You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 10, 2016, 10:24:03 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven  (Read 2286 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« on: May 24, 2013, 09:42:43 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHzHLxE4mgU#ws

To explain this policy, he quotes a Bible verse from Jesus: "The complain, if he is not one of us, he cannot do good.  If he is not of our party, he cannot do good."  And Jesus corrects them, 'Do not hinder him,' he says, 'let him do good.'

I'm starting to like Pope Francis more and more.  I'd never thought I'd say this.

Huffington Post article.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 09:46:05 PM by Skynet »

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 10:50:24 PM »
He's still quite conservative in many ways...but I do find this to be very different and progressive for him, a wild turn away from previous papacies. I think that this is an interesting thing he mentions, essentially acknowledging redemption through work is valid, although I do wonder how his more conservative Catholic base feels about it.

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 11:20:09 PM »
I'm too pessimistic to see this as anything other then PR... and a little insulting.

Threatening an Atheist with Hell is like threatening a Christian with coal for Christmas instead of presents, so why would offering a good word with Santa be any different? It's still a completely one sided and unwanted offer that disregards the wishes and beliefs of the very person it is offered to.

Offline meikle

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 11:50:46 PM »
Then they put in some damage control and had a spokesperson for the Catholic Church clarify, "But if you know the Catholic Church exists and don't convert, go to Hell."

It's probably cool to be in the Catholic Church and have your job be to tell everyone that the Pope doesn't know what he's talking about.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 12:22:34 AM »
There are those who do believe that you must be of the Catholic faith to enter Heaven.

The message Christ was conveying and that Pope Francis was repeating is that whether you are Catholic or not it is the way you live your life that matters.

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 12:28:09 AM »
It's probably cool to be in the Catholic Church and have your job be to tell everyone that the Pope doesn't know what he's talking about.

Except that would be completely ridiculous. Catholicism involves the concept of papal infallibility.

EDIT: Also, that wikipedia link isn't the best source I can provide. I know that. It's about the bare minimum I scraped up on short notice. But it does nail the general concept of papal infallibility enough to make my point about it.

The message Christ was conveying and that Pope Francis was repeating is that whether you are Catholic or not it is the way you live your life that matters.

I'm an atheist, and this was the sentiment I was reading in that article. I thought that, while I don't agree on many serious points with Catholicism, that championing good deeds over being "saved" or not was what mattered. I liked the idea.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 12:45:28 AM by Blythe »

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 12:43:42 AM »
I'm an atheist, and this was the sentiment I was reading in that article. I thought that, while I don't agree on many serious points with Catholicism, that championing good deeds over being "saved" or not was what mattered. I liked the idea.

Works Over Faith is a big thing in Catholicism, and I believe it might have played a large factor in Francis' decision.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 12:52:02 AM »
In the vernacular of any religion being saved can mean accepting the precepts of a particular church or simply accepting Christ into you heart as a guiding force.

Having your spiritual passport stamped Catholic doesn't get you into Heaven.  It's the visa that goes along with it that says whether or not you lived up to the doctrines of love that Christ taught.

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 01:07:50 AM »
Sounds like the conditions for going to Heaven have been boiled down too much. I mean, if it's really that easy, don't they lose a lot of power over people?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 01:15:26 AM by Sabby »

Offline Deamonbane

  • A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Location: The world would be a sadder place without stories.
  • Gender: Male
  • Make me smile...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 01:17:25 AM »
As much as it seems like a cool move on the Catholic's part, I have to agree with Sabby on this one... seems too much like a PR move to have any sincerity to me...

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 01:21:47 AM »
Works Over Faith is a big thing in Catholicism, and I believe it might have played a large factor in Francis' decision.

I think it might have as well; I think he's expanding to try to encourage more inter-faith and secular dialogue, and while whether he will be successful at that is still up for debate and questioning, I do think he has the right idea.

they need to do away with rules and customs that they publicly decree as no longer relevant.

I do think that the Catholic Church could seriously stand to reevaluate their dogma, to take a stronger look at what their church needs in this modern era, as a lot of the Church still clings to out-of-date male-dominated practices that just don't fit in this day and age. Religions shouldn't stagnate; they should be organic and adapt to the needs of their believers. I don't know; maybe I'm guilty of wishful thinking.

