'No one complained about Herod’s evil'
VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) -
Pope Francis, a relentless critic of populist leaders, has cautioned Catholics not to criticize secular and spiritual leaders as even during the apostolic period "no one complained about Herod's evil and his persecution."
"No one abused Herod — and we are so accustomed to abuse those who are in charge," the pontiff preached in his Monday homily for the solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul — a feast marked as a secular holiday in Rome.criticizing Francis' heavy-headedness
"It is pointless, even tedious, for Christians to waste their time complaining about the world, about society, about everything that is not right. Complaints change nothing," the
Holy Father chided, addressing a small congregation at St. Peter's Basilica.
"Humanly speaking, there were reasons to criticize Peter, but no one criticized him. They did not complain about Peter; they prayed for him," Francis declaimed.
"Saint Paul urged Christians to pray for everyone, especially those who govern," the pope stressed, quoting the Apostle's first epistle to Timothy and describing how citizens criticized political leaders using "many adjectives."
"I will not mention them, because this is neither the time nor the place to mention adjectives that we hear directed against those who govern. Let God judge them; let us pray for those who govern!" Francis reiterated.
If we "prayed more and complained less, if we had a more tranquil tongue," the
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Obfuscation by the
A Rome-based biblical scholar told Church Militant that
Pope Francis' emphasis on praying for leaders was commendable and needed to be heeded by Catholics.
However, he noted, "the
Holy Father seems to be injudiciously, or perhaps even disingenuously, conflating 'criticism,' 'complaint' and 'insult' in his sermon."
"On the one hand, Francis preaches [in Italian] saying 'Nessuno insulta Erode' [nobody insulted Herod]. On the other hand, he says 'ma nessuno lo criticava' [nobody criticized him — Peter]," the biblical scholar noted.
"What Francis doesn't mention is that many Lukan scholars interpret Luke's account of the death of Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12 as a polemic by the powerless early Church against their persecutor."