When Camilla Sanderson read that the Pope decided to embrace homosexuals, female priests and atheists, she was shocked but hopeful.
This article below came to my attention recently.
“For the last six months, Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating in Vatican City, discussing the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas. The Third Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the largest and most important since the Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962.
Pope Francis convened the new council to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.” While some traditionalists and conservative reactionaries on the far right have decried these efforts, they have delighted progressives around the world.
The Third Vatican Council concluded today with Pope Francis announcing that Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes. The time has come to abandon all intolerance. We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes. Truth is not absolute or set in stone. Even atheists acknowledge the divine. Through acts of love and charity the atheist acknowledges God as well, and redeems his own soul, becoming an active participant in the redemption of humanity.
Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.
In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there? In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”
One statement in the Pope’s speech has sent traditionalists into a fit of confusion and hysteria. “God is changing and evolving as we are, For God lives in us and in our hearts. When we spread love and kindness in the world, we touch our own divinity and recognize it. The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgment. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture. In accordance with our new understanding, we will begin to ordain women as cardinals, bishops and priests. In the future, it is my hope that we will have a woman pope one day. Let no door be closed to women that is open to men!”
This much is clear, the Catholic Church has made a decision to rejoin humanity and to reject intolerance and extremism. The church has lost a few narrow-minded bigots, with reports of some small parishes and a few cardinals and bishops defecting, but Pope Francis has gained the friendship of the world. Pope Francis deserves praise for taking a humane stand in defense of human rights and against bigotry.”
This article may be read in full here.
Did it catch you out too?
Most people would say that I’m pretty skeptical, but when I read the above, I’ll admit that at first I thought it was true.
When Pope Francis said last summer:
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Like most people, I was pretty surprised, but hopeful that even the Catholic church can evolve and change. This is a pretty radical change to what the Catholic church had previously been communicating to the public that “homosexuality was “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.””
Learning that the Pope had said “Who am I to judge” was making me more hopeful that Catholicism was becoming more in tune with our present times. So when I read the article I quote above, I was in shock, but on thinking it was true, I wanted to share it with the world as great news and hope, as Catholicism deeply influences millions of people all around the world.
Perhaps it was wishful thinking that the article was true, but I also think the seed had been planted with the Pope saying “Who am I to judge?” for many people to at first believe this article may be truth, not satire.
If you know about Vatican councils (which I didn’t), you may have known that a Vatican III would have been all over the news. But when I first read the above, my first thought was:
It’s about time.
Then when I realized that the article is satire, I thought: How brilliant that the author of this piece of satire has planted the seed that perhaps this is where Catholicism could move towards. And how clever of the author to write and publish it online just after the Pope had opened the door for people to even have a glimmer of hope that this could be possible.
“When there is peace amongst religions, there will be peace in the world” is a sentiment I have seen attributed to both the Dalai Lama and the Swiss Catholic priest, theologian and prolific author, Hans Küng, and is an idea that deeply resonates with me. So when I read “…the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them.” My heart leapt for joy.
I guess that’s the whole point of satire. Constructive social criticism. To shame society into improving. To elucidate the blocks and obstacles that are keeping us from the truth. In this case, I hope that the above piece of satire is completely effective.
Photo: Flicker/NO VAT Facciamo Breccia
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