Pope declares Atheists to be Saved

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LifeCharacter:

JoJo:
A fair point to consider is that what your average Atheist and Catholic consider to be "good" often differs even aside from belief, can I be a good Atheist if I use a condom, masturbate, have a homosexual relationship or an abortion for example?

Abortion is hard to assume, but does the Church see people who masturbate or use condoms as bad people, sinful yes, but I don't think I've seen anyone condemn another to hell for condoms and masturbation. As for homosexuality, I'd like to hope that it was put under the same idea as not believing in God and that it's not going to ruin your chances, but I can't say since I'm not sure how tolerant the new Pope is.

The new pope has called gay marraige "a scheme to destroy God's plan" and "a real and dire anthropological throwback." In 2010, he was a vocal opponent of the Argentinian government's proposed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

The new pope strongly opposed Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's efforts to distribute free contraceptives, likely seeing it as part of the aforementioned "culture of death."

And finally..

On same-sex adoption: Bergoglio has called it a form of discrimination against children.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/pope-francis-is-views-on-homosexuality-abortion-contraception-and-same-sex-adoption/
.

..Yay?

Loosely raised (more like influenced) in a Catholic house, but not practicing, studying or even embracing it, I can only say that it seems nice that he's trying to move the religion in a new direction (this being one of many examples). I'm all for new leadership working toward rebuilding image, mission and hopefully being proactive.

Assassin Xaero:
Saw someone once, may have been on this site, that said he devoted his life to mocking Christians and attacking them, which was rather hilarious because he then strawmanned everything.

The very first reply to this thread was a diss at "right-wing fundamentalists" who surely will not tolerate this tolerance in their religion, followed by a lot of snide remarks. Seems there could be a welcome change in the climate, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be reciprocated enough, especially around here.

To those who partake: keep biting the hand reaching out, if you insist, but don't be surprised when others see how you react and won't try the same thing.

Realitycrash:
..Yay?

Well, I stand corrected. The new Pope might be nicer than the last, but he's still a bigoted idiot.

This is good, I think. Hell is currently winning more souls than Heaven. The Church definitely needs allies. Especially after all of those times the Church drank a lil too much of Christ's blood and thought it was a good idea to kill a shit load of potential pagan allies because it was too blood drunk to realize nature "gods" are actually God's miracles. Looks like the Church is finally starting to learn.

LifeCharacter:

Well, I stand corrected. The new Pope might be nicer than the last, but he's still a bigoted idiot.

"Bigoted idiot"? That sounds like a spinal reflex. I must agree with several others who have recognized this as being a step forward of momentous note.

1) No man is an island unto himself.

2) Remember--always remember everyone--baby steps, first. :)

Does anyone seriously and realistically believe that the 2000 to 1900 year old (pick your year of origin) Church of Rome could make any sudden turns in official Dogmatic doctrine--especially after a term under the direction of an extreme conservative like the ex-Pope Benedict--over night?

Truly?

This is a real and honest question.

I am asking this question seriously.

AgedGrunt:
Loosely raised (more like influenced) in a Catholic house, but not practicing, studying or even embracing it, I can only say that it seems nice that he's trying to move the religion in a new direction (this being one of many examples). I'm all for new leadership working toward rebuilding image, mission and hopefully being proactive.

Assassin Xaero:
Saw someone once, may have been on this site, that said he devoted his life to mocking Christians and attacking them, which was rather hilarious because he then strawmanned everything.

The very first reply to this thread was a diss at "right-wing fundamentalists" who surely will not tolerate this tolerance in their religion, followed by a lot of snide remarks. Seems there could be a welcome change in the climate, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be reciprocated enough, especially around here.

To those who partake: keep biting the hand reaching out, if you insist, but don't be surprised when others see how you react and won't try the same thing.

I'm sorry for the haters' comments. I agree that this is a superb step forward towards the basic Christian teachings to attend to the poor and the needy and to seeing everyone in "God's" love and forgiveness and towards accepting all men as "God's" children.

P.S. I am an animist.

Copper Zen:

LifeCharacter:

Well, I stand corrected. The new Pope might be nicer than the last, but he's still a bigoted idiot.

"Bigoted idiot"? That sounds like a spinal reflex. I must agree with several others who have recognized this as being a step forward of momentous note.

Never said it wasn't a big step forward, in fact I believe it is, but that doesn't somehow make him any less of a bigot, though idiot was probably unnecessary.

Does anyone seriously and realistically believe that the 2000 to 1900 year old (pick your year of origin) Church of Rome could make any sudden turns in official Dogmatic doctrine--especially after a term under the direction of an extreme conservative like the ex-Pope Benedict--over night?

