A Cardinal's Advice on Hypocrisy and the Heart

At Mass in St. Lawrence Youth Center in Rome

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ROME, OCT. 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires says that hypocrisy impedes understanding the sentiments of one’s heart.

The Argentine cardinal explained this to a group of young people during a Mass celebrated Friday in the St. Lawrence Youth Center, located near St. Peter’s Square.

The cardinal spoke of young people as being «open and saying what they think; however, with the passing of the years we undertake a path that leads nowhere, the path of hypocrisy, which is not the way of sincerity.»

«Hypocritical men and women don’t know who they are, they don’t know their own feelings,» he said in the Holy See’s center for young pilgrims in Rome.

To emphasize his point, Cardinal Bergoglio quoted Luke’s Gospel, which had just been read during the Mass: «beware of the leaven of hypocrites.»

The cardinal encouraged young people to be conscious of the love of God: «The Father knows all of you, your brothers welcome you in community, therefore, go forward and, if you make a mistake, if you fall, you must get up. This is the truth, not hypocrisy.»

A weapon

«If you hear someone say something you don’t like, say so, but don’t be scandalized by life; the weapon of the hypocrite is to scandalize,» he warned.

«Tell the truth, be transparent, walk on the wide road, not on the path of hypocrisy,» he urged the young people who before the Mass had spent two hours in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

«On this road you will meet the cross, pain and problems,» he said. «But your heart will be joyful. On the path of hypocrisy, on the contrary, you don’t know what your heart feels.»

Cardinal Bergoglio, who is attending the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, concluded by referring to Mary: «She is the first of us who went the good way; she said yes when it was yes, and no when it was no.»

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