new world countries, Argentina is the most like continental Europe – particularly France, Spain, Italy. Francis should feel right at home in the Vatican, much more so than an American would.

  10. Pingback: My Open Letter to Pope Francis: Please Recognise the real 21st Century Pharisees. | Le cronache di Papa Francesco

  11. Pingback: My Open Letter to Pope Francis: Please Recognise the real 21st Century Pharisees. | Stanley Panama

  12. I love your heartfelt appeal and I just know your pain and anguish is real, as others here have noted. You are spot on about the modern pharisees.

    However, I could not help but think of the people that wrote the same type of letter to “Uncle Joe” Stalin, believing that if he only knew what was going on, he’d fix it. They didn’t know that he was the one drawing up the lists and picking the names for exile, torture and death, until much later. That’s ‘Is “umbleness.

    I too wanted to believe the best about our pope. But, I knew deep down what we were getting when I heard a Jesuit was the new pope, and I have been greatly upset that I was right. Face it: he’s a heretic and a Modernist, and a lot of other things, and he is not going to be remembered fondly in history, as other bad popes also are.

    We must face the facts and he is what he is. He’s not mistranslated, or misunderstood by the “media”, or any of the other excuses people have trotted out to deflect the withering criticism he has been getting and well deserves.

    We mustn’t despair or give up the faith, and we must persevere. Just know our pope hates orthodox, practicing, trying-to-be-faithful-in-the-fullest-sense Catholics. When he mocked the pious groups who were gathered and offering multiple Rosaries for him and his pontificate early on, and he certainly did, where other popes would have been profoundly and deeply grateful, that said it all and he’s continued to mock them and those who remain fully committed to the Faith as it has been taught and practiced since Jesus founded the Church. Now we must and shall return the favor, and mock him as he so richly deserves just about every time he opens his mouth.

  13. Perhaps it would have been more edifying for the Holy Father to explain the purpose of fasting and how we should avoid extremes in our devotions that cause us to forget the point?

    What concerns me is that Catholics who are so militantly rigid is a small number and they have little influence. An even greater population with bigger influence are those Catholics who want to loosen our faith and water it down.There is a dominant school of thought in the church that views all devotions and piety as something insignificant- if not harmful. This thought- process puts up barriers between man and God, makes the faith inaccessible and ultimately stifles the soul. Why not address these folks?

  14. Pingback: Open Letter to Francis – the REAL 21st Century Pharisees | Biblical False Prophet

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