Christians should be fraternal and humble, says Pope Francis

Christians should not act like the Pharisees who do not practice what they preach, but they should instead have a humble and fraternal attitude, Pope Francis reminded the faithful on Nov. 5.

(REUTERS / Max Rossi / File Photo)Pope Francis speaks as he leads the general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican October 26, 2016.

During his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis said people in authority often mimic the "defect" of the scribes and Pharisees depicted in the Bible. These people demanded certain things from others but failed to practice their own orders, the Vatican Radio relayed.

Pope Francis warned that a bad "exercise of authority" leads to an oppressive rule which stifles growth and fosters an environment of distrust and corruption. Instead of following the examples of the Pharisees, he said Christians ought to help others do what is right and support them when they encounter trials.

Disciples of Jesus Christ should not go after positions that give them honor or authority because they should exhibit a fraternal attitude. The pontiff also expressed sadness over seeing people who are consumed with the "vanity of honorifics."

"We disciples of Christ should not do this, because among us there ought to be a simple and fraternal attitude. If we have received special gifts from God, we should put them at the service of our brothers, and not profit by them for our personal satisfaction," the pope added.

In conclusion, Pope Francis warned against seeing oneself as superior over others. He said Christians should practice modesty and follow Christ's example of serving others.

In a homily last month, Pope Francis also slammed people who acted like the Pharisees in the way that they prevented others who wanted to enter the Church from doing so. The pontiff reminded the faithful that they ought to practice mercy, just as God showed His mercy to them, the Independent Catholic News reported.

The pope's statement on mercy stemmed from news about parish priests who refused to baptize children who were "not born into canonical marriages." He said these priests shut the door to people who want to approach God's presence. He also asked for prayers for the leaders of the church that they may not do the same.