Pope Francis called on the faithful to pay taxes on Sunday. The head of the Catholic Church argued that it was “a civic duty, as was obeying the just laws of the state.” He prayed that citizens would avoid hypocrisy and be honest.
Addressing the faithful before the noon prayer of the Angelus, the Pope recalled a scene from the Gospel, when Jesus was asked “whether it is allowed to pay taxes to Caesar or not”, and he replied: “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God “.
Francis explained that “in this statement of Jesus there is not only a criterion for distinguishing between the political and religious spheres, but also clear guidelines for the mission of believers of all times, also for us today”. – Paying taxes is the duty of citizens, as is observing the just laws of the state – he said
“The primacy of God must be confirmed in human life and in history”
As he added, “the primacy of God must be affirmed in human life and history, respecting God’s right to what belongs to him.” – Hence the mission of the Church and Christians: to speak about God and bear witness to him to men and women of his time – he stressed.
Francis prayed that Our Lady would help everyone avoid hypocrisy and be “honest and constructive citizens”. He recalled that on Sunday the Church celebrates World Mission Day. He called for prayers for the persecuted and kidnapped missionaries and catechists.
“Let us pray for fishermen and for Libya”
The Pope expressed his joy at the recent release in Mali of the Italian priest Pier Luigi Maccalli, who was kidnapped two years ago in Niger. Other hostages were also released with him, he noted.
The Pope encouraged prayers for 18 fishermen from the Sicilian port of Mazara del Vallo, who had been detained for 47 days in Libya, and for their families.
– Let us pray for fishermen and for Libya – Francis called.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ANGELO CARCONI