Rorate Caeli

Pope Francis: Triumphalist Christians "do not believe in the Risen Lord"

From Radio Vaticana's English website (emphases ours):

(Vatican Radio) Christians are called to proclaim Jesus without fear , without shame and without triumphalism . Those were the words of Pope Francis at Mass this Tuesday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope also stressed the risk of becoming a Christian without the Resurrection and reiterated that Christ is always at the center of our life and hope. Lydia O’Kane reports.

“Jesus is the Winner who has won over sin and death.” Those were the words of Pope Francis on Tuesday morning during his Homily at morning Mass. He was referring to the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians in which the Saint recommends we walk with Jesus " because he has won, and we walk with him in his victory “firm in the faith."  

This is the key point, the Pope stressed: "Jesus is risen . 

"But, the Holy Father continued, it is not always easy to understand . The Pope then recalled that when St. Paul spoke to the Greeks in Athens he was listened to with interest up to when he spoke of the resurrection. "This makes us afraid , it best to leave it as is." Pope Francis said. 

Continuing his Homily the Pope recalled the Apostles, who closed themselves up in the Upper Room for fear of the Jews, even Mary Magdalene is weeping because they have taken away the Lord's Body . " …they are afraid to think about the Resurrection." The Pope noted that “there are also the Christians who are embarrassed. They are embarrassed to "confess that Christ is risen. 

Finally, said Pope Francis there is the group of Christians who "in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and want to make theirs a more majestic resurrection than that of the real one . These, he said are the “triumphalist” Christians. 

"They do not know the meaning of the word ' triumph ' the Pope continued, so they just say “triumphalism”, because they have such an inferiority complex and want to do this ...  

When we look at these Christians , with their many triumphalist attitudes , in their lives, in their speeches and in their pastoral theology, liturgy, so many things, it is because they do not believe deep down in the Risen One. He is the Winner, the Risen One. He won.  

"This, the Holy Father added, is the message that Paul gives to us " Christ "is everything," he is totality and hope , "because he is the Bridegroom , the Winner " . 


Later that morning the Pope met with 30 heads of the Curial dicasteries, "in order to listen to the considerations and advice offered by the highest-ranking figures in the Roman Curia and the Pope's main collaborators in Rome ... within the context of the implementation of suggestions presented by the cardinals to the congregations in preparation for the Conclave and the Holy Father's reflections on the government of the Church."

Rorate note: It is true that this is not the first time that the Pope has criticized "triumphalism" -- see his homilies for April 12 and May 29. In today's homily the Pope has gone further than the generalities of his previous remarks to assert the existence of this triumphalism in some Christians' "pastoral theology" and "liturgy".