10 Things Pope Francis Has Done That Make Me Consider Being Catholic

When I was a kid, there were Christians, and then there were Catholics–The two were mutually exclusive. I knew OF Catholics (You got your Pope John Paul II, you got your Mother Teresa…. Actually, that’s probably about it), but in the little Dutch-Reformed-Calvinist-Protestant nook of the country that I grew up in, I don’t think I ever met an actual Catholic. I may have met one or two and just not known about it–In those parts, it wasn’t the sort of thing you advertised. But as far as I was concerned, Catholics were about as foreign to my version of Christianity as the Buddhists, the Muslims, and the Jews.

It’s weird thinking about that now–How, for most of the world, “Catholic” was synonymous with “Christian,” but for me (and many others), they were just that screwy religion who prayed to Mary for some odd reason, and had all those saints, and the priests forgave your sins in a confessional after they told you to go rub a pearl necklace…. It all seemed about as far-fetched as Scientology. For so many other people around the world, the face of Christianity was the Catholic Church, but for me and many others, “Catholic” and “Christian” were very different, and the face of the Catholic Church was the Pope. And all I really knew about the Pope was that he was the dude with the pointy hat who looked vaguely like Johnny Carson….

"Heeeere's Johnny Paul 2!" The US Women's Soccer goalie, Francis, and Sarah Palin.... "Name a Hope, a Pope, and a Dope." HeyOOOH!!!

“Heeeere’s Johnny Paul 2!” –The US Women’s Soccer goalie, Francis, and Sarah Palin…. *opens envelope* “Name a Hope, a Pope, and a Dope.” HeyOOOH!!!

My how things have changed. If you can’t admit that Pope Francis is awesome, there is either something wrong with you or you just haven’t been paying attention. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, here is a short list of 10 things (in no particular order) of some of the amazing things Pope Frank (his friends call him Frank) has done so far that make me consider converting to Catholicism:

Pope's Renault

Renault–The Donkey of cars….

1. GETTING RID OF THE POPE-MOBILE It’s really hard to love people from behind a thick sheet of bulletproof glass. After Pope JP2 got shot, they tried to keep the Pope safe by constructing the PopeMobile, but Francis has ditched it. When he was elected, he rode with the other Cardinals in the minibus. Not only that, but instead of riding around in the the Mercedes PM, he got himself this 20 year old Renault with almost 200k miles on it for when he wants to drive to the Vatican City Taco Bell for a late night snack. It’s not near as safe, but something tells me this Pope is not too concerned about dying. In the words of Obi Wan Kenobi, “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” Makes sense…. Jesus rode a donkey.

2. SUGGESTING THAT HE MIGHT SEE ATHEISTS IN HEAVEN This one might ruffle some feathers. In a Homily, Pope Francis suggested that doing good might be more important than believing the right things and he said, “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.” I know, right? Where would he get such a blasphemous idea?!? Answer: Jesus–who suggested that the Priest and the Levite (who believed all the right things) weren’t doing as good of a job of keeping the commandment to “love your neighbor” as that godless Samaritan. Another answer: The Bible–That says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:2)

3. HE IS NOT TOO COOL FOR TWITTER Pope Tweet

 

 

 

 

4. FIRING “THE BISHOP OF BLING” When a German Bishop named Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst spent $42.7 million on a house renovation (with $475,000 for walk-in closets and a $20,000 bathtub), Pope Francis suspended him. And then sent his ass to a monastery. And now they’re thinking about turning his lavish residence into a soup kitchen to feed poor people. Awesome.

5. NOT FREAKING OUT WHEN THIS KID INTERRUPTED HIS TALK Makes sense. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

6. PISSING OFF SARAH PALIN If you are making Sarah Palin feel uncomfortable, you are probably doing something right. Sarah said, “He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me.” You think THAT’S liberal, you should hear some of the things this Jesus guy said….

7. TOUCHING, KISSING, AND PRAYING WITH THIS DISFIGURED MAN
My Man FrankYou’ve probably seen this picture before, but look at it again. Imagine being this man and living with this skin condition. Imagine learning to expect the horrified looks as strangers see you. Imagine getting used to people keeping their distance. Now imagine this little old man smiling at you and calling you over. Imagine him touching the sides of your face. Imagine him pulling you in, and kissing your forehead. It is just too much for me to handle. But it makes sense…. Jesus didn’t just heal the lepers–He TOUCHED them.

 

8. NOT TAKING “THE POPE SUITE” AT THE VATICAN
Pope Francis asked to reside in a more modest apartment at the Vatican, and even makes his own meals. He sticks to the plain white robe, and has asked the other people in leadership to tone it down as well. He said, “This I ask you: Be shepherds, with the ‘odor of the sheep.’ Make it real.” He works hard at portraying modest living and staying humble. It’s hard to relate to the common man when you’re sitting on a golden throne. When he found out that they put up a statue of him outside a Cathedral in Buenos Aires, he asked them to take it down.

Freaking. Awesome.

Freaking. Awesome.

9. HE WASHES FEET.
Not just any feet–He is the first Pope to ever wash a WOMAN’S feet (Yeah, I know, he is not calling for women to be able to be priests yet, but still…. This is a pretty big deal for the traditionally patriarchy of the Catholic Church). And it wasn’t just any woman’s feet that he washed–She was a MUSLIM woman. And it wasn’t just any Muslim woman’s feet that he washed–She was a Muslim woman who was an INMATE at a nearby PRISON. Completely, totally, and in all other ways–KICK ASS!

10. SPEAKING OUT ABOUT HOW CAPITALISM  SCREWS POOR PEOPLE
Just recently, Pope Francis released an “Apostolic Exhortation” that laid out poverty and economic inequality as two of the main concerns of this Papacy. He used strong terms like “idolatry of money” (reminds me of someone) and speaks of unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” while praying and pleading with lawmakers to work toward  providing all people with “dignified work, education, and healthcare.” Look at this crazy, Palin-Pissing-Off quote from the document: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills…. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?” Seriously, Francis? Where do I sign up?

And here’s a bonus one: HE PICKED AN AWESOME NAME
He chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. I can’t even start to go into all the reasons why this other Francis was awesome, but just know he is. You can learn some more about St. Francis of Assisi by CLICKING HERE.

Just stop, dude.... We already love you.

Just stop, dude…. We already love you.

So yeah…. I just love this guy. But just about everybody is loving Pope Francis right now. And here’s the thing: It’s not Catholicism that is so attractive to people. It’s looking like Jesus. Isn’t it interesting how a simple little thing like acting like Jesus can get the whole world excited about the Pope? I mean, I get excited when ANYBODY–regardless of their creed–starts acting like Jesus! Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, you name it…. The truth is the truth, no matter where you find it. Christianity does not have a monopoly on the truth.The Bible DEFINITELY does not have a monopoly on the truth. The power and significance of Jesus’ life is NOT limited to the words that are written in the Bible. At the end of the book of John, he says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.” (John 21:25) So basically, after writing all about Jesus’s life and going through 21 chapters telling about all the stuff Jesus said and did, he says, “Oh yeah, and he did a whole lot of other stuff as well. This is NOT exhaustive.” 

Anyway, I love how this Pope is being an example of Jesus’ love for the world. We may have very different theologies and views on some really important topics, but our sames are way bigger than our differences. He is walking the walk. And he is a walking reminder to me that what you do and how you love is way more important than what you what you believe. Keep up the good work, Francis.

***A QUICK UPDATE***

So, it turns out that a lot of people are sharing this post, which I think is fantastic. If you like what you have seen/read here, and you’d like to see more of it, you can subscribe to this blog at the top right hand side of this page and you’ll get an email when there is a new post. FOR FREE!! Or, if you want to keep up via Facebook, you can like my page on the righthand side as well. Or, you can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheBoeskool –I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…. But if I do disappoint you, I’ll at least try to do it while making you laugh.

***ONE MORE UPDATE***

As a response to the sometimes vibrant, sometimes obtuse, sometimes loving, sometimes just plain mean conversation that  has been taking place in the comments section, I have written this story: The Parable of the Tickets To WonderLand. Many people, it turns out, are very offended at the idea that God might decide to let Atheists or people from other religions into heaven. I figure, since we don’t know for sure, it’s at least a good thing to HOPE for! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy it.

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249 Responses to 10 Things Pope Francis Has Done That Make Me Consider Being Catholic

  1. Henrietta Tijerina Foster says:

    Woww!! Got teary-eyed. John 13:35 KJV

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    • theboeskool says:

      Thanks for reading, Henrietta! I think if you’re not getting teary-eyed at least once a day, you’re just not paying attention. :)

      • kriziajerilee says:

        i got teary eyed only reading this!:)

      • rdericta says:

        I am keenly interested in your journey of faith, i.e. Christian faith, . . . . but more so in your inclination to be a Catholic, . . . . may I suggest you read about Cardinal John Henry Newman, . . . like Josh, Eric, James, Nic’s comments below, as you continue, you may encounter lots of similar arguments which, to me, are all good. . . . . like Cardinal Newman who grew up amidst family, friends, and community living a version of “Christian” faith like the most common basis “justification by faith alone. . . .”
        To me, what is very interesting about Cardinal Newman is why after all his years of study, research, and advocacy turned Catholic, . . . and end up with broken relationships in family, friends, communities in Oxford, Church of England, etc. . . . and finally, became a catholic priest, . . . . hence, Cardinal Newman, . . . also, when he read the “bible”, I mean the books or chapters that are compiled in the modern “bible”, . . . in a different way, he read them in their original Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, etc . . . .

        I enjoyed reading your anecdotes about the new Catholic Pope, . . . “Francis….” or Frank.

    • Just wondering what you meant exactly when you said “The Bible DEFINITELY does not have a monopoly on the truth.”
      It seems to me that you know the Bible is completely inspired by God and is entirely true. Do you mean, simply, that truth can be found outside of the Bible and being not found within the Bible makes a statement or fact no less true? Practical expressions of truth are found in nearly every arena one may enter. I know this. I’m just asking before I share this with others.

      I enjoyed it either way.

    • Eric says:

      In reference to #2, if the pope is suggesting that people who do not accept Jesus will receive Heaven, he is completely, absolutely 100% wrong. Your statement here that says “Where would he get such a blasphemous idea?!? Answer: Jesus” Is just as misguided.

      Believing everything that comes out of the vatican is dangerous, especially this thought that “Good works” will net you eternal life or that true atheists will be in Heaven.

      To correct your posting, Jesus actually said:
      “I am THE way, and THE truth, and THE life; NO ONE comes to the Father but through Me” John 14:6

      Beyond that, many other verses clarify this statement, one being; Acts 4:12, where Peter said “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”. And another, when Paul said that people who did not know Christ were “dead in your transgressions and sins” (Which means a trip to hell)

      Jesus made it very clear that He was God when Simon Peter said to Jesus “You are the Christ, Son of the living God”….Jesus responded “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven”.
      Jesus also answered “I am” in response to the pharisees who were questioning him during his “trial”. Most of the questions were to lock him in to blasphemy charges, such as “are you the Messiah?”
      But even more clear, Jesus himself said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am HE, you will die in your sins.”

      Now, it may seem current and trendy to hear the pope say that, but that doesn’t make it right. Jesus NEVER suggested that everyone goes to Heaven, quite the opposite. Those who reject him-atheists by your example, according to Jesus’ own statements will not be saved.

      Just a word of caution, be careful of false teachings or “false prophets” as they are referred to in the Bible. Now, I’m not saying that the pope is a false prophet, but if he truly is denying that Jesus is the only way, then the Bible may be suggesting he is…
      “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction” 2 Peter 2:1

      I have not reviewed much of your website here. But based on this posting, I would consider reading the New Testament word for word, then come back and see if you still want this put out to the masses.

      • Sean Buehler says:

        Perhaps “Knowing Christ” and “Coming to the father through ME” can mean much more than simply being a Christian. I believe that an Atheist, whether they know it or not, can still “Know Christ” by performing good deeds and living a life that mimics Christ. They may not wish to admit that their life is mimicking Christ, but anyone who devotes their life to service of others is still following in His footsteps.

      • Eric says:

        Sean,

        Unfortunately this is another widely held, but incorrect belief (according to the Bible). Romans 10:9-10 “that if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved.”

        I don’t know of any atheist who believes Jesus was resurrected and is alive today. If you do not believe Jesus was resurrected, then that would be calling him a liar, which is far from “knowing” him.

        “Knowing” Biblically is not knowing of him, or knowing what he did, or mimicking his peaceful behavior. It is believing his mission.

      • Eric says:

        Sean,

        Unfortunately this is another widely held, but incorrect belief (according to the Bible). Romans 10:9-10 “that if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, AND SHALT BELIEVE in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved.”

        I don’t know of any atheist who believes Jesus was resurrected and is alive today. If you do not believe Jesus was resurrected, then that would be calling him a liar, which is far from “knowing” him.

        “Knowing” Biblically is not knowing of him, or knowing what he did, or mimicking his peaceful behavior. It is believing his mission. “Knowing” Jesus is different than knowing your car mechanic.

        Jesus also said that many will come to him at his return, crying “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have we not cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22) Jesus said that he will respond to them with this: “And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

        Therefore, Jesus said himself that what our society views as “good works” or acting like a Christian, is not enough. Those who call themselves atheists, are saying that they reject Jesus as being not only a God, but THE God. Saying Jesus is a good teacher, or good man, or a man of peace only…are rejecting him.

        This is an unpopular belief in modern times obviously. But remember, as time goes on, if you shout a lie loud enough and long enough, people begin to believe it. Don’t trust the word of other people. Go to the source! Read the Bible.

      • theboeskool says:

        Eric–What you are doing is one of my least favorite things that Christians do. It’s just lobbing “verse granades” at strangers. It is the online equivilent of giving a hungry person a Bible Tract, and (though you probably won’t believe me), even though you certainly believe you are trying to help, you are doing more harm than good when you start throwing out random Bible verses as “proof” that the way you think is right. And this is especially damaging when it is from a place of “If you don’t believe exactly like I do, you’re getting a ‘trip to hell.'”

        Maybe the person you’re talking to doesn’t have the same way of looking at the Bible as you do. Maybe they are focusing on different verses (there are a lot of them in there). And maybe, just maybe, they might even have a better understanding of the issue than you do. And that understanding might lead a person to a place of comfortable uncertainty about some issues that they used to be certain about. Please read this: http://robbellcom.tumblr.com/post/66107373947/what-is-the-bible Start from the beginning, and read it to the last one. I’d love to hear what you think….

