A Vatican spokesman clarified on Thursday that atheists are still going to hell despite Pope Francis' homily last week that pointed out doing good wasn't just confined to the faith community and even atheists, despite their views, are able to do good as well.
"Doing good," the pope explained in his homily last Wednesday, is not a matter of faith: "It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always."
But in an "explanatory note on the meaning of 'salvation,'" the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman highlighted that being "good" alone is not enough to be saved. People who know about the Catholic Church, he explained, "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her." more >>
The mainstream media is at it again. "The Pope And The Devil: Is Francis an Exorcist," an Associated Press (AP) headline reads. The reporter writes that "Francis' obsession with Satan" is because he has mentioned the devil "on a handful of occasions" within a two month period.
On USA Today "USA Now," host Shannon Rae Green says, "take a look at this disturbing video," of Pope Francis purportedly performing an exorcist on a man in a wheelchair, who convulses and slumps in his chair after Francis lays hands on him. Green remarks that, "Francis has made it clear that he believes in the devil and refers to Satan often in his teachings, even devoting a chapter to the devil in his book, On Heaven and Earth."
One Huffington Post blogger opined, "As shocking as it may be to some observers and Catholics in the Global North, Pope Francis' informal exorcism neatly captures the rise of the Global South, where prayers for deliverance from evil are common Catholic (and Pentecostal) currency." more >>
Chinese Christians are speaking out against new government regulation passed earlier this year requiring a government body to select and approve all Roman Catholic bishops, which goes in direct opposition to the Vatican's wishes.
"The revision is a regression as it blocks the normalization of Church life in China," Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a senior researcher at Hong Kong diocese's Holy Spirit Study Center said, according to UCA News. "But it also reminds Vatican-approved bishops to be brave and not to be frightened by the authorities."
The regulation means that a Chinese-run religious bureau must select and approve all bishops before they can legally serve in the communist country. The Vatican has said on numerous occasions that it is against such a law, since bishops are usually appointed by the Roman Catholic Church alone. more >>
Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world, said that non-Catholics and atheists can do good and that God has redeemed everyone, in a recent speech that is making waves.
"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace.
"If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there," the pope said during Mass on Wednesday at the Domus Santae Martae in the Vatican. more >>
Video footage captured on Italian TV on Sunday showed what some believe is an exorcism performed by Pope Francis at St Peter's Square after Mass, though the Vatican has explained that the pontiff was performing a healing prayer.
TV2000, the Catholic television channel, shows Pope Francis greeting and blessing a number of wheelchair-bound people after Sunday mass. In one instance, the footage shows him shaking the hand of a young man. But his expression changes quickly after a priest from the Legionaries of Christ order leans in close and says something in his ear.
The Roman Catholic Church leader then places his hands on the man's head for a number of seconds in prayer, after which the pilgrim convulses a couple of times, opens wide his mouth and drops his shoulders back. more >>
Pope Francis has spoken out against what he called a global "cult of money," including the free market system, and urged the world's leaders to come together and adopt ethics to help the poor.
"While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules," Francis told foreign diplomats at the Vatican in a speech focused on the economic crisis.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church also criticized the "heartless cult of money" that many around the world have embraced, and compared it to the worship of the golden calf a found in Exodus 32:15-34. more >>