In what’s becoming a common occurrence, Pope Francis has made more enlightening comments about the direction the Catholic Church should take going forward. This time he said that the church needs to be more engaging with people of different beliefs and should be open to the idea that Catholicism might not be the only religion with “valid” answers.
He told people they should engage in conversations with others instead of simply “bombarding people with religious messages.” You know, talk with not at people.
Much like conservatives in the United States do when they go off on tangents about abortion and gay marriage ruining society. Like I’ve said before, I’ve met quite a few people who are no longer Christians because of the ignorance Republicans almost constantly display about “Christianity.” They’re not bringing people to the faith, their ignorance is driving them off.
Pope Francis said:
“To have a dialogue means to believe that the ‘other’ has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the pretense that they alone are valid and absolute.”
Yes, that’s a Pope telling people to have an open mind about their religious beliefs. That your singular set of religious beliefs are not absolute and others may have valid points as well. Not only that, you should seek out people who don’t have the same perspective because you might actually learn something.
You know, the complete opposite of what most conservative “Christians” in this country do. For them it’s unimaginable that anyone might follow Christianity differently than they do.
He then displayed another real Christian principle by urging acceptance of those who are different from us:
“We need to be patient if we want to understand people who are different from us. People only express themselves when they are not merely tolerated, but know that they are truly accepted.”
Again, the complete opposite of what most conservative “Christians” in this country do. They’re judgmental and intolerant of anyone and everyone who isn’t just like they are. If you dare to have a different set of spiritual beliefs that aren’t in line with theirs, they don’t care – you’re wrong.
But the more I see these comments from the Pope, the more hopeful I get about Christianity as a whole. In my lifetime he’s the first true leader that I’ve seen who seems to be pushing Christians to act like actual, you know – Christians.
I do hope his tenure as Pope is a long one, because there’s a lot to fix within the Catholic Church. And although many problems do still persist, for the first time in maybe my entire life I’m hopeful for the great things this Pope might be able to accomplish.
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