        But most of all, please realize that verse granades and threats of damnation aimed at strangers (who may not treat the Bible with the same rigid inerrancy that you do, and may even hold the idea of “eternal hellish torture” as a proof that God can’t possibly be good or loving) are not nearly as effective a way of changing a mind (or heart) as good old-fashioned conversation. Ask questions. Things might not be as clear as you think they are.

      • theboeskool says:

        Also, I have read the New Testament “word for word.” Many times. :)

      • Hany Said says:

        Eric,
        The problem with western Christians is that they are in a constant state of Jihad. Yes, Jihad. Arabic is my native language, so I assure you I know the exact meaning of the word. I am also a Catholic, which is the second reason why I am using this word. You are using the Bible as your sword to condemn and pass judgement on others based on your own interpretations of the bible, ONE book. Granted it is the most important book in a Christian’s library, but the fact that there is a “library”, suggests a wider spectrum of truth.

        Unlike you, neither Pope Francis nor I claim to have the absolute Truth. There is only one Truth, and that is Christ. The rest of us, including the Pope and all the Saints, spend our entire lives in a constant struggle to get closer to it. The mantra of western Christians that good work does not grant you salvation, is the most abused and twisted argument in our faith. For a Christian, good work is the testament of accepting Christ. Peter said: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” The word “do” clearly suggests “work”. When Christ asks us to be Holy, it didn’t mean to just proclaim him as lord and savior. Are you suggesting that all the people that died before Christ but did good work, all those who died after Christ but never knew him, all those born in different faiths but live a “holy” life can not enter heaven?

        In the beginning there was the WORD….It didn’t materialize out of thin air just 2000 years ago. Christ, Salvation, the Son, the WORD, had always existed. Christ is not a historical figure that you just need to believe in to be redeemed. Reading a bible, and believing what’s in it based on your own interpretation, is not redemption either.

        How do you know that souls can’t be redeemed after the death of the body? Jesus went to Hades when he died on the cross. He proclaimed himself to the dead. (Peter 3:18-20). We Catholics totally believe in purgatory. So it is very reasonable to imagine lost souls who passed away to STILL be redeemed. This is not a radical/blasphemous idea brought by Pope Francis. It is actually a concept ingrained in Catholicism. If one’s fate is already sealed the moment he draws his last breath, what is the point of praying for his soul? Intercession is another foreign concept to western Christians, while it is a foundation in our Church.

        The issue that western Christianity always faces is the concept of absolutes. That is understandable because the only thing you have to go by or refer to is the Bible. On the other hand, Catholics as well as the Orthodox faiths have thousands of years of experience, knowledge, wisdom, customs and traditions to draw from in search of the Truth.

      • M Palmer says:

        Thank you Eric

      • Stephen says:

        Eric, you’re right on, dude.

        theboeskool, these aren’t Eric’s personal opinions, these are God’s opinions. So take it up with Him.

      • theboeskool says:

        God’s opinions? Well, I guess that settles it, doesn’t it…. No point in any further discussion. :)

      • Rain says:

        Eric,
        I’m a Catholic. And you are the type of Christians/Catholic I hate.
        You really dont get the point you self-righteous idiot.

      • Eric says:

        Scripture speaks for itself “Rain”. Man can preach untruths, but unfortunately that’s all it will ever be. If the pope made it his mission to save people by helping them to Jesus, I would welcome him and have nothing but respect for him. Instead, he seems too obsessed with matters of wealth. Wealth and poverty are of this world and I only wish he would focus on seeing to it that more are saved through Christ. Sorry you “hate” my kind….

      • Hany Said says:

        Actually Eric, the scriptures do not speak for themselves. You’ve got people reading different Bibles. Some like the NIV is missing not only complete verses, but complete books. Some bibles were translated from Hebrew writings while others from Greek and Latin. How can a non-catholic even suggest this when there are no common interpretations between protestants or evangelicals,non-denominational and whatnot? Literately anyone can rent a building and call it a church and present his/her followers with their interpretation of what they are reading. Can you just hand your Bible to a Muslim or a Hindu and honestly expect them to convert simply by reading it since it speaks for itself? In fact there are many atheists and non-Christians who use the Bible verses to condemn Christianity. If one is not filled with the Holy Spirit and prays for guidance when reading the Bible, nothing will speak for itself.

      • Eric says:

        Hany,

        You’re right, there are many versions of the Christian Bible. That being said, the differences, omissions, etc….do not change the message of the New Testament. You said that these conclusions I’m making are from only “one Book”. That is true and is because the Bible is the only book that is penned by God.

        You talked about one of the biggest disagreements between Catholics and other Christians-good works. While I agree that a true Christian will naturally do good works, none of those will earn you salvation. Jesus’ sacrifice was enough to redeem all the world’s sins. He didn’t die for most of yours and leave a small balance for you to work off on earth or in purgatory (which I hold to be a Catholic creation).

        I would disagree with your accusation that I am “condemning” anyone. Quoting scripture is merely passing along the truth. If you feel condemned by scriptures…perhaps that is something you need to examine as to why that would be.

        Perhaps the biggest question I would have for this board would be, why is there such resistance (even from Catholics) to scriptures that say Christ is the only way to Heaven?

      • theboeskool says:

        I don’t hate you, Eric. I’m just annoyed when people think that being a Christian is only about Heaven (that we can’t see) and not enough about the people who need our help and our love (who we can see). I just wrote this parable about this very issue: http://theboeskool.com/2013/12/10/the-parable-of-the-tickets-to-wonderland/

        Also, you REALLY need to read this: http://robbellcom.tumblr.com/post/69544141858/what-is-the-bible-part-21-in-air-in-sea Then, after you’re done with that, start from the beginning and read the whole series. Let me know what you think.

      • Eric says:

        Boeskool,

        Admittedly, your Wonderland metaphor is clever. The meaning behind your story however illustrates much of our disagreement.

        The symbol of salvation here, I take it, is the ticket to the park (Heaven). You wrote that “the son”, felt that everyone “deserved” to be loved. I would respectfully disagree. I believe, and could quote scripture (but won’t throw the grenades) that all men deserve hellfire and damnation, even me. This thought blows people away it seems. No one wants to believe that they deserve punishment.

        The tickets that you talk about, appear to work differently in your “Wonderland” than they do in life. In your story, people were granted entry even without a ticket.

        Real world example: the Bible says that anyone who does not accept Jesus as the Messiah and their Savior will not be saved. By their own admission, and definition for that matter, atheists do not believe Jesus is either of these things. Therefore, the Bible (not I), says they will go to hell.

        Lastly, you wrote about how the creator of “Wonderland” (God) is a loving Father. Yes, that is true, as the Bible says he is. But don’t forget, He is also a God of justice and vengeance against evil. Hell is a very real thing…and contrary to many people’s beliefs, it is not a world that is run by satan, where sin is allowed. Satan will be thrown in the lake of fire, where he will be tormented for eternity too. The Bible is nearly explicit in detail about the eternality and absolute awfulness of Hell. Not everyone will be saved Boeskull, as your story suggests. Jesus said it himself.

      • Kevin Smith says:

        To many of you replying to this man’s comment, and to the producer himself. Where is the love. Jesus taught us that the two most important commandments of the old testament are centered upon love. I love the idea of all mankind being saved, I want all mankind to be my brothers and sisters in Christ, but it simply cannot be. The entire book of revelation is based upon the final judgment where the saved are separated from those who are not. Read most of Romans 9 is you want to understand the depth of this. God will have mercy on whom he has mercy and will harden whom he will harden. Poor Paul, one of the greatest disciples of Christ, wept in anguish at the loss of some of his people because he loved them, but their salvation was left unfounded. Your salvation is a gift from God that must be ACCEPTED! You poor foolish men who lean so heavily yet though on the workings of men have blinded yourselves to the workings of our LORD. Lay down your pride and pick up your cross, our Father has a plan for you. Do not base your faith so fully on texts and traditions. You have a direct link to the source of ALL things through the Holy Spirit. Secure this link and no text or thought of man shall hold authority over your soul for you are victorious over sin and shall sit at the right hand of God with Jesus on His throne!! Praise the LORD our God and forget your petty arguments and disagreements and work daily in your salvation as a unit of love in Christ. You are saved through the sweet faith alone which empowers you to be fully righteous. Love you guys

      • Larissa says:

        Are we not called to love even the most damned? There are many things I have yet to understand with my faith but I am certain that by condemning any man for his belief, we only damn ourselves. I pray that your mind and heart be graced with openess, humility and compassion. I believe there is hope and salvation for all, including non believers and yourself. We all have so much more to learn.

      • theboeskool says:

        Wow, Larissa. That was beautiful….

      • Eric says:

        Larissa, what do you base your conclusion “that there is hope and salvation for all” on?

        Today, so many people hold this belief, citing that God is a loving God. It seems even those who claim to know the Bible well, clearly overlook any reference to hell, damnation, etc.

        Unfortunately Larissa, just believing the man made idea that everyone will receive salvation does not make it so. I can point you in the direction of many passages that could clear it up perhaps.

        You are correct though, we are directed to love even those who may be lost. Tell me which is love then; telling someone who is lost how they may be spared from hell? Or by letting someone without that knowledge continue to believe the man made fairy tale that everyone is saved?

      • theboeskool says:

        You couldn’t possibly know what love is if you can’t even understand that the God you believe in (one that sends the vast majority of his created humanity to get tortured for a trillion years) is the farthest thing from a loving being. That God is a monstrous, sadistic deity, and is neither the God of the Bible nor the Father Jesus describes. The case the Bible makes for the “not heaven” option after death is far more complex, nuanced, and filled with mystery than you are aware. Incidentally, so is the heaven option.

        I’m so tired of the “loving people by telling them they are going to hell” BS…. It has done so much harm, and sent so many people away from the healing love and transforming power of Jesus.

      • Eric says:

        Boeskull,

        So then the numerous scriptures, Old Testament and New, that clearly describe hell and why humanity is held to this standard, are ones that you refuse to believe?

        What about Jesus specifically saying that many will never see Heaven, specifically saying there will be punishment?

        Did he change his mind at some point? Is there a sequel to the Bible?

        Saying that the Bible is more complicated than anyone can understand is an invalid argument. God’s gave us His Word so that we CAN understand.

        Simply put, sin is, has been and will be punished. Rather than believing we are all righteous ‘just cuz’, we need to understand that WE are the problem, WE are imperfect and WE choose where we end up for eternity. God leaves it up to us. To say that God is sadistic or not loving because of hell is an invalid argument. God has given the directions to us in the form of the Bible. Ignoring full passages from it are where many (perhaps yourself) reach the point of confusion.

        I know it sounds good, saying that ‘all paths lead to Heaven’, but that is just another lie designed to funnel the lost into hell. Don’t be deceived, just because modern man wants to rebel against God.

        Look to what Jesus said and be careful not to ignore the statements that don’t sound politically correct. He made it clear for all the world.

      • theboeskool says:

        Is it possible that we are not inherently eternal, Eric?

        I believe in punishment. I do not believe in eternal torture with no hope as a punishment for 30 years of disbelief or even rebellion…. If you do, then the God you believe in is not the same as the one I believe in. And it’s not the same one that Jesus reveals with his life and words. And it is nothing like “good news.”

        “I’ve got some good news for you! My dad has set things up in a way that everyone is going to get tortured forever, but some people can get out of it!” <– this is not good news. It is a horrible distortion of the good Father that Jesus reveals to us. Seriously. It's got to be blasphemy.

      • Eric says:

        Boeskull, Jesus actually did say that hell was eternal. Not a temporary punishment then a *poof* into non-existance.

        “Depart from me, you cursed, into the ETERNAL fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . ” (Jesus speaking)

        “…And these will go away into ETERNAL punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25

        Two examples straight from Jesus. Additionally, there are numerous other references to the “forever” aspect of the punishment elsewhere in the Bible.

        Perhaps you do believe in a different god than THE God. But could it be possible that you’re making up a god that sounds more like one that suits your needs and wants, rather than what He really is?

        Rest assured, there is eternal life. What kind of life that is, is up to you.

      • theboeskool says:

        Anything’s possible, Eric.

        Do you know that the Hebrew word that is often translated as “forever” or “eternity” is the word “olam.” Do you know how long the Bible says Jonah was in the whale? If you guessed “an olam,” you’d be right. It is rightly translated as “an age.” As in, “This age, and the age to come.” That’s how they talked about “eternity.” The Greeks were the ones who started with our modern concept of eternity.

        Jesus also talked about Hades–does that make Greek mythology true? Gehenna was an actual place–a garbage dump, whose fires didn’t go out. Then we start translating that as “Hell,” add a dash of some messed up Middle Ages theology, and the next thing you know, we’ve got people like you, so sure of what they’ve been told that they paint a picture of a monstrous God to the world, when Jesus describes him as a father who runs to meet us.

        When it says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” the word they use for perish actually means “be completely destroyed/annihilated.” It doesn’t mean “be eternally tortured.” I’m sorry, I know you really want to hold onto this doctrine of Hell, but you need to let it go.

      • theboeskool says:

        Dude, did you read Rob Bell’s “what is the Bible?” on Tumblr that I posted? If not you should. He explains this way better than I ever could.

        I’m betting you didn’t….

      • Eric says:

        Boeskull,

        First off, I’ve enjoyed the conversation. I felt compelled to comment on your posting, not to change your mind ( you seem to be as dug in to your beliefs as I) so much as to guide others that will come across it.

        Rob Bell’s blog may seem educated, or fascinating even. But it is one of a long history of thoughts that intend to discredit the Bible (whether he says it is or not). This is nothing new. His fatal flaw in his argument, is to suggest that the Bible is written by man, who makes mistakes. He also eludes to how primitive he believed man to be at this point, saying that many of the stories were created because they needed them out of fear or ignorance.

        In the same breath though, Bell says that the Bible was intended to hold a deep meaning that is by design of the authors. But wait, I thought he just said they were primitive?

        Again, in his article, you see the possibilities of mistranslations, missing texts, missing meanings. I, on the other hand, see doubt, designed to keep people from the truth.

        Bell also does a great deal of entertaining science. This (in my belief) is a current, destructive, trend in human history. Science today is regarded as religion. Replacing faith for many even. Theories like evolution, have been dubbed as truth and accepted by our culture through the power of the media and the power of evil in positions of earthly power.

