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Pope Francis states atheists and believers can be allies

Pope Francis states atheists and believers can be allies

The God Discussion has extensively covered the 'nones' in news stories and on The God Discussion radio broadcast. These are individuals who have stated that they have no affiliation with a church.

On 20 March 2013, Pope Francis extended an olive branch and a request to the 'nones' to work together with the Catholic Church to build peace and to protect the environment.

A story filed by Religion News Service cited the Pontiff's first ecumenical meeting, where he met with leaders of the Jewish and Islamic communities. Pope Francis urged a path of ecumenical dialogue that follows the precedent set by the Second Vatican Council which convened from 1962 to 1965.

He reached out to those who are unaffiliated with a church, citing his belief that these individuals have a 'need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God.'

Referring to statements made by the recently resigned Pope Benedict XIV, Pope Francis stated that the 'attempt to eliminate God and the divine from the horizon of humanity has led to what he called 'catastrophic violence.'

Francis believes that atheists and believers can be 'precious allies, stating a focus can be placed on defending the 'dignity of man' in their efforts to,

“…defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation.”

The Pontiff also pointed his belief that there is a 'very special spiritual bond' Catholics and Jews. The International Director of Iterreligious Affairs, Rabbi David Rosen agreed, sating,

“There is no doubt that Catholic-Jewish relations will go from strength to even greater strength during Pope Francis’s pontificate.”

For more information, relevant links and commentary, please refer to the story at RNS.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • " eliminating God has led to catastrophic violence"??? I wonder where he's getting his information !

  • Peter

    Although I haven't much good to say about Catholicism Francis is looking pretty good. Or will the ultra-conservative faction get rid of him like they might have done with John Paul 1? We live in interesting time and I don't mean the Chinese curse.

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  • Erin Pascal

    Thank you for sharing this interesting news! Pope Francis has been doing an amazing job so far and he has my support. I believe on Pope Francis' on this one move and I hope this will lead to something good. 🙂

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    It's an interesting idea, but the statement "attempt to eliminate God and the divine from the horizon of humanity has led to what he called 'catastrophic violence." does not sound good to me. He is basically stating that if you don't believe then you are violent.

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