http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists...

let's call this what it is - progress!  i've been a supporter of this new pope with his focus on works and dedication to the poor.  i applauded him washing the feet of imprisoned Muslims. his simple way of living and plain dress is admirable.   his talk of inclusion is refreshing from the world's foremost religious leader.  i'll forgive him the occasional quick exorcism (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/21/pope-francis-ex...) if it means a more liberal pope.  

but this is truly staggering.  it flies in the face of so many hard core catholics, born-agains, and evangelicals. this pope believes that good people go to heaven no matter what deity people choose to worship or even if they choose to worship no deity at all.  i feel like this is a big deal.  

of course, personally, i don't give a flying fig whether the pope thinks that i'm going to his imaginary death party.  but i do want to see attitudes towards atheists improve.  i'd like for that atheist woman who Wolf Blitzer interviewed to not feel uncomfortable answering his stupid question, or better yet, for a question like that never be asked again.  i'd like more people to feel comfortable admitting their atheism.  comments like this from the pope can help.  

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Right booklover - at least there is more tolerance here.

Now I have heard everything.  The end of theism is in sight if the pope can make this stretch.  I bet he rescinds it.  Why would god fearing catholics go to all of that trouble to go to heaven when they can just lead a normal life.

they shouldn't, which is why i love that he said it.  i hope he doesn't rescind it, it's probably the best thing a pope has ever said.  

Even if he rescinds it, he can't unsay it. Hopefully it will plant seeds in a few minds.

Matthew,

I agree that the baby steps are encouraging, but then again the catholic church has proven time and again that while their 1,800-year-old catechism may seem absolute, the rules of earning a ticket to their imaginary death party, to use your words, have more loopholes than a few dozen crocheted afghan blankets.  Call me cynical, but while reading your post I can't help but to hear in my mind, repetitively, the phrase "keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

If Francis's sentiment is genuine I welcome the olive branch, but skepticism is what has brought most of us here to this web site, isn't it?  So for now, I will wait and see before making any judgments.  It would be nice to think that Francis, or any of his successors, can do for the catholic church what Mikhail Gorbachev did for the Soviet Union.  That would be a pope worth paying attention to.

agreed Edison.  i'll take a wait and see approach too, so far i'm encouraged, which is something that i've never said about a powerful faith leader.  

Lets not forget Arizona where a Atheist Lawmaker quotes Carl Sagan for House opening prayer.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/22/atheist-arizona-lawmaker-quot...

Someone pinch me I gotta be dreaming....

Maybe it's a ploy to get us converted or something. I don't trust him.

lol, good luck with that, Papi.

I can see both sides of the coin on this one.  On the one hand, I suppose it is progress of some sort, with a recognition that non-believers don't all eat babies and sell children into white slavery.  On the other hand, I could give an infected rat's bladder whether my atheist "cooties" are reduced to a level that I'm now allowed into their imaginary and eternal clubhouse.

One thing that strikes me as bizarre (having been a former Catholic) is the idea inherent in every sect of every religion, and especially Catholicism, being the notion that theirs is the only truth path to salvation.  Kind of destroys the idea of having a private "members only" club when you open the doors to the public. Maybe Bergoglio is extending an olive branch. And, if so, I for one would not want to be so boorish as to slap it out of his hand.  Nevertheless, how does he justify the abnegation of the millennial old doctrine that the only true path to salvation is through the Catholic Church?  If he is perceived as correct, then what's the point of his church's existence?

Colbert hits the nail on the head:  "I want a refund!"

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/catholicism/st...

watch and enjoy!

Leave it to Colbert to grab this issue by the short hairs!  HILARIOUS!

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