Nope, but it would be so extremely nice if it did. While people aren't going to go to hell for not being Catholic anymore, same-sex marriage is still an affront to God, same-sex adoption is discrimination against children (which is a weird way to say it), and contraception and abortion are still a culture of death to enthusiastically fight against.

Giving the idea that good people go to heaven, not just good Christians, the authority of the Pope is a great thing, and I respect both it and the acts that contradict his ornate predecessor, but he's still a bigot against homosexuals. Sure he probably couldn't come out in support of them even if he wanted to without causing some sort huge uproar/schism in the Church, but he doesn't seem to be any more moderate (I could just be ignorant of instances of him being more moderate) that the less progressive one that came before.

Idiot was going too far, though; I'm sure he's a very intelligent man.

LifeCharacter:
Never said it wasn't a big step forward, in fact I believe it is, but that doesn't somehow make him any less of a bigot, though idiot was probably unnecessary.

Yeah, second that. He's done little more than acknowledged the basic humanity of atheists, that they can be good people the same way his group can.

Yes, it's a big step for an institution like the Catholic Church, but that's a very low bar.

If I were to say "I don't think Jews (say) are inherently evil", would anyone be impressed? That's sorta the kind of thing which is supposed to be taken for granted. That's a declaration of not catastrophic fail, not of success.

thaluikhain:
Yeah, second that. He's done little more than acknowledged the basic humanity of atheists, that they can be good people the same way his group can.

If I were to say "I don't think Jews (say) are inherently evil", would anyone be impressed? That's sorta the kind of thing which is supposed to be taken for granted.

How did you arrive at that interpretation?

He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

"Even them, everyone," the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. "We all have the duty to do good," he said.

"Just do good, and we'll find a meeting point,"

I give the Pope credit for doing this, but only because of the low expectations I have for the church. God doesn't punish good people just because they don't believe in him? Okay, good, but the average Catholic figured out that God isn't that much of a prick ages ago. Yes, this is a big leap for the church, but it's a leap from contemptuous dogma into what most people already knew for a long time. I don't think that it should be this big thing for the Catholic church to step in to the 21st century. You don't get commended for your forward thinking when you're simply moving forward to where you should have been for ages, especially when you still have a long way to move.

Well considering that Atheists are well...ATHEIST I don't see why most would care, but sure. Good news I guess?

Comments on faith alone as not being good enough to get through the pearly gates are rare, but they do exist.

This passage is one that has been of interest to me for a while (and different translations from the Greek and Latin are largely unhelpful):

Matthew 7:21-23:

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

This seems to suggest that faith isn't going to cut it if it's known that one's deeds didn't match the club's values.

Surely then, the opposite is a consideration...? (shouldn't that be worth double the points?)

Cheers,
-Aes

Captcha: "turn the tables"

Realitycrash:

Imperator_DK:

Realitycrash:
...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

I find it advisable to look gift horses in the mouth, when they come from the My Little Popey stud farm. Which generally only breed fire breathing night-mares.

On a related note, you've just invented the worst fan-fiction ever.

Hardly.

I'm sure somewhere out there, Winnie-the-Pooh is giving Batman a most involuntary enema.

Realitycrash:

Imperator_DK:

Realitycrash:
...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

I find it advisable to look gift horses in the mouth, when they come from the My Little Popey stud farm. Which generally only breed fire breathing night-mares.

On a related note, you've just invented the worst fan-fiction ever.

Hardly.

I'm sure somewhere out there, Winnie-the-Pooh is giving Batman a most involuntary enema.

Syzygy23:

Also, now that I think on it, if the Pope keeps to his word(s), this makes it Okay-To-Be-Gay as long as you're saving kittens and feeding hobos.

What's the escapist community feel about this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/27/vatican-confirms-atheists-still-going-to-hell_n_3341368.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

The Vatican is on damage control. We're going to hell again!

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an "explanatory note on the meaning to 'salvation.'"
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her."

You could not make it up - though on the bright side it is making me giggle imagining the Vatican equivalent of Malcom Tucker going apeshit upon hearing this quite pleasant ad-libbed sentiment coming from the new Pope.

OneCatch :

Syzygy23:

Also, now that I think on it, if the Pope keeps to his word(s), this makes it Okay-To-Be-Gay as long as you're saving kittens and feeding hobos.

What's the escapist community feel about this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/27/vatican-confirms-atheists-still-going-to-hell_n_3341368.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

The Vatican is on damage control. We're going to hell again!

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an "explanatory note on the meaning to 'salvation.'"
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her."

You could not make it up - though on the bright side it is making me giggle imagining the Vatican equivalent of Malcom Tucker going apeshit upon hearing this quite pleasant ad-libbed sentiment coming from the new Pope.

Oh, I'd enter her. And remain in her. All life long.

...Okay, so maybe that sounded wrong, but they said it first!

darron13:
Well considering that Atheists are well...ATHEIST I don't see why most would care, but sure. Good news I guess?

