Pope denounces hypocritical Christians who 'live a double life'

Pope Francis called out Christians in a sermon Thursday, suggesting it would be better to be an atheist than to lead a double life, exploit people or manage a greedy business.

"So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others," Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, CNN reported, quoting Vatican Radio. "How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — 'But to be a Catholic like that, it's better to be an atheist.' It is that: scandal.""But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another."

The Vatican later issued a note clarifying that the pontiff was simply saying that God's grace is free to all, even atheists, CNN reported.

Francis' sermon was an extension of Thursday’s Mass readings, which include a passage from the Gospel of Mark. In it, Jesus says it is better to be drowned than to cause others to sin.

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