Target: Pope Francis
Goal: Applaud Pope Francis for bridging the gap between Catholics and atheists.
In a country that constantly brags about having “Freedom of Religion,” atheists are considered the most “distrusted and despised” minority in the US, at times being more hated than gays and Muslims. Recently, this overlooked and misunderstood community has received recognition from the last person they would expect: Pope Francis.”The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ . . . Even the atheists.” the pope said while delivering a homily. His message of inclusiveness deeply contrasts with that of his predecessors and the ancient Catholic dogma.
Pope Francis has only been in office for two months and has been making headlines for said inclusive messages, and reaching to those beyond the Catholic Church. Of course, this has been met with controversy. Other members of the Vatican stated that the Catholic Church “cannot be saved if [atheists] refuse to enter or remain in her.” Most people, however are pleasantly surprised. It is rare for atheists to receive positive attention from those of religious faith, and this could finally be the start of more discussions about religion than aggressive arguments, or stupid comments on the internet.
Not only is this a message of peace and understanding, Pope Francis preaches what many claim Jesus used to preach: Love thy Neighbor. This is exactly what Christians in America and all over the world need to hear. Pope Francis finished his homily by saying, “But do good: We will meet one another there.” Even atheists can go to heaven, as long as they do the good that most Christians don’t do.
This is certainly a start in the right direction, and maybe one day the US and the world will have true religious freedom.
Dear Pope Francis,
I commend you for delivering a message that previous popes and religious leaders did not: the message of inclusiveness. For centuries, there has been misunderstanding and miscommunication between atheists and those of religious faith, and it is good to hear that the gap is being closed, and more people are being united, rather than divided.
Jesus preached love and understanding, and you have set the new standard for the church and Catholics all over the world. As long as people do good and choose love, this world is going in the right direction. There will always be those who disagree, especially your fellow Cardinals, but this still a very refreshing start.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Catholic Church via Flickr