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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Pope Francis says…

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)

Who’s calling, please?

Seems Pope Francis I likes to communicate via the telephone. Really! The pope has picked up the phone – without staff assistance – and called people to offer comfort, thanks or perhaps simply to chat.

If your caller ID comes up with Vatican City attached to an unknown number, you just may want to answer the call. Francis did.

(S-R archives photo: Pope Francis I)

Meet the new pope

He appeared humble and gentle as he stood at the balcony, asking the crowd below to bless him and pray with him.

The Catholic Church has undergone a purging of evil in the last decade with brave adults telling horror stories of abuse during their childhood, suffered at the hands of clergy. And the Church called to act justly: to admit its sins and compensate victims.

May the hands and heart of Pope Francis I work to infuse the Church with love, trust, integrity, healing and a continued compassion for all of God’s people.

(S-R photo: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.)