Pope Francis issued a harsh condemnation of those who exploit others and then donate to the Church, telling them their “dirty money” isn’t wanted.
There are some people, he said, who come with a generous offering, but which is “a fruit of the blood of so many people who are exploited, mistreated and enslaved by poorly paid jobs!”
“I say to these people: please, take back your check, burn it,” he said, adding that the Church “doesn’t need dirty money, it needs hearts open to the mercy of God.”
Taking his cue from the first chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Pope Francis said March 2 that God doesn’t like “the blood of bulls and lambs, especially if the offering is done with hands dirty with the blood of their brothers.”
In his speech, he said that when Isaiah tells the Israelites to “Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me…when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood,” he thinks of certain Church benefactors.
In reference to Isaiah, Francis noted that instead of accepting Israel’s ritual sacrifices, he uses the prophet to tell them he wants justice instead.
This, he said, is not because the offerings were bad in themselves, but because they had become a distraction from growing close to God and accepting his love.
“Many times we don’t go to the Lord, but prefer a mistaken path, looking for an excuse, justice, peace outside of him,” he said, explaining that this is like a sick person who decides to visit “a sorcerer” instead of a doctor: “they are not healed.”
Pope Francis pointed to Isaiah’s instruction for the people to wash and purify themselves by turning away from evil and choosing to do good instead.
“Sins, even if they bleed scarlet, become white like the snow, and pure white like wool, and the people will be able to nourish themselves on the goods of the earth and live in peace,” he said, quoting the passage from Isaiah.
This, he said, “is the miracle of the forgiveness of God; the forgiveness which God as Father wants to give to his people.”