        If people today looked to discredit the theories of our modern “great thinkers” as much as they strive to discredit the Bible, they would find theories that are more fiction than they could imagine. How prideful and arrogant is man, to think that our theories could disprove God. My view is that fantastic theories have been pimped on a sinful world that is ready to accept anything that absolves them of guilt.

        The Bible, which I hold to be the inerrant Word of God, has stood the test of time like few things have.

        Mistranslations as you suggested may change the flow of the wording in some areas of the Bible, but I would maintain they don’t change any of the meaning. To suggest Jesus was referring to the Valley of Gehenna, I think, is plain wrong. Mainly, because elsewhere in the Bible, it is said that those who aren’t saved, are sent to the same place that Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are sent, the lake of fire. Obviously, Jesus was not saying that the devil is sent to a geographical place on earth. Besides, Jesus uses the same word for the eternal aspect of Heaven. So, if it’s only a season, in hell, then it’s only a season in Heaven? I hardly think so and the Bible carries the theme of eternal life throughout its entirety.

        Hell and damnation are difficult thoughts to imagine. Especially if you only view God as a loving god. Simply put, sin is so vile and repulsive to the perfection of God, that it needs an extraordinary solution.

        Thank you for the opportunity to offer another viewpoint on your blog. My only parting advice, would be to consider a literal interpretation of the Bible as you go on….try it on and see if things make a lot more sense.

        Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That’s the whole moral of the story there man. Not that God is loving, or Hell sucks or floods or anything else, those are all a part of it, sure, but; that’s the Meaning of life in a sentence.

        Thanks for the opportunity!

      • Cogito says:

        actually Eric the books of The Bible was penned by men through Divine Inspiration and The Bible itself was created by Ecumenical councils

      • Theresa says:

        Eric, I felt compelled to comment in response to “the Pope suggesting that people who do not accept Jesus will receive Heaven.” This is NOT the message he is spreading. It is a misinterpretation of his statement, because the cardinals do not elect blasphemers to guide the church. The Catholic church believes, as does Pope Francis, that Jesus is absolutely vital to salvation, for everyone. BUT we also believe in works as a necessary part of preparing for and spreading salvation, God’s infinite mercy, and Purgatory. We as mere humans have no right to say someone is going to Hell. For all we know, someone who lives as an Atheist their entire lives could have a deathbead experience of Christ, and could still receive God’s mercy. On top of that, the idea of Purgatory is that, while our sins are forgiven by God and we are saved, when we die we are quite probably in an imperfect state to accept Heaven and unity with God fully. Purgatory is where our souls are prepared for Heaven, and frankly, we have no idea where God draws His lines for Heaven and Hell. It is entirely possible that someone who has lived a moral life, and yet has not understood or been exposed to the Truth here on Earth, could still receive God’s mercy at the time of their death. Hell is a place for people who understand who and what Jesus is, and intentionally reject Him. They CHOOSE to ignore what they know is true, and they close their hearts to God. For many, that does happen on Earth, but only God can judge. It is possible that people who live some kind of devoted or moral life on Earth can accept Jesus at the time of their death when they are confronted by Him, whether they knew the fullness of truth on Earth or not. It’s GOD’S CALL. So instead of criticizing one of the holiest people on the Earth for saying something you think is blasphemous, you should focus on your own evangelization, and whether or not the message you are spreading is inviting God’s children to know and love Him, or if it is just wagging your finger at the heathens and telling them they are damned with an authority you neither posses nor deserve.

      • Eric says:

        Theresa,

        An atheist who finds Christ on their death bed, is no longer an atheist. They are a Christian. What the pope, could and should have done was tell people that Christ is the only way. Instead, he merely answered with a “who am I to judge”. Telling others what Jesus said, is not condemning anyone, nor is it judging anyone. The pope could have said “Jesus said that He is the only way.” Why didn’t he?

        When asked about homosexuality, the pope again did not answer the question, saying only again that he won’t judge. Why didn’t he say “the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin”? That’s not judging, it’s saying the truth. And it also would have sent a message to sinners to stop sinning!

        It seems the common trend with modern day Catholics is to stop preaching about the Bible and to instead merely say-love everyone and give to the poor. This may get more people to like the church, but it doesn’t save anyone.

        Sure, loving everyone is important, but if one of the most powerful men in the world refuses to preach about sin, how will any of the “heathen” (as you put it) know of their sin?

        Spreading the word of Jesus is NOT judging anyone. Jesus’s words SHOULD be thought provoking and controvertial…because it speaks to the heart of sinners. Did you know that according to Matthew, Jesus started his ministry with the word “Repent”? It’s interesting that he chose that statement, rather than “capitalism is bad” or “give to the poor” or “redistribute wealth”.

        I would also be careful about suggesting that the pope is any holier than any other man. We are all sinners, including myself, you and the pope. His position is a man made political office. No one should be worshipped other than God.

        As soon as the pope starts spreading the Good News about Jesus over all other political statements, he will have my support.

      • Hany Said says:

        Eric,
        The reason the Pope answered the questions the way he did (and now how Eric would answer it), is because he’s got 2000 years of wisdom to draw upon, experience, theological discussions, collective interpretations of scriptures gathered from early languages, divine inspirations and the Holy Spirit, to guide him. I would totally listen to a man that has all these resources at his disposal over someone who just simply rely on a recent revision of a Bible in a language that started to come together over a thousand years after Christ.

        It amazes me to always see new age Christians that quote Bible verses, act as if they are the sole authority on interpreting text written thousands of years ago. It is as if only in the 21st century did we really come to understand the Bible based on new found wisdom or discoveries. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dismiss the possibility of someone living in the Amazon who finds a Bible floating in the river and through the Holy Spirit be able to read it and understand it. I am also not suggesting that to understand every verse, I need to pick up the phone and call my local Catholic priest and see what my 2000 year old Church have to say about it. But there are certainly many verses, many chapters, and even an entire Book or two (Like Revelations), that need extensive resources and studies. To say that you Eric, reading “that” version of the Bible, in English, have all the right interpretations of every verse, is in my opinion pretty arrogant.

        On the subject of judging, yes saying so and so will or will not go to heaven is exactly that, a judgement. You are not even saying that it is in YOUR opinion, based on YOUR understanding of the Bible that so and so is condemned to Hell. You use a verse from Leviticus and put a blanket judgement on millions of people without even for a second consider the possibility that there is a difference between the act and orientation. And that’s just one way to look at it. Even our modern laws, which are written in Books 100 times bigger than the Bible, with as little ambiguity as possible, in our native language, STILL on many occasions end up open to interpretations and even sometimes lead to completely opposite rulings.

        Salvation through Christ and ONLY through Christ, means exactly just that. It is beyond the scope of an interpretation of a verse or even a belief of a specific Church. There is no way for us to imagine the limitless grace of God because it is not an earthly matter, let alone put it in context in a post on the internet.

      • Theresa says:

        Obviously “Christians” are the only people who get into heaven, in that one must believe that Jesus is the Messiah and he died for our salvation. The point I was trying to make is that we cannot say when a person has lost their opportunity to become a Christian. The pope does preach the gospel, and that Jesus is the way to salvation. He chooses to focus on the message of spreading God’s love and mercy, and encourages Christians to do the same, rather than to just go on and on about the sins that everyone KNOWS the Church doesn’t endorse. When all people hear is how they are sinners and that they will be damned, they don’t want to listen to us! It isn’t that the pope denies sin and says we should just accept everything, but rather he is saying the focus of evangelization should be on sharing the GOOD news about God, not just the bad news about damnation. And once again, our job isn’t to judge, it is to spread the Word regarding both sin and salvation. The pope has said Jesus is the way, but he also knows a lot of other facts about Christianity that people need to hear. In fact, the pope has said that the heart of evangelization should not start with stopping abortion or gay marriage or even with feeding the poor. Instead, he says the MOST important message for us to spread is that Jesus came to save us, and that all the other messages are secondary, including the long list of sins we commit as human beings.

        Many modern Catholics admittedly do not know the Bible as they should, but I guarantee you that Pope Francis does, and the Church absolutely preaches the Bible. It doesn’t “merely” say to love everyone and give to the poor, but loving everyone is exactly what we are called to do. That love motivates us to share the good news, and many, many Christians in our time need to be reminded that we need to love. Just because that specific message doesn’t speak to YOUR heart, doesn’t mean it doesn’t speak to someone. If you were Catholic and had actually studied the faith in depth (as well as what Pope Francis has said), you would realize that there is much more to Catholicism than your extremely watered-down and stereotypical idea of it. As I’m sure you realize even in your own faith, calling yourself “Christian” doesn’t always mean you are, so don’t base your opinion of the Church solely on what “trends” you have observed. Church doctrine doesn’t trend. It has remained the same for 2000+ years, and Pope Francis has never said anything contradictory to that doctrine. Everyone, including the Pope, has a style of evangelization, and he doesn’t have to follow what you like best for spreading the Good News. It isn’t that we don’t tell people what sin looks like, it’s just that that isn’t where we start. Also, fun fact, the pope never said Capitalism is bad. He said that allowing money to become SO disproportionately distributed without any way to balance it out is bad. You will recall, Greed is one of the seven deadly sins. Pope Francis simply pointed out that Capitalism can be dangerous because some become greedy, and we as a society need to recognize when our free market mentality overtakes our responsibility to care for each other. In other words, Capitalism is good, like chocolate is good, but we have to use it responsibly, lest some become fat while others are malnourished. And I promise, Pope Francis has talked about repenting for sins and a whole heck of a lot of other key salvation facts on a regular basis, but modern media will not focus on that. They like to stir up controversy and by and large they control what you hear. Remember the Pope is a Pope 24/7, not just in the few snippets of time you have heard about. He has a lot of time to spread a lot of messages.

        The Pope does not claim he isn’t a sinner. We all are sinners, but some of us are MUCH better at being Christians than others, and we should look up to these people as models of Christian behavior. Being holy is not the same thing as being divine. God calls all of us to be holy, and it is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge the holiness of others. Lastly, you are showing your own ignorance of Scripture and the Catholic Church when you say the Papacy is a man-made political institution, and that we worship the Pope. We do not and have never worshiped anyone other than God, but we look to the Papacy to guide us in the right direction for salvation. Because the Papacy was established by JESUS. They talk about it in the Bible. It’s that whole part where Jesus says “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18). The Church actually refers to the Popes as descendants of Peter, who we recognize as the first Pope. There is a lineage and everything. So it goes WAY beyond politics.

        Eric, I appreciate that you mean well, and that you are trying to spread the Word of God. It is difficult to appreciate your arguments, though, when you are obviously getting your information, both on the Pope and Catholics in general, from unreliable media and a generic, usually false, general “knowledge” of Catholicism. If you want to know what Pope Francis REALLY says, and what the Church teaches, go find Catholic sources. Look at a Catechism. Open your mind to the possibility you could be hearing misinterpretations and falsities, and that just maybe we are all on the same side. We all want to go to heaven, and we want to take as many people with us as we can. Don’t assume the Catholic Church is wrong when you don’t actually know anything about it. I hope you take my comment in the spirit it is meant, which is one of friendship and education, and that you can keep an open mind about Catholics and the Pope. Merry Christmas!

      • Tami says:

        I agree completely with you Eric! I believe the Bible is completely clear on how to get to heaven. I am saddened by the evidence that is presented there and how many people still don’t want to believe it. Also, how can people say that God is not loving? He sacrificed His only son for the world’s salvation knowing fully well that not everyone was going to accept Him. If that is not love, what is?

      • Andrew S says:

        I love these conversations. Eric, not everyone has seen Jesus Christ (through no fault of their own). God is love and mercy. He is not a vengeful God. I love scripture, but in its many years of coming down in writing and by word of mouth, there has been a few issues in the way of ‘translating’. TRUTH in the bible in many cases is a MORAL TRUTH, not necessarily a HISTORICAL TRUTH. We know the life of his CHRIST is both moral and historical. From John: 18 [My] Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth. 19 Hereby shall we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before him: 20 because if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we have boldness toward God; 22 and whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he gave us commandment. Eric, not everyone has seen Jesus Christ (throught no fault of their own). We gotta remember that Jesus Christ is love. And Eric, don’t tell me about hell – but the Father has the final word on that.

      • Brett Lukert says:

        Amen brother… “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8) Men are all evil and are in need of a savior who was, is, and is to come Jesus Christ. Any other teaching beyond this is false teaching and as Christians we are given the biblical right to correct those who “claim” to be Christ’s followers. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)

      • Jorge says:

        When Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” It means that is up to Jesus to decide if we get to the Father, not dependent on our decision to follow Him. Remember He also said “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21) It is not about saying, but about doing.
        So what about those who never heard or saw a convincing presentation of the Gospel, but tried to do right things, such as feeding the hungry? Again, we have the answer from Jesus Himself: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matt 25:34. So doing something for others IS accepting and serving Jesus even without knowing Him.
        Some atheists may fit this description, and the Pope’s words are not without support.
        God bless!

    • Dj says:

      Thank u for this!

      • antonjoseph says:

        Eric, i agree with you too. People get upset when you quote verses to prove a point. If anyone asks me what a Christian means, it is way beyond doing good works as Boeskool writes about. With due respect to the Pope, he is a public figure and therefore is careful. Whenever someone asks me what a Christian is, I look at the “Nicene Creed”, a profession of faith in most Christian Churches (Catholic, Protestant denominations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed). In summary, we believe in the Divinity of Jesus, and our purpose in life is to “look forward to to the life of the world to come”. Jesus resurrection (or conquering death) shows that we have another life or eternal spirit in a place (Gods Kingdom/Heaven). We can not enter this Heaven by good works alone because we all fall short (i.e. we continue to sin). The only way to cleanse ourselves is to accept Jesus Divinity and to ask him to “take away our sins”. And He will because of grace, when we believe in Him.

  2. Robert says:

    Cheap shot against Palin. Along the lines of ‘if you don’t like someone you must be on my side.’
    This is not something St. Francis or Pope Francis would approve. It sounds more like demonizing a person who has done you no wrong.

    • theboeskool says:

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “if you don’t like someone you must be on my side,” but which one was the cheap shot, Robert? I mentioned her three times…. I thought I went easy on her. :)

      And actually, she has done me wrong. Anyone who uses a position of power to propel ignorance and lies does us all wrong, and anyone who does it and claims it’s in the name of Christianity does wrong to the reputation of Jesus. And that makes even more people think that the Church is full of crap, and I happen to think that it is the hope for the world.

