At a daily mass in his residence, where the Pope prepares no comments, he told a group of Catholics that it’s possible for atheists to be good people as well. When asked if they can be redeemed, Pope Francis said, “Even them, everyone. We all have a duty to do good. [...] Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point.”
I find these (and other) secular remarks refreshing, especially coming from the leader of the most organized branch of Christianity. His predecessor would never have uttered something so downright liberal. In fact, he’s done and said a lot of things Pope Benedict never would have.
As much as I applaud this Pope for being a decent human being, I can’t help but point out how this type of attitude conflicts with Christian dogma. I don’t think much of the Bible, but I will reference it to point out hypocrisy. According to the Book of Revelations, unbelief is a sin and worthy of admittance to Hell.
What’s interesting is that he’s changed the standard of God’s favor from “being Christian” to “doing good.” That’s pretty interesting, and I wonder how far he’ll take it. If I can achieve God’s grace by “being good” and without accepting Jesus Christ, then what did Jesus die for?
It seems to me like Pope Francis is looking to steer Catholics away from the doom-and-gloom our-way-or-Hell approach the previous popes took. That’s fantastic, and, ironically, more in line with Christ’s true message about one’s personal relationship with God.
But if Catholic creed can so easily be amended, what value did it ever have?