This was meant to be more divisive rather than pointing towards a difference between the two. It’s also has an eerie historical ring to it where the Catholic church persecuted Christians for their beliefs not in sync with church doctrine and instead chose to follow God. They were labeled as heretics, handed over to secular governments and persecuted. The handing over and execution by the state allowed them to claim they technically had no blood on their hands.
Not all those who claim to be Christians really are, said Pope Francis Friday morning. Some are Christians “in name only,” he said. “They bear the name of Christians but live a life of pagans.”
In his homily at Mass, the Pope that there have always been two types of Christian, those who truly followed Christ and those who only pretended to. At the time of Saint Paul, there were “worldly Christians, Christians in name only, with two or three Christian features, but nothing more.” The Pope called this sort of people “Pagan Christians,” whom St. Paul called “enemies of the cross of Christ.”
In Paul’s time, the Pope said, the two groups of Christians “were in church together, went to Mass on Sunday, praised the Lord, and were called Christians.” So what was the difference? He asked. The second were “enemies of the cross of Christ.”