      So yeah, she has done me wrong. But that’s not why I would be critical of her–“She did it to me first” is not sound reasoning anymore for a follower of Jesus. The reason I was critical is 1st–Because it’s true, and 2nd–(and at least as importantly on this blog) Because I thought it was funny. You’re probably right, though–Pope Francis probably wouldn’t have joked at her expense. And that is just another reason why he completely rocks. :)

  3. krislg says:

    I think it is wonderful how much love he is showing. Love is very important. Still, of first importance is a belief in God, a relationship with God. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God had two greatest commands, He answered, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22). As I follow Christ’s example and walk in relationship with Him I want to love.

    • theboeskool says:

      I used to think that way too, krislg. I don’t think I believe it anymore. At least I’m not nearly as sure. I don’t think God wants a bunch of people who just believe. He wants people who have CHANGED THEIR MINDS. Otherwise known as to “repent.” Given the choice between a selfish, violent, hateful person who is certain that Jesus rose from the grave, and a generous, peaceful, loving person who isn’t so sure anymore, I’m choosing the one who isn’t so sure to be on my team. Every time.

      This is the real beauty of the Good Samaritan: The ones who knew all the rules and laws –the ones who “believed”–They didn’t get it like that Samaritan with the messed up Theology. Remember that this parable was told in an answer to a question about what he must do to inherit eternal life….

      • krislg says:

        14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
        Jesus was going around preaching the good news. He calls us to yes repent and also believe the good news (Jesus). Then afterwards Jesus asks the disciples to leave what they are doing and follow Him. I think that is what he is doing during a lot of His time on earth. Calling people to love Him.

        I tend to think that in the passage about the Samaritan Jesus is at that point answering the question about who is my neighbor.

      • charles says:

        theboeskool, I like the way you respond to the comments. you’re so open and friendly that I actually wanted to comment too. Here goes:

        In my case, I kind of believe in a mixture of what you just said and with what krislg posted. First, I believe that ‘salvation’ is a gift from God as a result of His grace through faith. (Eph 2:8-9). So for me, I think the only way to be saved is to sincerely put our faith in Christ, and not on anyone/anything else. I think of it as: “If I can do good works and earn place in heaven without trusting in Jesus, then why would I need Jesus in the first place?”

        However, I also believe that those who really placed their faith in Christ alone is continually being molded (by God) into the likeness of Christ. So I think that we should see good works being done by the believers as a result of their ‘salvation’ but not in order to earn their ‘salvation’. Those who say they are Christians/believers but doesn’t really act like one are likely to have never genuinely placed their trust in Christ in the first place.

        To summarize what I believe:

        faith = salvation + good works

        not

        faith + good works = salvation

        Hope this post would be helpful to those who are wondering! :)

    • JenLN says:

      I’m not sure what I believe, but I know if only Christians (or straight people) are allowed in heaven, I have no interest in going there for eternity anyway.

      And there are plenty of Christians who view the Bible as more metaphorical and don’t take everything literally. That’s something those in the Bible Belt seem to miss. So those aren’t real Christians, fine. But a large percentage of those who claim that title think that way, so at least recognize that.

      • krislg says:

        I married to someone who I believe will be going to heaven but does not take the Bible completely literal. What I think is important is a relationship with God.

      • theboeskool says:

        Thanks Jennifer. I’m a lot less sure of exactly what I believe than I used to be–Especially if by “sure” you mean “certain that you are right and everyone else is wrong.” I don’t know what’s going to happen after we die, or who is going where, and all that….

        I have become more certain of one thing though: Jesus is absolutely cool, and I want to be more like him. And he seems to be the best picture of God that we have, and he describes God as a loving father…. And a loving Father doesn’t create people who are gay and then send them to hell because of it. So I’m not even a little bit worried about there not being gay people in heaven. :)

        Keep up the good work!

      • Kim says:

        That’s right Jenn L. I have been a catholic for over 52 years and I know for sure every one of my gay friends and non Christian friends are going to be there in heaven with me because , whether they all believe in Him or not, they are all Gods children and He will bring them all home after life on earth. He loves us all equally, even those close minded bible thumpers will be there.But all things in Heaven are good, so I have faith that they will stop their preaching when they get there, so the after life will be peaceful:) until then, I guess we just have to keeping praying for them:)

      • Kaizar Argent says:

        Thank you for this comment:

        “…And a loving Father doesn’t create people who are gay and then send them to hell because of it.”

        You can never truly realize how meaningful this is to me.

  4. Andrew Dicker says:

    Sarah Palin, demonizes herself.

  5. I remember watching him get “sworn in” as the Pope on TV, and I even told my Mom after I saw it that there was just something about him, something that made me feel that he is genuinely a good man with a heart full of love for people. He exudes it. I definitely felt upon seeing him that day that he is a true man of God, not just the face of a religion. I feel even more so now that I’ve read this and know some of the other things he’s done that I wasn’t even aware of. We (me, you, the Pope, whoever) might have differences, but when it comes down to it, who can disagree that this man is demonstrating a life of that would make his namesake — and the Lord — proud? God bless him and let him be an example for future popes and everyone who is striving to serve the Lord and others before all else.

    • theboeskool says:

      Yeah, I like him too. :)

      • kelnhofer says:

        I agree, we should be less bent on certain interpretations and except that there are many levels of interpretation. “That we must go through Jesus to be with God” has so much language that can be taken in so many ways. Does the child who does not have the chance to learn about Jesus because he is mentally incapable leave him astray? Some believe so, Others believe that the child will be Judged in other ways so that he will have the same chance as everyone to be with God in Heaven. This board is dwelling on hardened interpretations (in English I might add) that is creating borderline arguments and discontent. Isn’t this a sign of the Devil at work?

  6. I’m not in 100% agreement with you (or Pope Francis) but the things you’ve mentioned here are quite beautiful and reflect the actions of Christ. I don’t think I could be Catholic, but I am glad to have this man as a public face of the faith.

  7. I’m also glad to have Pope Francis as one of the major public faces of Christianity. He has consistently acted in a way that reflects Christ’s character. Though I couldn’t ever be Catholic, I would love to follow his example.

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Amy says:

    Makes me proud to be catholic

    • theboeskool says:

      Me too!!! And I’m not even Catholic….

    • Kim says:

      Me too because Pope Francis is showing the world what our church is really about. He truly helps people and does Gods work. God works through people and he sent us our new pope to show us what is really important. He is not telling us what to do. He is showing us through his actions the right way to live. He is the real deal. Like it says in the bible, faith without works is dead.

  9. Deborah Hart says:

    AMEN!

  10. bella says:

    i’m totally catholic and have to share this with my baptist friends who love the pope as much as i do! great blog!

  11. tatofnola says:

    I am a Catholic, who for a very long time, has struggled with the ideas that only Christians will be allowed in heaven. As a convert, with a family full of agnostics, atheists, and a Jewish heritage, that do their very best to love everyone, provide for those less fortunate than themselves, serve the elderly and sick would be denied by Him. Pope Francis is often saying what other Catholics have thought for many years. He is a voice of reason.

  12. Nic Davdson says:

    Just wanted to weigh in on how awesome Pope Francis is! I DO, however, wish to point out, that, though he’s receiving an amazing amount of press and spotlight, he’s truly not saying anything new for the Popes. Not the more recent ones, anyway. The following link is just one of
    many that seek to show the definitive continuity between the Popes. Heck, Pope Francis’ Twitter account was started by Benedict XVI!

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pat-archbold/10-quotes-that-prove-the-pope-is-a-liberal

    Thanks for a great article, Boeskool!

    • Kim says:

      Like I said in my previous post, God works through people. I believe He gave us Pope Francis to spark all this talk among us. It is making us all a lot more aware of our spirituality. We all think our way is the right way but what really matters is that we are all on the same journey but taking different roads. I personally like to take the common sense approach to my spirituality. I believe God wants us to go out and do His work in our environment. In order for me to do that I have to put my bible down and go out and take action. I am a devout Catholic and I know I am going to heaven. I know my bible thumping friends who do nothing to help others are going to Heaven, even though they hurt people by trying to shove their views down other peoples throats. I know my Jewish friends will be there even though they believe the Messiah hasn’t arrived yet. And I know my friends who don’t believe at all will be there. God doesn’t keep score. I don’t do his work here on earth to get a better place in heaven, I do it because it is the right thing to do. And when I put others before myself, I feel good and I am full of the Holy Spirit.

  13. theboeskool says:

    You’re welcome. It’s not just the “saying” that is most impressive (though that’s important too), but I think the “doing” that is really inspiring people. :)

  14. Maggie Riester says:

    I am a cradle Catholic. For years I have stuck with my religion, trying to do the thing Jesus has asked of us. But often I would wonder at the wealth of the Church, the treatment of some of the least of us. Some of the rules made by Man, and that can be changed at the whim of the local Bishops. (ie, we used to be told that eating meat on Friday was a sin – then these MEN decided we didn’t need to do that anymore). Finally, I am in a Church in Seattle that feeds homeless people every week..about 200-500 or more each and every Sunday. They are worthy of Gods love and I wonder at the other Catholic Churches around us that talk of giving and loving, but don’t really do it. God Bless and Love them all, and I pray they learn the lessons Pope Francis is trying to teach the world.

    • Teresa says:

      You need to take a closer look at the Catholic Churches. Every Catholic Church I have been a member of, 5 different states, has given extensively, helped and been involved in the community. (Food pantry, soup kitchens, truly the list goes on and on) All it takes is an individual calling the Church office and asking how to help out and they can point you in many different directions. Maybe as a cradle Catholic you aren’t truly aware of what the Church in your community is involved in. Just a thought.

    • Ron says:

      If you Google Catholic Charity, you will be amazed how many shelters that they manage during winter. No other organization does this much.

      One of my co-worker, a black lady, needed help due to financial situation. She is not even a Catholic, her friend told her to go to the Catholic Charity in Waukegan, IL to get help. She got help. Till this day, she always donates monies to express her gratitude for the helps that she received in the past.

  15. Alix Ramczyk says:

    Loved your article! I am a life-long practicing Catholic and am glad that you, a non-Catholic, has positive things to say about our Pope. He is indeed an example to live by.

    I would like to clarify one thing, however, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and he named himself after St. Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the society of Jesus, not St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the men’s order of friars. Just thought I would point that out.

  16. Caitlin says:

    Actually, in response to Alix, he DID take the name after Francis of Assisi. He was asked about that for clarification and it was indeed Francis of Assisi. Which is what also makes this pope so unique. Both Francis’ are great saints though! :) Fantastic article. Could not have said it better. Thank you!

  17. Caitlin says:

    p.s. I am a lifelong Catholic. I believe this pope is going to do tremendous things for our church and the world!

  18. Trish says:

    I would have respect for him if he would admit that the priests who have molested little children should not be protected by the church and should be prosecuted like every other child molester! Why is the Catholic Church above the law! I sent my three children to Catholic School and I now regret it soooo much!

  19. Ashley says:

    Fantastic article:) I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. And as a Catholic, I love that Pope Francis is showing the world the love of Christ…Too often we as a church are demonized in the media (although sometimes because it’s deserved) and it’s great that Pope Francis is showing that there are people who love and serve as Christ did in our faith. What sets him apart to me seems to be his focus on mercy–God is so much greater than we can conceive him, and I agree that in the end our actions and how we love show more about him than any one doctrine.

    Thanks for an interesting read!

  20. Jamie says:

    I’ve never really given any pope much thought, but the more I read and hear about Pope Francis, the more I like.
    It’s quite possible that this raised-catholic-gone-liberal girl now has something in common with her very conservative, very catholic in-laws. ;-)

  21. jt says:

    2 is hogwash, plain and simple, as to six, thats politically motivated. I am curious too as to the response to his comment….. You think THAT’S liberal, you should hear some of the things this Jesus guy said….….Help me out here guys, what ? Finally, 10 is just absurd considering the other forms of Government available.

    • theboeskool says:

      But don’t you hope it’s true, JT? Don’t you hope that all those people–who have been presented a false picture of an angry God who is going to send the vast majority of the human race to be tortured for all eternity, and then that false story made the idea of a “loving” God incompatible with their intellect–Don’t you HOPE that to see those atheists in Heaven some day? Wouldn’t that be great if God decided to extend mercy to them just like he extended mercy to you?

      Also, I need to start using the word “Hogwash” way more than I currently do. It is awesome.

  22. Bob says:

    I agree that Jesus redeemed everyone, the whole world, when he died on the cross. However, that is different than accepting Christ. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV. No one can enter heaven unless they have accepted Jesus. “Atheists” that you see in heaven will have become Christian once they take that leap of faith. However, without this step, there is still no way atheists will be able to enter heaven.

    • theboeskool says:

      So Bob–Is there anything that you can “DO” to earn a trip to Heaven? What does “accepting Christ” mean for you? Getting baptised? Believing? How much do you have to believe? Can you “mostly believe,” but still have doubts? What if I get shot, and as I’m bleeding out and dying, I think “I wonder if heaven is real?” Is this “not believing?” Might the loving Father that Jesus kept talking about send me to burn in Hell for a billion years because my faith faultered while I died?

      And most of all, might it be possible for the God of the universe to welcome some atheists into Heaven, if that’s what God wanted to do?

      Let’s not be certain about things we have no business being certain about, just to avoid the discomfort and fear of uncertainty.

      • Pamela Myrick says:

        Excellent response! Any time someone presumes to know who will be in Heaven and who will not, my immediate response is then your God is too small!

  23. I’m not Catholic, although my daughter is. I had a good feeling about this Pope from the beginning. I like that he appeals to more people without being so stiff and untouchable as some other Popes have. I like that he is a free thinker without getting stuck in the old ways. I do disagree that atheists and agnostics will be in heaven. I wish it were true, as my son is not a believer, but Christ said, No one comes to the Father except through me.

    • theboeskool says:

      People keep using this verse as a “proof” of heaven’s exclusivity, but it doesn’t have to be. I think people start feeling like they’ve earned Heaven because believed. Most Christian theology would say that we didn’t/couldn’t do anything to “earn” a ticket to Heaven. Why would we be surprised if the Son is the way to the Father for other folks who didn’t do anything to deserve it?

