Over the last four years, Pope Francis has turned the Vatican upside down, along with the perception of the Catholic Church. Adding to his list on controversial comments, Francis is now saying it is better to be a non-believer, than a believer who works to hurt others.

Francis on atheism

After being elected pope in 2013, Pope Francis took the Catholic Church in a different direction than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. In the United States, many conservative christians and members of the religious right have pushed back at Francis due to his more liberal views, ranging from LGBT rights, to women's rights, to helping immigrants and refugees.

In 2015, Francis actually appeared in the United States and addressed members of Congress, which was received well by both sides of the aisle. According to CNN on February 23, Francis has decided to speak out on another controversial topic.

First reported by Vatican Radio, Pope Francis hit back at Catholics and other Christians that have worked to harm and "scandalize" others. During his sermon on Thursday in Rome, Francis criticized Christians who are involved in "dirty business." "So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others," Francis said.

"How many times have we heard, all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere," he continued, before noting, "to be a Catholic like that, it's better to be an atheist."

Pope Francis didn't stop there, saying that those who "scandalize" are engaging in a "grave offense." "Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal," Francis went on to say, before claiming they will be "responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged."

Christian conflict

While Pope Francis' time leading the Catholic Church has been a welcome change to the more liberal members of the faith, traditional church goers aren't thrilled.

Due to Francis' changing with the times, he's seen as someone who is rocking the boat, and veering away from the core conservative view of Catholicism. While it's unknown whether or not Francis' views with stick with the majority of the faith, he does appear to have people talking.

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