It's good to know that the boss of one of the world's largest religion doesn't think you deserve eternal torture.
But that's just my opinion.

OneCatch :

Syzygy23:

Also, now that I think on it, if the Pope keeps to his word(s), this makes it Okay-To-Be-Gay as long as you're saving kittens and feeding hobos.

What's the escapist community feel about this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/27/vatican-confirms-atheists-still-going-to-hell_n_3341368.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

The Vatican is on damage control. We're going to hell again!

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an "explanatory note on the meaning to 'salvation.'"
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her."

You could not make it up - though on the bright side it is making me giggle imagining the Vatican equivalent of Malcom Tucker going apeshit upon hearing this quite pleasant ad-libbed sentiment coming from the new Pope.

Why am I not surprised.

And it seems like most problems of Christian hell could have been solved if the inventors had just kept the whole system to themselves, thus ensuring salvation for every good person despite their faith.

Quaxar:

OneCatch :

Syzygy23:

Also, now that I think on it, if the Pope keeps to his word(s), this makes it Okay-To-Be-Gay as long as you're saving kittens and feeding hobos.

What's the escapist community feel about this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/27/vatican-confirms-atheists-still-going-to-hell_n_3341368.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/

The Vatican is on damage control. We're going to hell again!

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an "explanatory note on the meaning to 'salvation.'"
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her."

You could not make it up - though on the bright side it is making me giggle imagining the Vatican equivalent of Malcom Tucker going apeshit upon hearing this quite pleasant ad-libbed sentiment coming from the new Pope.

Why am I not surprised.

And it seems like most problems of Christian hell could have been solved if the inventors had just kept the whole system to themselves, thus ensuring salvation for every good person despite their faith.

That theory has already been posited a few times as a possible outcome.

Uh-huh, so it's back to the old "you need to join the club if you know it exists", "noble savage" kind of idea. I retract the nice things I said earlier. Same old tripe, I guess? Or just chaotic indecisiveness? Guess we'll see whether yet another retraction or version will follow, eh?

ShipofFools:

darron13:
Well considering that Atheists are well...ATHEIST I don't see why most would care, but sure. Good news I guess?

It's good to know that the boss of one of the world's largest religion doesn't think you deserve eternal torture.
But that's just my opinion.

Personally i find it somewhere between "meh, don't care" and "condescending much?", but that's just me.
It's not as bad as "i'll pray for you", when the one praying knows you're an atheist, but can come of as patronizing.

darron13:
Well considering that Atheists are well...ATHEIST I don't see why most would care, but sure. Good news I guess?

That's really the strange part, to me, about some Atheists. I don't care if my actions or lack of faith have pissed off a Hindu god or if I've failed the test of Native American animal spirits and my soul will never seek rest. This position and the faith often functions as mainstream access to religion bashing.

People generally understand that we're not supposed to care this much about what other people think of us, that their opinions shouldn't matter, but here we are.

AgedGrunt:
That's really the strange part, to me, about some Atheists. I don't care if my actions or lack of faith have pissed off a Hindu god or if I've failed the test of Native American animal spirits and my soul will never seek rest. This position and the faith often functions as mainstream access to religion bashing.

People generally understand that we're not supposed to care this much about what other people think of us, that their opinions shouldn't matter, but here we are.

Because the opinions of a majority group can have consequences in how people are treated in the real world. Catholics are a huge, huge group. In some countries, they are the vast majority. It matters to people who live in such an environment because it affects their lives. Their opinions shouldn't matter, but when their opinions inform their behaviour, it's no longer just in their heads, it's out in society, in the interactions.

There's on especially weird detail about this that someone may have brought up. The previous pope stepped down rather than keep the office until death so he could influence the choice of successor, and he likely did this to ensure another conservative pope was chosen. Ratzinger was a fucking nutter, and this guy was chosen to succeed him.

It makes the progressive statement all the more baffling. I mean i know a lot of Christians who believe this, but that section of Catholicism has been such a fucking mess for so long i'm honestly surprised the pope would say that.

Copper Zen:
I must agree with several others who have recognized this as being a step forward of momentous note.

But what are these, indeed as you put it, baby steps if the institution is still 1000+ years behind?

l0ckd0wn:

Copper Zen:
I must agree with several others who have recognized this as being a step forward of momentous note.

But what are these, indeed as you put it, baby steps if the institution is still 1000+ years behind?

I'd say that you should take the loooong view. :D

I really do mean that. For any Pope to be effective he has to work with the actual machinery that runs the Church of Rome. This is an important reality when dealing with the administrative apparatus of an organization which spans the entire Earth and has 1.2 billion members (devout or lapsed they're all still counted). Much of the preference Italian prelates have for having Italian Popes stems not just from national and cultural bias but from a desire to have a Pope who who knows how the "corporation" runs i.e. they want someone local who knows the ropes.