  24. anon says:

    I enjoyed reading your article, but I feel people may become a little missinformed about a specific aspect of Church Doctrine, one that is often criticized in popular media:

    Neither Pope Francis nor any other future pope will ever be able to ordain women because it is physically and spiritually impossible for women to become priests. This is Catholic Doctrine and truth. God created us women for different but very important purposes. I for one am proud to be a woman, for my role in the Church and society, and I frankly get insulted when people imply that a woman has an inadequate significance in the Church unless they are allowed to be priests.

    Good article though, and I feel similarly about many of the wonderful things Pope Frances has done and said. Keep up your great writing!

    God Bless

    • Kim says:

      I agree Anon. And Pope Francis has acknowledged how important we are in the church. I’m sure God had His reasons for making it this way. I don’t need to be a priest to have an impact in my church.

  25. Anne says:

    All my life I’ve been catholic and all my life I struggled to understand how our faith is centered around a man wearing a simple robe and dusty sandals yet our earthly father lives in a gilded city with servants and a virtual throne, or so it was with nearly every pope before Francis ( although I think John Paul deserves a shout out). I also never realized we Catholics were “different” until a Protestant friend took me to church and I heard everyone talking smack on Catholics but that’s a story for another day. Pope Francis ROCKS.

    • Kim says:

      Anne, I went to church with a friend to a so called Christian church and all I kept hearing was how stupid we Catholics are. I was shocked. I felt terrible being there. I tried to keep an open mind because my friend seemed to really being enjoying her church experience. The last straw was when her pastor called me at home to tell me that the twelve step program I am in will not save me. This call was unprovoked. I was at home minding my own business. He wanted to let me know that faith and only faith will save me. He informed me that my program is just a place for alcoholics to hang around and said that alcoholism is not a disease, it is a sin. I informed him that faith without works is dead. It says so in the bible and in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I never went back to their church. I told them I could be more useful to God in the halls of AA helping other women to achieve sobriety than I could be sitting in their church waving my hands in the air and singing and going to bible study because that is literally all that they do. It turned out to be a good experience after all because I went running full force back to my church and I continue to try to do His work in all my affairs. AA is my church. I go to my Catholic Church almost every week to thank God and praise Him and to fill myself with His Spirit. And as a result of my actions, I have been sober a day at a time, for over nine years.

  26. Nick Raupp says:

    While St. Francis never actually said “Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary.” and we (or at least I) don’t know who did say it… Papa Frank is doing an awesome job at living this out. As a young Catholic, this man is inspiring and humbling me all the time. I love following him on Twitter, it’s pretty great and I retweet him all the time. At a time when Christianity is under heavy ideological attack in the Western world and literal attack in many less-developed areas, this is a leader you simply can’t argue with!
    Not sure how aware you are of this, but there is a large movement (especially in America) among young Catholics called the “New Evangelization”. It is a renewal of the young Church, catechizing and setting souls on fire for Jesus among today’s teen and young adult Catholics. This is exactly the leader we need for the moment, a humble shepherd, brilliant pastor and champion for the discouraged. This is a guy to get excited about!
    To paraphrase a quote: The church is not a museum for statues and dead saints, but a hospital for the sick and suffering.
    But in all fairness to previous popes, they aren’t getting nearly enough cred. JPII was just awesome in more ways than I can think to type at this time, and Benedict was/is one of the greatest theologians of our time.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this out, very well put!

    Oh, and I hate to nitpick, but I’m pretty sure Pope Francis blasted “unfettered consumerism” instead of “unfettered capitalism”. Semantics counts ;)

    • theboeskool says:

      Thanks for reading, Nick!

      You’re right–Semantics does count. If we’re nitpicking, he didn’t even use the word “unfettered” in his Apostolic Exhortation. He wrote “as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”

      This doesn’t sound to me like his beef is with too much buying…. “rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation” sound like rejecting unfettered capitalism to me. Don’t you think?

  27. Cbussard says:

    I’m one of those strange Catholics (I grew up a minority in a heavily Protestant area). I learned to keep quiet about my religion to the point that I eventually moved away from the Church, seeing it as something dirty and shameful; especially after the passing of Pope John Paul II and the rise of Benedict. I’m not ashamed to say that Pope Francis definitely brought me back to my Church as well as my infant son who was baptized earlier this year.

  28. J says:

    I agree with a lot of this article and what Pope Francis is doing, but you are making some really bold claims as if they were universal truths. Yes, I believe that, for the most part, the Pope is acting like Jesus. But trying to be the guy that everybody in the world likes isn’t really what Jesus did. He says that he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. In John 14:6, Jesus claims that he is the only way. He does not claim that “good people” can go to heaven as long as other humans say that they are “good.” In fact, he says that one must do this and THEN come follow him in the Parable of the Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18. You say that Christianity does not have a “monopoly” on the truth, but Jesus claimed that he was the only way.

    It sounds like this pope is doing a great job at being an example that people can look up to. It also sounds like he doesn’t value himself higher than other people, which would be very easy to do in his position. But, as Christians, we have to remember that following Jesus and doing what he said is the most important thing. All Jesus requires is loving him and following him in both our words and actions. Yes, he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and he made that sacrifice so that we have the opportunity to have a relationship with God. He didn’t make that sacrifice so we could believe whatever we want and do whatever we want and everyone goes to heaven so it’s all good. It didn’t automatically give us a relationship with God. If this offends you, then you can take that up with Jesus. I’m just telling you what he said.

    • chocoh0lic says:

      “But trying to be the guy that everybody in the world likes isn’t really what Jesus did.”

      Jesus himself understood that he wasn’t going to be accepted by His own brethren. To the day He was crucified, His focus was the mission from His father. He wasn’t trying to win a popularity contest – He was winning a place for all of us where He was going. But He can’t do that for those who don’t want it, for those who don’t believe that He did it.

    • Cel says:

      Yes J, relationship w God is not automatic, ppl forget we have a freewill which we need to align with God ‘s Will. Good thing u used that word. God doesnt send us to damnation, we send ourselves there by choosing our own human will which is imperfect n selfish. Im amazed how some ppl state they love Jesus yet they criticize His earthly Church of whom He is the Head.; they criticize church doctrines , dogmas n teachings which are Jesus’ teachings handed down thru the Magisterium of the church for a united n inspired interpretation. All popes were/are raised /inspired by the Holy Spirit; each pope has his own charism depending on what the church needs at a certain period much like each religious order having different charisms/gifts which each express a different aspect of Jesus’ perfection. All orders together form one perfect expression of Christ whom we all are called to follow. Anyway, good post J.

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  30. Gareth says:

    Why would things the pope has done make you decide that Catholicism is true?

    • Nic Davidson says:

      It may not make someone decide that Catholicism is true, but it does work against the sea of misconceptions and falsehoods that many people operate under in regards to the Church, such as that it is the Whore of Babylon, that Christ is “lost in the man-made traditions”, and that it puts others in place of God.

      At which point, once the unnecessary walls and impediments are down, one might at LEAST peruse the Church to see if her 2,000 years of unbroken beliefs may be more true than once believed.

      At least, that’s how I became Catholic. :)

  31. anon says:

    REALLY loved this article–except that your point about love and being like Jesus would have been so much stronger had you not taken the time to tear down Sarah Palin. It seems to me that even people who are trying to show how great and attractive the love of Jesus is can’t help themselves in an opportune moment. Human nature, I guess. Also, you forgot, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.”

  32. Joe says:

    Loved this article…very well written and researched. This Pope makes me want to participate in the Mass again. I have been away from the church for many years(17-18?) But Francis is definitely making it cool to follow in the steps of the greatest man who ever lived..Jesus. Thanks for such a wonderful read…Hope you don’t mind me quoting from it..:>)

  33. Anna says:

    Glad to know you are considering joining the Catholic Church! All are welcome. Born and bred and wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been to many different services of other denominations, and I do not want to generalize or single out one faith, but I unfortunately heard several sermons that show hatred towards Catholics and the Church. As a Catholic myself, I’m not sure if we are under scrutiny because of our vast organization or complex history, but I have never heard a homily that speaks negatively of another faith in my twenty-two years of attending weekly mass. Thank you for demonstrating to others in your article how loving, compassionate, understanding, and forgiving we are for others. I cannot speak for all Catholics, but I for one think most of us share this selfless and welcoming attitude.

  34. Eric says:

    Why do people say they could not be Catholic” Why can’t you be Ctholic?

    I’m not in 100% agreement with you (or Pope Francis) but the things you’ve mentioned here are quite beautiful and reflect the actions of Christ. I don’t think I could be Catholic, but I am glad to have this man as a public face of the faith.

    I’m also glad to have Pope Francis as one of the major public faces of Christianity. He has consistently acted in a way that reflects Christ’s character. Though I couldn’t ever be Catholic, I would love to follow his example.

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  36. Chris says:

    With love I have to say that works will not save the “religious” person or the atheist (see #2 in the article). 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
    What we believe and do not believe makes all the difference. Our works are as filthy rags Paul said if we are trusting in them to stand justified before God. This is another gospel and it does not save, there is one gospel. Repent from trying to earn forgiveness and trust in Christ. 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

    • chocoh0lic says:

      I definitely agree. The Gospel nowadays tends to get used for our own purposes, only picking parts which fit our beliefs or are “convenient”/”comfortable”. The Bible has warned us about this, which is amazing. After all this time, the ancient texts ring true! But the Bible has to be taken as a whole. I myself, being a sinner, have difficulty following everything in it.

      Furthermore, it should not be about “Catholic” or “Christian”. These are labels that make us desert each other, when we should be united by Jesus. We are to follow the footsteps of Jesus, not of humans who we think are like Him. We look directly to Jesus.

  37. I totally could have written this ‘blog post before I started learning about the Church a while back. After that fateful day I told someone, “I’m just learning about Catholicism because my soon-to-in-laws are cultural Catholics. HELL will freeze over before I would join that patriarchal, women-hating ‘religion.'”

    Yeah. Guess what I found, learning about this archaic faith system, this “mythology” used to oppress and control the masses?

    I found God. I found myself, in a greater, more beautiful way. I discovered a path to holiness and beauty. I found a rock that got me through some family tragedies and gave me joy when things seemed to be falling apart. I went from doing things my way to putting myself after God and after others; becoming a servant, which is the most liberating, freeing thing I have ever done for myself.

    It was a journey and I fought tooth and nail. I did not like certain rules. But here, in this place I am now, I am more alive and happier than I ever thought possible.

    Bless you on your journey, and virtual hugs!

    C.

  38. chocoh0lic says:

    Regarding #2, I think it’s been bypassed that Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). It’s been made clear in different books in Scripture that we can’t get to Heaven without believing in Him. I believe the Parable of the Good Samaritan was used by Jesus to illustrate that we have to supplement our faith with works (although, it has been also made clear in Scripture that our works can’t save us – Jesus already did that on the cross!). Our faith cannot be dead (James 2:14-26). If we read Revelations, it has been made clear over and over that in the end, God will set apart those who have lived their life in faith and those who didn’t believe in Him and testify for Him would suffer.

    As comforting as #2 seems, the truth is, Scripture has spoken. We were given free will, but what we do with it is going to determine where we go in the afterlife. It’s very misleading. Scripture is the authority, not the Pope.

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  40. kevin sutherland says:

    Dude if you follow the rob bell exegesis of scripture you are following the blind. On the point of atheists in heaven…wishful thinking. Also are you trying to say that the Dahli Lama, and Ghandi are on an equal plane with Jesus? I have worked with the poor hands on for more than 10 years i believe in economic equality to a point, but i have worked with alot of people (the majority) who just want hand outs. I believe there is a scripture that says if one is capable of working and will not then neither shall they eat…
    Bringing Jesus to the prisons and the lost like the muslim woman is awesome, and while the scripture says Jesus atoned for the whole world, that atonement must be appropriated through repentance of sin (yes there is such a thing) and the confession of Jesus as the One and only and not the one among many.

    • Eric says:

      Well said Kevin.

    • theboeskool says:

      What I’m saying is this, Kevin: Jesus says over and over in the Bible that people are going to be surprised by who they see in Heaven. And do you know who he said this to? To the ones who were so certain that THEY were the ones who were saved. I am not putting anyone on “an equal plane with Jesus,” but if you are certain that Ghandi is in hell, you need to grow some humility.

      The criminal on the cross next to Jesus just said, “Remember me,” and Jesus seemed to say that he was heading to Heaven…. THAT DAY. But our creeds say that Jesus descended into Hell for three days. Might that allow you to be less certain about how clear-cut things are? It’s amazing to me how so many people can take all of these parables of Jesus about not being so self-certain and arrogant about “who is getting in,” and somehow turn them into proofs that no one is getting in unless that people thinks the same as THEY think. It’s asinine.

  41. RJ says:

    Piers Morgan did a piece with Rick Warren tonight and discussed Pope Francis. I couldn’t help but think about your blog while watching it. I have no doubt that someone at CNN read your blog prior to Piers’s show…

  42. castlecrimson17034 says:

    Reblogged this on darkenormouseyebags and commented:
    And here we have a true representative of the Christian faith.

  43. dave says:

    …and when Pope Francis removes the remaining pedophiles and those who conspire to cover up their actions from the church, me and my 4 boys will be thrilled to return to Catholicism.

    • Mary says:

      Not a valid reason to leave the church. Not all are pedophiles, just don’t let them be alter-boys.

    • Hany Said says:

      What does this have anything to do with Catholicism, the faith? All it shows is that you are among those who bought into the media bandwagon of tarnishing the Church and decided to jump ship. I don’t mean to judge you, and you may have been personally affected by these criminal acts, but they really are unrelated. That’s like refusing to go to a hospital because you learned that there are some unethical doctors.

      Are you also suggesting that I along with over a Billion other Catholics who remain in the Church condone pedophilia or its cover up? There are pedophiles Protestants, evangelicals, Mormons, Lutherans, baptists, Jews, Muslims, of every other faith past or present, and yes EVEN atheists. There are also murderers, crooks, and all sorts of evil men in this and every other church.

      If one of your 4 boys committed a horrible sin, would you cast him out as well? He not only tarnishes his own image but yours as well. But I am sure, as a decent father, you wouldn’t. In fact, you would probably spend most of your time worrying about him and trying to help him.

      The Catholic church is not a religious social club that we decide to join or distance ourselves from. The Church is the entire global community, not just the buildings, priests, bishops and popes. All Catholics need to take responsibility in the representation of the faith.

