Pope Francis: Personal Relationships with Jesus are Dangerous-Outdated! 

Summary of eRumor:

Pope Francis said in a speech on June 25, 2017, that having a personal relationship with Jesus is dangerous and harmful.

The Truth:

Claims that Pope Francis said it’s dangerous to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ date back to an address he gave in 2014  — and the pope’s statements have been taken out of context.

Pope Francis was discussing the importance of the church when he made the remark in question before a general audience at St. Peter’s square on June 25, 2014. He was talking specifically about those who profess their faith in God but “don’t care” about the church, according to an official transcript posted by the Vatican:

 At times one hears someone say: “I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I don’t care about the Church…”. How many times have we heard this? And this is not good. There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations. These are, as the great Paul VI said, absurd dichotomies. It is true that walking together is challenging, and at times can be tiring: it can happen that some brother or some sister creates difficulties, or shocks us

Critics of Pope Francis seized on the highlighted portion of the above quote and claimed that he said it was “dangerous and harmful” to maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In reality, Pope Francis was saying that the temptation to practice one’s faith without the guidance of the church was harmful and dangerous — not necessarily that a personal relationship with Jesus was harmful and dangerous.

In July 2017, the Pope Francis quote was re-reported as breaking news by YourNewsWire.com under the headline, “Pope Francis: ‘Relationships With Jesus Are Dangerous And Harmful.” The story, which had been shared on social media nearly 70,000 times within weeks, reports:

Breaking with centuries of Christian tradition, Pope Francis told a crowd of 33,000 Catholics in Rome that “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ” must be avoided at all costs, raising fears he is an illegitimate pope with a sinister agenda.

The speech, which took place on June 25, is merely the latest eyebrow-raising announcement by the liberal Pope.

The post makes it appear as though Pope Francis had just delivered the address, when in reality he delivered it three years earlier. The post also includes bits and pieces of Pope Francis’ quote to make it appear that he called a personal relationship with Jesus Christ harmful in dangerous when he actually talking about the temptation to practice one’s faith without outside the guidance of the church.

YourNewsWire.com is known for publishing false or misleading content, and its disclaimer makes clear that it’s not a reliable source for news. The site states that it presents content “as is” without any claims about the “suitability, reliability, availability, timeliness and accuracy of the information” presented.

Given that the original quote was three years old and was taken out of context, we’re calling claims that Pope Francis said a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is harmful and dangerous “outdated.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 07/24/2017
pope francis
A 2014 quote by Pope Francis about the importance of the church was misrepresented in 2017 as a warning that a personal relationship with Jesus is harmful and dangerous.