It's conceivable that some unquestionably good and humble priest who'd spent his entire life in the priesthood laboring in small middle-of-nowhere villages or towns could rise overnight to become one of the Princes of the Church or even Pope but such a fellow would likely lack the basic administrative experience necessary to understand how such an immense organization as the Church of Rome runs.

The new Pontiff has already given a few other signs that he's slightly different from his two most recent predecessors by stating the Church should focus on the poor and needy rather than doctrine and dogma. One key point was how he didn't come in and whitewash/absolve the Vatican's much questioned financial practices.

Or to put it another way--the new Pope is already wrangling with the local Church and Italian power barons (secular concerns) while trying to attend to his "flock" (the sectarian side).

TL/DR: He's got a plate full of problems which he inherited from his predecessors.

I counsel patience. You can't turn such an immense organization 'around' overnight--nor even in a few years. A decade would be more likely.

20 years would be better--that's long enough (and what it would take) to see an entire generation of Catholics born and grow up under his "shepherdship" and--very, very importantly--that's long enough for the thoroughly conservative body of Cardinals to retire and be replaced with more liberal Cardinals by this Pope.

Frankly I've found myself remembering the Vatican side plot of The Godfather III a little too much of late. It has occurred to me that any new Pope who countered the power players within the church TOO much might end up having a 'heart attack' like conspiracy theorists assert John Paul I suffered.

EDIT: Just noticed and read the "Damage Control" news links posted above.

*sighs*

Still, I remain hopeful. After all the classic question of "What about the Indians?" which refers to the souls of Native Americans who were completely out of contact with Old World cultures/religions until 1492 (YES, I know about the vikings--work with me here) still causes serious debate no matter what the "official word" happens to be.

There is a real urge to modernize in the Church of Rome but like I said the previous 2 Popes appointed most of the Cardinals alive today and they both selected for conservatives. It's whether this new Pope continues to appoint conservatives that will tell us what path the future of the Church of Rome will take.

Time will tell.

Skeleon:
Because the opinions of a majority group can have consequences in how people are treated in the real world. Catholics are a huge, huge group. In some countries, they are the vast majority. It matters to people who live in such an environment because it affects their lives. Their opinions shouldn't matter, but when their opinions inform their behaviour, it's no longer just in their heads, it's out in society, in the interactions.

I agree it's big picture stuff, and it is a massive group (though I feel it's wrong to lump a billion people into one that thinks alike).

There is a lot of power and influence behind a Pope's message, but unfortunately some people don't respond to that, they see a target for criticism because they have deep problems with the faith. All I'm trying to say to them is that they shouldn't take this stuff seriously, unless they actually do live in a Catholic majority (the US and UK do not, for example). And even then, seems some just won't be satisfied until the faith changes so much it doesn't even resemble Catholicism.

What about people that did lots of bad but has changed and tries to do good? Do we get to go too or are we still damned and will suffer for all eternity?

ShipofFools:
It's good to know that the boss of one of the world's largest religion doesn't think you deserve eternal torture.
But that's just my opinion.

Unfortunately nobody can control what other people think of you. Unless they act upon this and try to give you some of that torture here in life, there's really not much to be done. I just put people like that into the same category I put people who don't like the way I look at, and old people who blame me for things at work that aren't my fault.

I'd like to correct everyone in this thread - although this could be me misinterpreting Catholic beliefs, but the Bible says that no one can know the 'father' (God) except through Jesus. (John 14:6)

Although that is an arguable point.

If I was 100 percent correct for the sheer sake of wanting the current thread to kind of lighten up a bit I'd end this post with something stupid, sarcastic and asshole-ish like...

Atheists 0, Christians 0, Catholics 0, Reading Comprehension 1.

But....meh. It's 11 at night and I'm running out of soda.

J Tyran:
What about people that did lots of bad but has changed and tries to do good? Do we get to go too or are we still damned and will suffer for all eternity?

Lamentations 3:23 (Basically, every day God's mercies begin anew).

Pyramid Head:
There's on especially weird detail about this that someone may have brought up. The previous pope stepped down rather than keep the office until death so he could influence the choice of successor, and he likely did this to ensure another conservative pope was chosen. Ratzinger was a fucking nutter, and this guy was chosen to succeed him.

It makes the progressive statement all the more baffling. I mean i know a lot of Christians who believe this, but that section of Catholicism has been such a fucking mess for so long i'm honestly surprised the pope would say that.

I appreciate that as a Christian, most people near where I live don't know the difference/don't care and just lump my beliefs in with Catholics since I don't go to the nearby Angelican church any more due to the fact of tangible racism towards me and my family.

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