  44. Hunts del Monte says:

    Just to clarify the issue on your take on the following,

    “It’s weird thinking about that now–How, for most of the world, “Catholic” was synonymous with “Christian”

    Please be informed that those who believe in Christ and the bible are all considered as Christians. However, Christianity is composed of, but not limited to, five major branches of Churches: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant…

    I hope this clarifies the issue… So all those practicing the faith and believing in the Word of the Bible and that of Christ are all “Christians” what you might be referring as Christians in the Philippine sense is actually a Religious Sect.

  45. Trevor says:

    You forgot to mention that he sneaks out of the Vatican in the middle of the night in disguise and goes to Roma to talk with and feed homeless people. If this isn’t showing love and compassion, then I don’t know what is.

  46. Veronica says:

    Boeskool-

    I would like to thank you for understanding and awareness of atheist/agnostic interpretations of “verse grendades.”

    I have been lucky to grow up in a wonderful environment full of accepting Christians in my “little Dutch-Reformed-Calvinist-Protestant nook” (maybe we are from the same area, which would be cool). I grew up as one of your ambiguous Catholic residents feeling a little misunderstood, a little less trusted, and slightly marginalized, but I never felt rejected because of my faith. When I “came out” my senior year of high school as an agnostic atheist, I was treated with respect and interest in my decision. (I recommend the link below for clarification of my faith) There has been no time in my life where I have been discriminated against because of my faith, or there lack of.

    I have noticed though, my lifestyle is a minority; the culture I live in assumes everyone is a Christian. By no means am I going to start the debate of “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays,” but I believe there should at least be an awareness of our beliefs. As with any minority, I am continuously aware of the majority. I understand the faults, the beauty, the misconceptions, the power of faith in a community, and all of the selfless work done in the name of God. I have a full spectrum of the Christian faith.

    I find my understanding of others is not reciprocated. There are misconceptions about atheism and agnosticism because the nature of everyday life is not geared towards praising a lack of faith. Too often are honest, kind people telling me “the word of God is the truth, it says so in the Scriptures.” While I do not hold hostility towards the individual in their attempt, I can’t help but feel they have missed the point. Quoting the bible as proof of the bible makes little sense, especially for sharing the truth of God. It is akin to saying Poseidon is real because of “The Odyssey.”

    Of course one would ask, “How is that so? How can I be sure Poseidon is real?”

    “Well, you see the ocean everywhere. You see its power of destruction, its gift of travel and trade, the beauty of the water in the sunlight and reflection of the sunsets, this is the power of Poseidon.”

    “Can you give me any reason it is Poseidon’s creation?”

    “In the Odyssey it says so, plus look all around you! Would the power of our god be so proliferate if he truly wasn’t real? Goodness is everywhere! Except hurricanes, we have different views as to why those happen, but we know Poseidon has a greater plan. It says so in the Odyssey……”

    This is why using quotes from the bible, despite their beauty, their power, their applicability, or other descriptive factors, may make perfect sense to someone who already believes in them, but severely lack substance when applied as reasoning to believe. If the majority’s awareness of our beliefs was greater, not only in biblical interpretation but in other subjects as well, I feel there would be less frustration between the two groups and more mutual understanding of why we each believe what we do.

    I choose my lifestyle fully understanding it places me in the hells of many, many religions because I lack faith. I do not expect or want people to give up their faith, think I will go to heaven, change their interpretations of the scripture, or change their image of god to make me “feel better,” but I do ask for understanding. Reading someone of faith yielding down and being aware of the minority’s view impacted me in such a way that I want to be more like this Christian author. Thank you for writing this article.

    • Veronica, I want to be your friend. Your eloquent response to this post was a refreshing break from an inordinate amount of rhetoric, which to me just comes off as preachy, exclusionary and unkind; the very things which drove me away from the religion in which I (and my brother, the boeskool) were raised. Reading your response, I had to keep reminding myself that no, I hadn’t yet replied to this post. I doubt I could have expressed those thoughts with as much kindness and patient understanding as you have, though I share your views completely, and am grateful to both you and theboeskool for reminding me that there are amazing people out there, of any (or no) “faith”, and for giving me hope for all of us.

    • danielvu says:

      It’s completely okay that you lack faith. Yes I’m Catholic, relatively young (20 here!), and love the Church even if I myself have my own personal struggles in faith (who doesn’t these days? How can you explain a lot of things in life when you don’t have an answer in prayer?). But if there’s anything I want to say is no, I’m not here to shame you, I’m not here to scold you, and I’m certainly not here to condemn you for leaving the Church.

      If there’s something to learn, a true Catholic would understand why people do certain things, not resorting to anger when a certain individual decides on their own initiative to do something different (say leaving the Church).

      We are all called to love everybody regardless of differences in thinking.

      No, of course I will never say that you will go to Hell. Because you have done nothing wrong, and no one except God or whoever you believe in has the right to judge you.

      I guess I can only speak for myself but if I were here talking to you in person, I’m glad to say that I would unconditionally love you for who you are in your own unique way. Sure, other Catholics would hate me for saying this, but I truly believe that if you live a good life Catholic or not, we all have our own personal journeys to go on, and no one else can interfere with it (except the Higher Divine being).

      You have my complete support :)

  47. jhun says:

    thanks for this article– a salute of respect to you sir theboeskool… may the Almighty bless you… ^_^

  48. Vince says:

    Love the article. I was born and raised Catholic but I have rejected the church for a myriad of reasons. I have been having many discussions about the acceptance of Jesus v good works recently. I think a lot of the verse quoters are missing something here. I was taught that the Pope is infallible and that he is God’s representative on Earth. Jesus didn’t “bible thump” because obviously it didn’t exist until after his death. How do we know Jesus said any of these things? Couldn’t they simply be attributed to him by the church as a means of controlling the masses? I prefer to believe that actions speak louder than words, and that Pope Francis’ actions, and those actions of others, are the resurrection of Jesus. Can not our actions be interpreted as the acceptance of Christ in our lives?
    If you wish to lob biblical quotes at me, scorn me as a non believer, fine. I believe that my actions everyday espouse a more Christian way of living than simply keeping my nose in a book, that like it or not, was written by people.
    Have a great day everyone! Let’s keep this thread going, I am enjoying it immensely!

    • You too, Vince–what I said to Veronica, my two new favorite ‘V’s’!! Yea! Here’s to Being Good People!!

    • danielvu says:

      Whoever taught you that the Pope is infallible is dead wrong. As a Catholic who teaches about faith, the Pope like all of us, is a human being with original sin. If he was infallible, then why does he (Pope Francis) attend confession almost on a constant basis?

      I also believe that those who simply quote from the Bible instead of actually living it, are pure hypocrites because action speak louder than words.

      With that being said, I’m not here to ask for you to come back :). That would be nice, but it’s your personal journey with God :) and I got your back all the way brother :)

  49. Patrick says:

    I really enjoyed your article. If your interested in the Catholic Faith, I invite you to come explore it. There are a lot more examples of people living a fully Christian life than just pope you know. How much do you know about St. Maximum Kolbe or St Damien of Molokai? Those are people who lived the Catholic faith to the fullest.

  50. Natalie says:

    Great post! From a Ron Paul republican/ crunchy catholic/ homeschool mom, one quick way to sum up the last 3 popes: JPII: here’s what we believe, B16: here’s why we believe it, Francis: Now go do it!
    May I suggest working your way through the writings of Dr. Scott Hahn? Also, the divine mercy & saint Faustina…read up! Good stuff!

  51. krista says:

    Thank you for writing this! :)

  52. Zac says:

    If I’m not mistaken, actually, Francis came from Francis Xavier who was one of the main Jesuit saints. Francis was a Jesuit and he wanted to pay tribute to Xavier or something. Nice article btw :)

  53. BK says:

    He still is no where near as popular as Joel Osteen.

  54. Etienne Djevi says:

    I was once catholic but had to leave because of the face of the church, face of intolerance, face of arrogance, face of opulence; in short a church that has gone far away from its teaching. I can only praise pope Francis for all he is doing to have the church come back to its basic mission! I might reconsider my current position!!!

  55. Seraphim says:

    Hany,
    Well I agree with about 99.8 percent of what you said, as a theology buff I feel like I should point out that there is a difference between redemption(Jesus redeemed not only all of humanity but all of creation by His death on the Cross) and Salvation(the gift of God freely given which we must accept…the only sure way to be saved is through faith in Christ AND good works) therefore the Pope is completely accurate in saying that atheists are redeemed because we all are regardless of if we are saved or not.

  56. Can’t wait til the pope opens up the Vatican library to share its wealth of knowledge!!! Yeah, probably not gonna happen……

    • Jan toraason says:

      Read Karen armstrong’s “the Case for god” or any of this scholar’s writings to understand religion, the bible, the Koran, etc.. The world’s libraries are open to you!

  57. Dear sir,

    Greetings! I’m KARL R. De MESA, the consulting editor for Philippine news site GMA News Online’s Opinion Section. Our site clocks in an approximate of 1 million hits per day.
       
    We’re very interested to re-post your “10 Things Pope Francis Has Done That Make Me Consider Being Catholic” ( http://theboeskool.com/2013/11/24/10-things-pope-francis-has-done-that-make-me-consider-being-catholic/) which is of much interest to us, a predominantly Catholic country.

    In lieu of this, we’d love to post it in our Opinion section (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/opinion) if you’ll give us permission? I hope it has only appeared on your blog, and not in any other mainstream Philippine media outlet (Rappler, Interaksyon, Yahoo.ph)?

    We can provide a short introductory paragraph for context, a link back to the original URL of the post, credit you aptly, and provide a short, two sentence biography at the end. We’ll likely have to omit the photos. Also kindly provide us with an official byline and a profile pic of yours we can use to accompany the post.

    Kindly send me an email confirmation giving us permission at karl.demesa@gmail.com. Hoping for your swift and positive response.

    Thank you very much!

    KARL R. De MESA
    Consulting Editor
    GMA News Online

  58. JNBG says:

    Nice article here. As a Catholic coming from a country where 80% of the population practices Catholicism, this article gives me hope that there are more people who are open-minded about these things. I hope people will understand that you don’t have to believe in a God to be a good person. People who practice their religions do so because they believe, but they shouldn’t shove their beliefs down people’s throats. They should know better. Being a Catholic doesn’t mean you have to convince everyone and force them to believe that God exists- it means you have to show them, even if it means turning the other cheek when they humiliate you or act condescendingly towards you.

    Also, Pope Francis continues to amaze me. It makes you rethink about the choices you make and how it actually affects people other than yourself. Now that is the way to convince people that maybe believing isn’t so bad after all. :)

  59. jane Gutierrez says:

    I can see Jesus in him

  60. Jeff says:

    I really hope that Pope Francis helps the world’s Christians stand as one.

  61. Rodrigo Busa says:

    I like your post. This is the first post in the internet that I even bothered to place a comment on. I like the way you handled people who comment by taking verses out of the bible and throwing it at strangers face. I also especially liked the way you wrote your article. So, keep up the awesome job of writing these beautifully crafted article. Congrats!

  62. mark says:

    dont agree capitalism is bad for poor. Capitalism allows for poor and ANYBODY to rise and make something of themselves. That is America.

  63. While some of the Pope’s acts are admirable, our eyes should be focused on Jesus Christ. Otherwise it’s idolatry, which according to Roman Catholic church, is a MORTAL sin.

    • Hany Said says:

      And that is why Catholics more than other denominations understand the difference between admiration or adoration and idolization. I personally feel many non-Catholics, mainly in the US, misconstrue what it is to be a Catholic Christian. They criticize almost 2000 years of apostolic traditions, magisterium teachings, customs, and even go as far as accusing Catholics of idolatry and whatever other misinformation they happen to pick up from an unqualified preacher.
      I agree with you that our focus should always be on Jesus Christ. But I am afraid many Christians translate that into “our focus should always be on the Bible”. Many holy men and women accepted Christ, found Christ, knew and spoke with Christ, ate and drank with Christ, learned directly from Christ, hundreds of years before the Bible as we know it today even existed. There are eastern rites Catholic and Orthodox churches that have been conducting masses the same way for over 1500 years. Being a Catholic is being in communion with all of this Christian history, the Church, its teachings, the Apostles, the Saints, bishops, priests, all Christians AND non-Christians. To a Catholic, that is being focused on Jesus Christ. That said, I also believe that God’s grace is limitless, and can never be narrowed down into a pigeonhole principle.

  64. armeyc says:

    You know, as a Catholic myself, I can’t help but be proud of what you wrote; and be prouder of my pope. I’ve always loved Pope John Paul II for his efforts to unify the Catholic youths but I love Pope Francis for his efforts to unify the whole world. How the mind of the current pontifex runs is beyond the understanding and expectation of even those in the Vatican City, I’m sure. And it constantly surprises me, and I feel extremely grateful that it’s not just the Catholics who appreciate him.

    Thank you for writing great things about our Holy Father. We may not be as one in religion, but we are on in faith. :)

  65. tina says:

    God bless you Pope Francis

  66. Christopher Ramos says:

    being a Franciscan is one if not the best way of being an example of Catholic, I’ve even named my last kid who’s now 1 1/2 y/o after St. Francis which then brought me to tears when he choose Francis as his papal name. When you said that the Bible nor Christianity can’t monopolize the Truth i get it, coz from what we’re taught that no religion can encompass the whole truth not us, not them, The Truth, is simply the collective faculty of every other else’s religion so there shouldn’t be exclusivity, an example is like a bunch of people pointing to the moon saying that is the moon, then one would say no! that is the moon or “my moon “, much has been exerted to avail such exclusivity, for creating barriers all that for what? I guess the time could never been so right to be united to be more spiritual, more loving

  67. Diane Andrick says:

    I’m always reminded of my favorite joke about religion – guy dies, ends up in Heaven. It’s beautiful, and he spends many hours walking the landscape, admiring it’s beauty. After a while, he runs into a big giant wall, running as far as the eye can see in either direction. He follows it, but never sees a way over or through. He calls to St Peter, who appears to him.

    “Peter, what is this wall”, he asks.

    Peter smiles, “That’s for the , they think they’re alone up here.”