Am I skeptical of this coming from Pope Francis? Yes. I'd like to take the time to see if he backs up what he claims, if he really can and will champion and support "works over faith" in regards to other religions and those who do not ascribe to a religion. I'd like to see the idea gain more headway, though. But am I still hopeful that ideas like this might start changing the stagnant conservative viewpoints of the Church, making them more inclined to become more tolerant? Yes. Might not happen anytime soon, but I can genuinely hope for a culture of tolerance (although a culture of acceptance does seem rather far-fetched, hence I say tolerance), and I see this as perhaps the first step in that direction.

Offline Deamonbane

  • A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Location: The world would be a sadder place without stories.
  • Gender: Male
  • Make me smile...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 01:42:33 AM »
Well... consider the following: Quite a few people find comfort in repetition, safety in things that don't change... Most people go to religion looking for safety, comfort... in a manner of speaking, it is quite brilliant that they haven't changed for so long... Of course, it also irritates and infuriates people that are smart enough not to follow in beaten path...

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2013, 01:47:29 AM »
Ah, quoted before I could edit >.< Oh well, I stand by that wording and the rewording. If the Church wants to say 'Hey, good people can find Heaven' then they also have to give up saying things to the contrary, like 'Homosexuals must change their ways to get into Heaven'.

Hell, this could easily mutate into a word game. What does 'good' mean here? All that's really been done is add another step to the process. To discriminate on something, you just need to make the argument that it's not good, instead of not allowed.

Well... consider the following: Quite a few people find comfort in repetition, safety in things that don't change... Most people go to religion looking for safety, comfort... in a manner of speaking, it is quite brilliant that they haven't changed for so long... Of course, it also irritates and infuriates people that are smart enough not to follow in beaten path...

And if those never changing beliefs advocate infinite punishment for finite crimes, should we allow them to continue for the sake of comfort?

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 01:52:14 AM »
Hell, this could easily mutate into a word game. What does 'good' mean here? All that's really been done is add another step to the process. To discriminate on something, you just need to make the argument that it's not good, instead of not allowed.

It's this exact thing that makes me very skeptical, actually, and inclined to see how and if Pope Francis does back this up. The definition of "good."

But I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to use a colloquialisman idoimatic expression, before the bath is even done. I'd like to see if anything beneficial can come of this in a longer term rather than disparage it as PR, but that is merely my view on the matter. I respect your opinion, however, and your right to have it; it's possible that this won't make a difference at all. I'd rather wait and see if it does. And hope that it encourages the idea that non-religious individuals and those ascribing to other faiths are capable of being moral people.

If it doesn't, though, I will be heinously depressed.

EDIT: Bah. "Colloquialism" was definitely not the right word.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 01:54:17 AM by Blythe »

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2013, 01:56:20 AM »
I just like to have the two options of 'right' and 'pleasantly surprised' ^^ Hoping they do actually manage to heave themselves up out of the social quagmire with this, but I won't be surprised if they don't.

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2013, 01:58:27 AM »
*nod* Seems reasonable to me, Sabby.

Offline meikle

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2013, 02:16:33 AM »
Except that would be completely ridiculous. Catholicism involves the concept of papal infallibility.

I wasn't being cheeky.  They really did have someone follow-up the pope to say, "No, you still have to be Catholic to go to Heaven, that is the position of the Catholic Church."  Also, papal infallibility is fairly strict, and it doesn't mean "the Pope is never wrong."

Quote
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a spokesman for the Vatican, said those who have knowledge of the Catholic Church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her,” CNN reported. He also said that “every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin.”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/24/pope-francis-suggests-atheists-good-deeds-gets-the/#ixzz2UHpprSz4
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Even non-Christians can respond to the saving action of the Spirit... by joining the Catholic Church!  Unless you've never heard of it... then you're safe.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 02:25:21 AM by meikle »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2013, 02:25:30 AM »
I wasn't being cheeky.  They really did have someone follow-up the pope to say, "No, you still have to be Catholic to go to Heaven, that is the position of the Catholic Church."

Problem is, Blthe is right. Speaking on sheer doctrine, what the pope says is what is. He IS the Church's final Authority. The 'spokesman' can spin it, but it was spoken by the Church's leader.

Personally, I like to think it is a first step to fixing problems. But my cynical side thinks the entrenched fixtures will stop him flat.

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2013, 02:27:02 AM »
I wasn't being cheeky.  They really did have someone follow-up the pope to say, "No, you still have to be Catholic to go to Heaven, that is the position of the Catholic Church."

