Pope Francis has said that it is better to be an atheist than be a hypocritical Catholic leading a double life.
While speaking at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope asked people not to scandalize "the little ones" with a double life.
According to a Vatican Radio transcript, he said, "But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: 'I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I donâ€™t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder moneyâ€¦' A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others.
Continuing his criticism, he further said, "How many times have we heard â€“ all of us, around the neighbourhood and elsewhereâ€“ 'but to be a Catholic like that, itâ€™s better to be an atheist.' It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, itâ€™s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction."
The Pontiff, known for telling Catholics, including priests, to practice what their religion preaches, had recently spoken in support of migrants.
As record numbers of people flee conflict, persecution and poverty, governments, citizens and the Church have a moral obligation to safeguard migrants and show solidarity with them, he told the International Forum on Migration and Peace at the Vatican.
"Contemporary migration movements represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history... Defending their inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted," he stated.