  68. Walid says:

    Dear Writer ,
    You Might call me conservative or whatever , but it will be foolish not to attest that many stories which are publish , that might look good from outside , is nothing but a hidden war against Catholic Church , I Don’t say it’s against Jesus Himself , but against the Church as a structure .
    With all Respect , The Bible is DEFINITELY the truth and nothing but the truth and it does Monopolize the Truth which only can save us . Yes Pope Said , he will see Atheist in the Sky , but unlike what ERIC was saying , POPE didn’t say they won’t be save through Jesus. We do Believe , that all man will be saved by their deeds , no matter is their religion , however , only through Christ they will Enter heaven. And even still when we talk about Good Deeds , we need to associate this with LOVE , and for us , LOVE Is JESUS .
    I will not go too much into this , but I would like to signal , how people like you give themselves the liberty to criticize the Christians , mainly the Catholics , of doing what they are doing , of believing in what they believe ect ,,,, But Yet if spoken about the Christian Believes consider this a trespassing of the right of Choice .
    Can’t you see , that what your trying to tell us is as simple as below : Don’t try to convince me of what you believe , however , by doing this , you are more fiercely trying to convince us of what you are ,,,
    And it was for me so lame to use the word “ Lobbing Verse Grenade “ ,,, This is a hidden call not to use our believe and to fight your fight rather our fight ( metaphorically speaking ) . If shall I speak to you or to other according to your way of view or other ways of view of things , so personally , I would love to you to speak to me in what In my Way of view as I see it !!!!!
    Let us be clear , the person who doesn’t know the Bible , shall hear from me only about the Bible , and we do believe , that we are called to teach the bible through our deeds , but that doesn’t exclude teaching the word . We do teach as well , that everyone is saved , and That Jesus came to everyone and not only to Christians , but also we believe that he is the Son of God.
    I will not drag too much into this but I will directly go to the conclusion that atheism is like other main religion in the world , they always search for sacrifice . They always consider themselves under threat , under accusation , under annulation so they always find a way to gain sympathy and do contra-attact. Church could never be considered as against anything rather than defending her everything “ Jesus “ . The Church was way before any other domination we know now , and they will rose fighting her ,, no More No less ,,,,
    Everyone is saved , but our savior had one name “ JESUS “

  69. Indeed, Pope Francis is most impressive and persuasive as our Pope. I love him. Pepe Abueva

  70. Julio says:

    The Pope, the only human being who is infallible… Amazing! :)

    • Larry says:

      Actually, the Pope is not infallible, never has been infallible, and never will be infallible. He is a man, same as any other. A very holy man, successor to St Peter, and likely guilty of fewer sins that me, but a man nonetheless. I’m hoping that you just misunderstand that teaching (infallibility I mean), as your post seems positive, and I just want to clear it up, because non-Catholics use that infallibility tag to attack the Church as self-righteous and aloof.

      What IS infallible about the Pope is when he teaches about dogmatic matters of faith and morals _from the chair of Peter_. In other words, when he teaches about the Catholic dogma from the standpoint of clearly defining beliefs as the Pope. We believe that the Holy Spirit protects whatever he teaches in this very rare instance from error. Just trying to clear up misunderstanding. Peace be with you.

      • Hany Said says:

        Thank you for your post. As a Catholic, it is utterly frustrating when I come across a “hard core Bible Christian” who feels the need to have me leave my Catholic Church and join his instead. You would think that someone who finds Christ mainly through the Bible would be an authority on research and investigative theology. You would think that these Christians would be the most obsessed about separating facts from fiction. But the truth is the COMPLETE opposite. This may come across as a rude or degrading comment, but I assure the readers that this is not my intention at all. But I find that the majority of “Bible Christians”, especially the ones with the purest intentions, are absolutely ignorant or have been somehow brainwashed with regards to facts about the Catholic Church. Of course mainstream media plays a major role in that as well. But as a collective community, all bound together in communion with Christ, we are commanded to always seek the Truth. I urge and implore all sorts of Christians to re-evaluate their knowledge of the Church, its doctrines and its history. This is not an attempt to get converts on this side of the isle. In fact this is a plea to hopefully one day have no “isles” whatsoever.

        Now that I derailed your reply, let me get back to the point of infallibility. This may come as a shock to some Christians outside of the Catholic Church, and even to many Catholics, but the doctrine of infallibility even extends to the body of Bishops because they are in doctrinal unity with the Pope. What this means is, on matters of faith, regardless of what part of the world they are in, all the bishops are in agreement. This doctrine of infallibility is such a cornerstone of our Church, eventhough it is rarely EVER used, that without it a local Catholic Church would be no different then any other local Bible/nondenominational/evangelical church. It unifies us under a blanket of understandings when it comes to important and major doctrines, like the Trinity, the Eucharist, confession of sins, etc…

        While this doctrine was written down in the Church books hundreds of years after Christ, its practice and concept was always implicit and in the foundation of Christianity from the moment Jesus commanded his disciples to go and preach everything he taught them. He promised them that by spreading his teachings, the Holy Spirit would always guide them with the Truth. That Whatever they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. This mandate and promise guarantee the Church will never drift away from His teachings (in questions of doctrines), even if individual Catholics, bishops or Popes, might. Even the disciples, Paul included, understood that final doctrine authority was with Peter, and many letters clearly show that. And their disciples in turn understood the same thing and acted accordingly. The is THE reason why the Bible as we know it today was brought together. The Council needed to draw a line and separate True scriptures from heretic scriptures which were abundant even back then.

        Throughout history there were Popes that contradicted each other on certain issues, and commentaries. This is proof that the doctrine of infallibility only applies to matters of faith, not of certain practices or every facet of life a pope comments on.

  71. randomrem says:

    Reblogged this on Insanity brought about by boredom and commented:
    Pope Francis! :)

  72. Maria says:

    Wow! This post actually made me cry! Thank you for this! I’m a Catholic who was gradually losing faith…. until Pope Francis came along. This post made me laugh and cry and just basically have a greater love and gratitude for the Pope :-)

  73. Jeff Lark says:

    This is about as shallow an analysis or commentary as I’ve ever read. “Pissing off Sarah Palin”? “Everyone gets to heaven”? And by the way… Capitalism created the tech gadgets we use that facilitates FB!

    I also pray this isn’t typical of the catholic believer’s biblical knowledge. I will concede that the compassion and humility shown is great if it is sincere. Its just too bad that some of these points are near meaningless if you were truly trying to evaluate this pope.

  74. Bob Bellamy says:

    Hey, I’m late to the party! Here is a response, though:

    I just saw that someone posted an article called “10 Things Pope Francis Has Done That Make Me Consider Being Catholic.” To the author: Awesome! I hope you decide to join! I love being Catholic and I think you would, too! One of my favorite parts about being Catholic is the constant renewal-within-tradition. The Catholic Church is founded on Jesus Christ, not on any one person. For this reason, I think the continuity of the Church is important even as she constantly comes back to Christ.
    Let me offer you this as not so much a rebuttal but an addendum. I call it “10 Things Pope Benedict Did All Along That People Didn’t Always Notice!”
    1) GETTING RID OF THE POPEMOBILE. Yeah, Pope Francis is among the people. He talks to them without the glass protection. Benedict did that, too! No glass! http://tinyurl.com/oa77fmv He greeted people and shook their hands, too! http://tinyurl.com/pndxdgq Pope Francis does sometimes find a need for additional protection, even if in this case it may just be wind! http://tinyurl.com/nm942rt

    2) SUGGESTING THAT HE MIGHT SEE ATHEISTS IN HEAVEN. Now isn’t the time for a discussion for what Pope Francis meant in context; that is for a later time! Here are some other quotes about atheists:

    “Nowadays many people acknowledge that they are not part of any religion, yet they long for a new world, a world that is freer, more just and united, more peaceful and happy. In speaking to you tonight, I think of all the things you have to say to each other. Those of you who are nonbelievers challenge believers in a particular way to live in a way consistent with the faith they profess and by your rejection of any distortion of religion which would make it unworthy of man.” Thank God that nonbelievers challenge people to live consistent lives of faith; i.e., not hypocritically!

    “If we are to build a world of liberty, equality and fraternity, then believers and nonbelievers must feel free to be just that, equal in their right to live as individuals and in community in accord with their convictions; and fraternal in their relations with one another.” People of faith and people without faith have a right to be that!

    “Dear young friends who are nonbelievers, as you join those who pray in Notre Dame on this day of the Annunciation of the Lord, open your hearts to the sacred texts, let yourselves be challenged by the beauty of the music and, if you truly desire it, let your deepest feelings rise towards the Unknown God.” Wow! It seems that he is encouraging nonbelievers that they can join with believers with God. As in heaven.

    All three of these quotes came from a talk Benedict gave on the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris encouraging dialogue and understanding between believers and nonbelievers! He gives wonderful witness to the necessary communication and mutual respect between the two groups today. For the whole speech, go here: http://tinyurl.com/q77zdsh.

    3) HE IS NOT TOO COOL FOR TWITTER. December 12, 2012, Pope Benedict created the first papal twitter account, @Pontifex. While it rested “Sede Vacante” between February 28 and March 13, Pope Francis awesomely took it over and uses it much to his advantage!

    4) FIRING “THE BISHOP OF BLING”. I agree with everything said. It is a great witness for the Church to have consistent ministers of the faith. (See the note about nonbelievers holding believers accountable up above.)

    Pope Benedict acted similarly in a number of circumstances, for example, during the removal of Bishop Francis Micciche of Trapani, Sicily. The reason? “Financial irregularities.” http://tinyurl.com/q6pomkp There were others that you can find here: http://tinyurl.com/b5edfxd

    5) NOT FREAKING OUT WHEN THIS KID INTERRUPTED HIS TALK. While usually shy and introverted, Benedict also “let the children come to him.” Here are just a few examples:
    Beautiful! http://tinyurl.com/a7mh9lh
    Look how excited they all are! http://tinyurl.com/qfycjzp
    A little guy! http://tinyurl.com/pqku7mz
    Here he is with members of the children’s choir at a New York synagogue. http://tinyurl.com/qceka7r
    6) PISSING OFF SARAH PALIN. I couldn’t find anywhere if Sarah Palin had a comment on Pope Benedict, so I’ll give you this one. Can we agree, though, that maybe this has more to do with Sarah Palin’s indefatigable shallowness and general ignorance?

    7) TOUCHING, KISSING, AND PRAYING WITH THIS DISFIGURED MAN. Pope Francis showed visible, powerful love and inspired many with his visit. Pope Benedict, too, dedicated time to visiting the sick and offered prayers and encouragement to them. Again, here are a few examples:
    In a children’s hospital: http://tinyurl.com/pctt26d
    With a sick person at the Vatican: http://tinyurl.com/o544t99
    At another hospital: http://tinyurl.com/nh8c2wm
    Meeting and blessing a disabled child: http://tinyurl.com/ocu7ezb

    8) NOT TAKING “THE POPE SUITE” AT THE VATICAN. Pope Francis’ humility shows. Again, this is a wonderful Christ-like witness. I thin k it is important, though, to recognize humility comes in many forms. For example, the simple act of recognizing one’s limitations and stepping aside for the good of the Church requires a deep and profound humility and ability to put the Church ahead of “tradition-for-tradition-sake.” Pope Benedict may have lived in the Apostolic Palace, but whether it be his reflection on the all-encompassing love of the real, living God or staying on with John Paul II after three attempts at retirement, Pope Benedict lived and embodied humility, too. His final act as Pope, stepping aside for a new one, shows powerfully his ability to live the call to humility.

    9) HE WASHES FEET. Love it! Francis washing the feet again shows Christ-like humility. While Francis was a pioneer by washing a Muslim woman’s feet, it was not the first time a pope visited a prison. “Prisoners are human beings who deserve, despite their crime, to be treated with respect and dignity. They need our attention.” Pope Benedict spoke these words in an encounter with over 300 prisoners at a prison in Rome. If you have time, watch the two minute video here: http://tinyurl.com/lbmslrz. Pope Francis introduced the feet washing (traditionally part of the Holy Thursday Mass) into a prison but the sentiment was felt just as strongly by Pope Benedict.

    10) SPEAKING OUT ABOUT HOW CAPITALISM SCREWS POOR PEOPLE. Let’s ignore the wording here for a minute and not get into definitions of economic systems and whatnot. I’m going to word it like this and you can take it or leave it: The popes speak out about how any economic system that systematically disenfranchises the poor and encourages poverty needs reform. Does that work? If so, keep reading.

    From Pope Benedict’s Address to Latin American Bishops: “Both capitalism and Marxism promised to point out the path for the creation of just structures, and they declared that these, once established, would function by themselves; they declared that not only would they have no need of any prior individual morality, but that they would promote a communal morality. And this ideological promise has been proved false. The facts have clearly demonstrated it. The Marxist system, where it found its way into government, not only left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction, but also a painful oppression of souls. And we can also see the same thing happening in the West, where the distance between rich and poor is growing constantly, and giving rise to a worrying degradation of personal dignity through drugs, alcohol and deceptive illusions of happiness.”

    This and many others can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/2t7mzj.

    Also, the Pope wrote frequently about the danger of materialism, the false worship of money and the problem of justice in the marketplace. His encyclical Caritas in Veritate is particularly helpful.

    If you got this far, thank you for reading. My purpose in writing this is not to disparage the new interest Pope Francis is generating. I love the man and everything he has done and continues to do for the Church. If people are seriously thinking about joining the Church because of the man, what more can we ask from a pope?

    For those interested in joining, though, I think it is important to remember that we are not the Francis-ites or the Benedict-ites. We are the Catholic Church, founded on Christ, nourished by Revelation and the Tradition begun by the first bishops, the apostles, and continued with the Church today. Pope Francis is the current, excellent pope but he builds on the legacy of his predecessor who built on the legacy of his. All the popes point toward Christ, and that is ultimately the point. We are a Church continuous but also a Church renewed. A renewal-within-tradition. A renewal built on Jesus Christ.

    • Larry says:

      Very well stated! Our different Popes show us the different aspects of Christ. They are men and have their own personalities and idiosyncrasies. Each appeals to different types of people.

  75. JoeyA says:

    Pope Francis as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. That’s great!

  76. Pingback: 1891: Playboy - Page 2

  77. what an awesome article!!! it is so true… Pope Francis rocks! and the fact that he presents Jesus as a loving Father who forgives EVERYONE and that love is everything… (many of us catholic were raised with the vission that everything was a sin and if we didnt act properly we were going to hell…) is really is a blessing that he came and opened everyone’s eyes to LOVE.