Oh, I know. I'm saying that the fact they had a follow up to say that, correcting the pope, was ridiculously stupid, because of the concept of papal infallibility. Catholic dogma regarding that actually means the Pope can't be wrong.

Although if it's not too much trouble, could I have a source so I could read it for myself? I'm always interested in reading extra info.

My apologies for being vague and unclear.

EDIT:

Speaking on sheer doctrine, what the pope says is what is. He IS the Church's final Authority. The 'spokesman' can spin it, but it was spoken by the Church's leader. 

I admit that the fact a spokesman "corrected" the Pope at all leaves me extremely pessimistic. Surely Catholics who know the dogma know better than that. *sighs*
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 02:30:57 AM by Blythe »

Offline meikle

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2013, 02:37:54 AM »
Problem is, Blthe is right. Speaking on sheer doctrine, what the pope says is what is. He IS the Church's final Authority. The 'spokesman' can spin it, but it was spoken by the Church's leader.
Papal Infallibility is far more strict than "the Pope can't be wrong."  Unless Pope Francis goes and makes an official decree, declares that it is universal truth for the Catholic Church and follows from the authority of Jesus Christ, etc, etc, Papal Infallibility doesn't apply.  If the Pope takes a shit and says, "Man, that is the biggest dump ever," it doesn't suddenly become Catholic dogma.

For papal infallibility to take effect, the Pope needs to take the stance so strongly that anyone who rejects it becomes anathema to the Church.  He did not present this as a formal addendum to Church doctrine, and I'm certain he is not willing to excommunicate anyone who refuses to acknowledge that atheists have a shot at heaven.

More on Papal Infallibility: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 02:49:39 AM by meikle »

Offline Blythe

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2013, 03:01:33 AM »
More on Papal Infallibility: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility

Took me a bit to peruse through there, but I found specifically what you're referencing in it.

Quote from: From meikle's source
This, too, shows an inaccurate understanding of infallibility, which applies only to solemn, official teachings on faith and morals, not to disciplinary decisions or even to unofficial comments on faith and morals.

Hmmm. In other words, if this is right, what Pope Francis has said doesn't have any meaning unless he makes an official pronouncement. While that pronouncement might not require the support of the body of bishops, it would still have to be an official pronouncement of doctrine.

This is very disheartening. Hope Level -5.

EDIT: A small addendum. Since a homily is just the commentary after Mass, essentially, and papal infallibility doesn't apply to commentary...well, that doesn't make these words worth very much.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 03:07:25 AM by Blythe »

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2013, 03:20:19 AM »
well, that doesn't make these words worth very much.

They don't need to work, they just need to sound nice.

Offline meikle

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2013, 03:40:53 AM »
You probably shouldn't expect that a newly appointed pope is going to begin his career by rewriting Church dogma that has been accepted for fifteen hundred years.  Papal infallibility doesn't give the pope free reign to ignore (or even rewrite) what comes before; there have been issues in the past with popes trying to do this and being overruled (or being made to clarify how their decisions were not, in fact, contradictory, and how they fit in beside existing church dogma.)

Quote
They don't need to work, they just need to sound nice.
To whom?  The Catholic Church doesn't need to score points with atheists.  "You get to go to Heaven, too!" is an empty thing to say to someone who does not believe that there is a heaven or any divine authority behind the Church.

Offline Kythia

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2013, 03:51:23 AM »
The church has actually been slowly changing rhetoric on the virtuous unbaptized for a few years now.  There was an announcement under JP2 that unbaptised children no longer automatically went to hell as well.

I don't see Benedict doing it but I wouldn't be surprised if, under his successor, we saw calls for a council to update the church's position in those areas.  There's quite an interesting short analysis here of a few of the issues.

Offline Sabby

Re: Pope Francis declares that atheists can go to Heaven
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2013, 03:57:52 AM »
To whom?  The Catholic Church doesn't need to score points with atheists.  "You get to go to Heaven, too!" is an empty thing to say to someone who does not believe that there is a heaven or any divine authority behind the Church.

To all the people who see the Church as backwards or archaic. They need to look more progressive and in touch with modern society to stop bleeding members, and sadly just sounding progressive will do the trick with a lot of people. This is one of those things you can bring up to sway the uninformed, which is why I see it as a public relations matter. Until they change their doctrine to reflect this new stance it's just a way of sounding better and not being better.