When I was eight years old my friend Patty asked me to attend her Lutheran church with her. My mom wouldn’t let me saying, “Catholics are not allowed to attend non-Catholic churches.”
And now Pope Francis I writes about atheists, saying “open dialogue free of prejudices” between Christians and atheists is “necessary and precious.” My, how the Church has changed.
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, is when one goes against their conscience,” he added. “To listen and to obey to (one’s conscience) means to decide oneself in relation to what’s perceived as good and evil. And this decision is fundamental to determining the good or evil of our actions.”
I am not certain if atheists care what a pontiff proclaims about them, but I do. A pope’s willingness to converse with, understand and accept atheists offers an inclusivity that follows Jesus’ mandate to “love one another as I have loved you.”
(S-R archive photo)