You expect the supreme head of the largest Christian church on the planet to oppose atheism with all his might and condemn their lack of adherence to any organised religion. After all, traditionally, this has been the case. But, Pope Francis – the current worldwide leader of the Catholic Church – is an exception to this centuries-old papal custom.
Instead of acting all hostile and antagonistic on this subject, the 77-year-old Diocese of Rome has hinted that it’s not all doom and gloom, not even for those who have zero belief in the existence of God, let alone Christianity. The only thing he asks of the non-believers is to work for the overall good of the humanity.
Francis – who took over from his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year – made this revelation in a candid sermon at his Vatican City residence last week. He recalled the story of a Catholic who enquired if atheists are included in Jesus’ redemption.
“Even them, everyone," was Francis’ answer to the query. “We all have the duty to do good. Just do good, and we'll find a meeting point.”
It is pertinent to mention here that these comments were made during a homily – which is an unmoderated session where the Pope speaks whatever comes to his mind without any pre-approvals from the Church. Hence, this sudden burst of love for the heretics could be his own idea and not the official Vatican version. Still, it is a welcome move, no doubt.
Francis did come with the reputation of being a cool Pope, but he’d be this cool and accepting, we had no idea.
Check out how the Twitter Nation reacted to Pope Francis’ comments:
I'm an Atheist but I'd have to say you've got to respect Pope Francis for what he has done in 2013— Andrew Ross (@AndyGandii) December 22, 2013
Pope Francis is just so awesome. As an atheist, he's made me have much more respect for the Catholic Church. @Pontifex— Sam Anderson (@SamAnderson46) December 19, 2013
The pope is actually a pretty cool guy. And I'm more like atheist/agnostic. He's just a good person. http://t.co/65kWvTsBnM— Endzeitchristkind (@Endzeitkind) December 19, 2013