Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

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Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#1  Postby DoctorE » Sep 12, 2013 8:51 am

As letters to the editor go, it was certainly out of the ordinary, stretching to more than 2,500 words and not one of them veering on the irate or indignant. But the missive received by Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder and former editor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, nonetheless made it into print on Wednesday – on the front page and under the impressively brief byline of "Francesco".

Responding to a series of questions asked in the summer by Scalfari, who describes himself as an interested "non-believer", Pope Francis used his trademark conciliatory tone to discuss the Catholic church's attitude to atheists, urging those who do not share his faith to "abide by their own conscience" and reminding them God's mercy "has no limits".

Expressing the belief that it was important for Christians to engage in "a sincere and rigorous dialogue" with atheists, Francis recalled Scalfari had asked him whether God forgave those "who do not believe and do not seek to believe".

"Given – and this is the fundamental thing – that God's mercy has no limits, if He is approached with a sincere and repentant heart," the pope wrote, "the question for those who do not believe in God is to abide by their own conscience. There is sin, also for those who have no faith, in going against one's conscience. Listening to it and abiding by it means making up one's mind about what is good and evil."

Continues: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/s ... onsciences
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Pope Francis reaches out to atheists and agnostics

#2  Postby Animavore » Sep 12, 2013 8:53 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religio ... stics.html

The Pope has struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone towards atheists and agnostics, saying that God will "forgive" them as long as they behave morally and live according to their consciences.


Even if their conscience tells them to go directly against the Church on issues such as sex outside of marriage, homosexuality and contraception?
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#3  Postby trubble76 » Sep 12, 2013 8:56 am

Oh, so the whole "Jesus" thing isn't important anymore then?
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Re: Pope Francis reaches out to atheists and agnostics

#4  Postby stevecook172001 » Sep 12, 2013 8:57 am

Oh so God will "forgive me" will he?....
Last edited by stevecook172001 on Sep 12, 2013 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#5  Postby natselrox » Sep 12, 2013 8:59 am

This one seems like the "PR guy" for the vile institution. Huge improvement over the past ones though...
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#6  Postby quisquose » Sep 12, 2013 9:04 am

Pascal's Wager :goodnight:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#7  Postby Scar » Sep 12, 2013 10:28 am

Says the jackass with no conscience.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#8  Postby Fallible » Sep 12, 2013 10:52 am

"Given – and this is the fundamental thing – that God's mercy has no limits, if He is approached with a sincere and repentant heart," the pope wrote, "the question for those who do not believe in God is to abide by their own conscience."


I'm trying to make sense of this, but it's difficult. It seems like a non-sequitur. I was all ready to rant on about how it's impossible for a non-believer to approach God to repent when halfway through the sentence Frank seems to veer off down a totally different path, but exactly what path that is I'm not entirely sure. The question is to abide by their own conscience? What question? Perhaps it's just been translated badly, but you'd expect a bit less of a problem in that sort of area from God's representative on Earth.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#9  Postby chairman bill » Sep 12, 2013 10:57 am

Maybe in Popey's world, you can approach God once you're dead and sincerely repent then, and maybe get a lesser sentence or something
“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” Terry Pratchett
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#10  Postby zulumoose » Sep 12, 2013 11:01 am

I think "question" should be more like "key"

Perhaps what he is really trying to say is that he thinks even atheists were created with gods morality inbuilt, and if they are true to their nature, then they will not stray too far from their intended path.

I.E. if you are an atheist but do not rebel against your God-given nature, salvation is within reach.

I guess it is as far as he is allowed to go towards admitting that following scripture and the institution of the church is not the only path to morality.

At least he is trying?
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#11  Postby Fallible » Sep 12, 2013 11:04 am

Charitable conclusion: The man's away wi' th' dic-docs.

Uncharitable conclusion: The man doesn't believe a word of it himself but has managed to live for decades off getting people to believe fairy stories.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#12  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Sep 12, 2013 11:15 am

...God's mercy "has no limits"...


So what's hell actually for then? :ask:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#13  Postby Scarlett » Sep 12, 2013 12:24 pm

Oh ok then, thank fuck he's given me permission. I was just about to give up and force myself to believe just in case. Phew :what:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#14  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 12, 2013 1:07 pm

I'm so glad I have the pope's permission to follow my own moral code.
I was in such distress not knowing, what with being a Catholic and all....
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#15  Postby Fallible » Sep 12, 2013 1:09 pm

I wonder if he actually thinks any atheists are going to be interested in or influenced by what the head sky pilot says they should do.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#16  Postby DougC » Sep 12, 2013 1:31 pm

From my understanding of the bible, and the other works of woo. The Athiests are as near as dammit to the chosen people. We are the ones who actualy live decent lives and try not to harm others.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#17  Postby Animavore » Sep 12, 2013 2:10 pm

The irony in the Telegraph's comments is unbelievable. You have Christians accusing the atheists who have some on to say their piece of being intolerant and hateful (or being called "the most intolerant and hateful religion") and yet all the vitriol is coming from Christians. And I don't mean the ones who called atheists "Satan's children" (though there is that too). But from all the Protestants with their anti-popery and unaccommodating Catholics who think that Franky Boy has somehow betrayed them.

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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#18  Postby Mick » Sep 12, 2013 2:16 pm

You can forgive and still punish. Frankly, I have no idea what God has in store for atheists with a good conscience. I don't even know what hell is supposed to be.
Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom." -- St. Toribio
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#19  Postby SafeAsMilk » Sep 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Mick wrote:You can forgive and still punish. Frankly, I have no idea what God has in store for atheists with a good conscience.

I'm sure whatever your God has in store, it's whatever you want it to be.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#20  Postby trubble76 » Sep 12, 2013 2:24 pm

Mick wrote:You can forgive and still punish. Frankly, I have no idea what God has in store for atheists with a good conscience. I don't even know what hell is supposed to be.


Ah, the infinite mercy of The Punisher. If the bible is anything to go by, he'll be sending an army of Jews to kill man, woman, child and animal, that'll teach us.
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