  78. Ann says:

    I agree. I love the Pope because he does walk the walk. He is simple, and humble. I don’t understand why some people are taking issue with what he said about this economy of inequality. i read an article somewhere that said he was being marxist. its not marxism i don’t think. it’s simply about human compassion and equality. and as for the atheists going to heaven, the Lord did deliver us all from our sins, and i think He looks more at what’s inside our hearts and the goodness of our actions than how much we pray. i remember this article where there was a new priest in the parish and he dressed up as a homeless man and out of all the people in his congregation, only a handful acted kindly towards him. It doesn’t matter if you go to church everyday. Not when you don’t love others as God has enjoined you to do. Thank you for this article! I enjoyed it a lot. ^_^

  79. Laurie says:

    I love this, and I think that these are all amazing things! I would like to clarify one thing, the man pictured in number 7 does not suffer from a skin disease. He has a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. Since, this is not a well-known disorder, but it affects a large number of the world’s population, you might use your blog to help spread awareness for this man and for others who suffer from the same. Thank you!

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  81. Michelle says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you for a brilliant piece of writing ❤️

  82. Leanne says:

    I am a practicing Catholic but have long believed that my religion is the only religion with the key to Heaven’s Gate. Being Catholic also doesn’t act as a “get out of jail free” card. This post is beautiful and greatly appreciated.

  83. Leanne says:

    Sorry…..typo……my religion is NOT the only religion with the key……

  84. Commentator @Eric has done terific job writing/confessing about the Truth of the Bible, which is Jesus.(I do not know the man but would love to) It seem to me that radical relativism based on picking and choosing what to take from the Book is the prevalent view of the people that are throwing and hurling insults at this man. It is the flagellant display of the other side of the inquisition coin. Reading between the lines of their comments is : “Its all about love for everyone, thats why I hate you” – what you people actually hate is the Truth that the Bible speaks about. Remember you can not pick and choose from the Great Book, as unless you subscribe to ALL the Truth, you are NOT followers of The Way. Certainly you can have your man-made religion with relativistic god and “hollywood jesus”, but you have been forewarned, that what you preach is not “The Way, the Truth and the Life” but some hybrid relativistic, post modern syncretism!

    • Hany Said says:

      I know Copy/Pasting Bible verses is the end to all discussions for people like you. For us heathen Catholics, we prefer a more complete experience. I totally accept other Christians not believing in the doctrines of my Apostolic Church. I also believe that we Catholics do not have a monopoly on Salvation. But what is ridiculous is for someone to claim that we are the ones who pick and chose things from the Bible. This is the “man made religion” that upheld the canons of the scriptures and decided which were True and which were heresy. It is the same Church that always believed in Holy Communion, the Confession of Sins, the intercession of the blessed Mary and all the Angels and Saints, etc…All of which are backed by the Bible, yet many Christians, maybe yourself included, do not believe in or accept. Yet you are the one coming here and accusing Catholics of picking and choosing.

      To elaborate a little….During the time of Jesus, no one knew, memorized, or “understood” the Scriptures better than the Pharisees and Sadducees. They could quote verses just like you, and even threw some at Jesus to try to test him and trick him in front of the masses. Not ONCE did Jesus answer them in what they thought the answer should have been. Jesus knew who they were and YET he told them in front of everyone that they did NOT know the scriptures. Reading the scriptures is one thing. Comprehending and Interpreting is another. It is not just a matter of language, but also a matter of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our comprehension. It was God’s Spirit that inspired the writing of the scriptures, and nothing less would suffice to reveal all its Truth. So I don’t understand how a new age Christian (a Catholic one included) with an English translation of a translation of maybe some other translation can claim that he/she has all the Truth. And it is a Truth that is vastly different for the Church that was founded by those who lived, saw, spoke, slept and ate with Jesus.

  85. Доментиан says:

    @Hany Said
    The church that believes in infallibility of her “vicar” of Christ (ex cathedra), belief in purgatorial fire, filioque, immaculate conception, juridical and scholastic understanding and interpretation of the Gospels a la Tomas Aquinas, watered down by Vatican II that perhaps allows you little bit of freedom to be syncretistic with legion of other roman catholic, latin inventions, you call authentic and salvific???! I beg to differ! By commenting here I was just pointing out that @Eric, whom I do not know, according to what he has written appears to have the faith builded on the rock of the Gospels and the Bible, as opposed to the syncretism displayed by his attackers – where in the name of humanistic love (which is fundamentally the hate for the Truth) they display their true face – the aggressive relativistic liberalism in syncretism!! I have never displayed any new age tendencies, as you so “beautifully” label me, on the contrary, I believe that by sympathising with @Eric I announced love for the absolute. On the personal note, I believe that the Truth rests in the Church, that is One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is the Body of Christ with the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ as the Head (not some fallible man!)…and please note with Catholic I do not mean roman-catholic!!!

    • Hany Said says:

      Ah you’re one of those. Well quite a few posts already addressed some of these made-up assumptions. There are at least a handful of posts about the infallibility doctrine alone. I do not think it is fair to derail this thread and turn it into an educational session to address the typical catholic bashing misinformation. Anyone who is really interested can easily find the information on hundreds of catholic websites and/or books. You can even start with the Catechism just to quickly dismiss many of these false ideas.

      There is nothing that is related to matters of faith that’s been watered down. Things that have been watered down have to do with practices and traditions of the Church. Frankly I do not agree with them, but we live in a different age, where if people could go to Mass online and receive the same grace, they would do it. Where fasting for many days during the year has become old fashion, among other things. There is nothing stopping a Catholic from practicing the faith in the same manner they have been accustomed to. I myself am of the Eastern rites. The Coptic and Melkite masses that I attended are conducted in the same way they been for over 1500 years. I have to be desperate to attend a Roman Catholic mass and maybe even drugged and shackled to attend an American Catholic mass. But again, these are just customs and traditions. When it comes to doctrines, nothing has changed since the days of the Apostles.

  86. Доментиан says:

    Yes, I am “one of those”, that not only believes that roman catholic religious community, but also knows that their doctrines/dogmas (some of them mentioned in the previous comment) are not of the Church, but are latin inventions and therefore have changed many times over since the days of the Apostles, (especially since on or about 1054). Frankly, I will be doing you a disservice if I did not tell you that your system of belief (RC) is erroneous. I know that most of you are probably better persons, and are perhaps more pleasing to the Almighty then I, but that does not change the fact of your (RC) misconceptions about the Truth! Having said all that, I am the chief sinner, and as such am asking for forgiveness from all of you that have been scandalised and found yourself feeling insulted by my comments.

  87. Cindy P. says:

    I just read this blog, shared by a new friend on Facebook. I’ve reshared it myself and have clicked “like” on your Facebook page after reading some of the other blogs on your website. Thank you, Boeskool. I’m looking forward to more of your astute and articulate observations on the world and the human community.

  88. Miggy Z says:

    You’re to dumb to be Catholic, I bet you’ll never be one, you won’t get it and you won’t hack it.

  89. kelnhofer says:

    I agree, we should be less bent on certain interpretations and except that there are many levels of interpretation. “That we must go through Jesus to be with God” has so much language that can be taken in so many ways. Does the child who does not have the chance to learn about Jesus because he is mentally incapable leave him astray? Some believe so, Others believe that the child will be Judged in other ways so that he will have the same chance as everyone to be with God in Heaven. This board is dwelling on hardened interpretations (in English I might add) that is creating borderline arguments and discontent. Isn’t this a sign of the Devil at work?

  90. This is just another example of how people are trying to make it seem like Pope Francis is somehow different/better than his predecessors, when in reality, almost everything he has said/done is perfectly in line with both JP2 and Benedict XVI. All three pope washed prisoners feet, kissed babies, hugged sick people, and all three condemned unfettered capitalism. Pope Francis would be the first to say that. he would also be the first to say that the Church isn’t about him. He is merely doing what God called him to do. Yes, he is an incredibly holy and humble man. But so have his predecessors for about the past several centuries.

    • But I am glad that you admire him. He is a very admirable and holy man. I just think that maybe you might consider that its maybe not the man that is so great, but the Church and the God that he serves

  91. Diane K says:

    I respectfully disagree with you, David. Yes, this Pope is behaving much the same as the others have with the exception of his humility. He has shed the “pope mobile” , the lavish suite and the mercedes that were very much a part of the previous papacies.

  92. Pamela says:

    I’m not one to conform to organized religion. Opinions of men are not facts. But I know with every fiber of my being that God is in everything and all around us. He is a part of me and everyone else.
    I loved this story and I now know something about the Pope! He has changed my opinion of the Catholic church, well at least of one man of the church. Thank you for the infornation!

  93. Collin says:

    As great as it is that you like Pope Francis, there are a lot of misunderstandings about the Catholic Church within this post.

    First off, the concept that Christ died for all people is nothing new. It’s been part of the words of consecration in the mass for about 2000 years. The Catholic Church has always taught this. Your interpretation of these words though, may be flawed. To say that Jesus died for all people is not to say that all people will accept that sacrifice. It is true that we don’t know who will or will not be in heaven, but what he’s saying here is not that Atheists who do good deeds will go to heaven. Like you said, I hope they do too, but that’s just not what he’s saying here.

    Secondly, most of these things are nothing new. Pope Benedict washed people’s feet as well.

    Thirdly, you make it seem like Pope Francis is a raging socialist who hates free markets and favors government redistribution of wealth. This is simply not the case. He is not for unfettered capitalism of socialism. He, like every other pope, calls for an economic platform that lies between the two. It is quite ignorant though after everything Pope John Paul II did to bring down the oppressive and tyrannical socialist countries of his time, to claim that Pope Francis is some socialist liberal. That is simply not true.

    Fourth and finally, Jesus was not a liberal. Nor was he a conservative. It is impossible to try and fit Jesus into an American political group. That makes no sense whatsoever. Not only did he implore Christians to stay away from politics for the most part, he took the simple stance of: “render unto caesar what is caesar’s.” Meaning, don’t bother with the government. Give them what they ask for, obey their just laws, and carry on spreading the good news of the gospel.

  94. Pingback: Your Turn – Kind as Pope Francis

  95. Bill Fox says:

    Catholic high school teacher, presently teaching University religion courses for Catholics hoping to teach in our schools…I loved your column…disliked some of the misguided oppostion…don’t let the bastards grind you down…once had dinner along with 12 others with Mother Teresa, also John Howard Griffin(Black Like Me) and Viktor Frankl(Man’s Search for Meaning)….it’s time to take back the Church from the legalistic, hypocritical folks who captured it years ago…led by the Pope and like minded Catholics, Christians and others.

  96. S says:

    As a convert to Catholicism, and a feminist, and a social justice advocate (yea, trust me, i’ve heard it), I just want to thank you so much for writing this. I’m going back for my PhD in Theology precisely to encourage the type of conversation your post inspires about humility, our responsibility to each other and “how you love”. I’ve done some similar thinking through… http://manresamaine.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/not-catholic/

  97. D Mowry says:

    The Dutch-Reformed-Calvinist-Protestant, and Calvin, were based from the Catholic Church, as were I think all Christian churches. Before Christ was born, Europe, and the mid East, you were pretty much, Jewish, or a pagan. Muslims didn’t exist for about 800 years. Around year 1500 hundred, several people and groups broke away from the Catholic Church for many reasons. The Catholic Church was run by man. As such, it had it’s bad, dark years. I agree with some of their reasons. The Church, preached that monetary contributions, would help get you to Heaven. Most of the breakaways, didn’t believe in Purgatory. (I’m neutral on this one, I’ll just I don’t know?) Some of the breakaways, came from the Church of England, which itself was a breakaway, because Henry the 8th, couldn’t get a divorce. So they are still based from the Catholic Church. Luther had some good, some bad, problems with the Church. He was a Catholic Priest. Some didn’t like the Bible. They felt that it had been translated so many times, it was no longer the writings from God. I partly agree. The old Testament, says slavery is OK, in some cases. I have a REAL hard time, believing that God taught that. There are many other questionable parts Too, such as murdering non violent people, in some cases. Stoning to death etc. I am a Catholic, that doesn’t believe in judging others. That’s not my job, that’s Gods. I have been saying that or years. I was happy to hear that Pope believes that too. “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. I am very happy, with the new Pope. I hope he can clear some things up, and help change, how the world looks at Catholics. He is from the “Franciscan order”, which preaches being humble, and we should all help each other, including taking care of the poor. Most of the world is poor. Not by choice, nor because they are lazy. It has a LOT to do with who your parents are, and the opportunities, in front of you. There aren’t many rich blacks in Africa, etc.

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  99. I am a convert, just an fyi, and had misunderstandings of the Pope and the Church as well. I see some of that here. Couple of points because I am afraid you are looking at this through the lens of the media and their interpretations of what the Holy Father has said and done.

    2. Never said atheists get to heaven. He said Christ came to redeem all. That is biblical. Redeem and saved are not synonyms. Read everything he says, not a 500 word summary in the NY Times or Washington Post.

    6 & 10 related. Yes he upset some conservatives with this. And as per usual people just look at their own small world and think it’s just about them. The 5% of us living in the US think his statements are just about us. He is speaking to the 1.2B Catholics worldwide and all 7B of us on earth. He is speaking about social and economic justice. I can’t imagine the poverty he saw in B.A. and I’m not sure he has even been to the US yet. So when Rush and Palin misinterpret and quote an article that says “unfettered capitalism” take it with a grain of salt. Bonus: actually read his 200+ page exhortation. If you don’t have time for that, just Control+F the document and look for the words “unfettered” or “capitalism.” Neither word appears in it, let alone together. This is conservative talking 3 sentences out of context and misinterpreting it. Just like the Left reads a phrase and thinks that the Church is just around the corner from being cool with women priests, abortion and gay marriage. Just not true.

    As as aside, why do people want the approval so badly of the Church for the above? (unfettered capitalism, abortion, gay marriage) Seriously. Ponder on that one. Why is the Church’s approval so important?

    9 Nothing new here. Every pope has done this. And every parish priest. Every year. For centuries. Yes, even big bad Benedict. It is done on Holy Thursday (sometimes called Maundy Thursday) in imitation of Christ and his washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. Maundy is Latin and the root if the word mandate. It is the duty of every disciple to care for their brethren, whether male or female, believer or nonbeliever.

    Either way, I am glad Pope Francis has caught your eye. I hope he changes hearts and minds. I encourage you to attend Mass or an RCIA class. But keep in mind, he is not doing or saying anything different, but he is perhaps delivering the message better.

  100. Regina says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog today and I’ve only read a couple of posts but I just want to say that I have thoroughly loved EVERYTHING you’ve written and want to thank you for all the points you’ve made (I read the one about duck dynasty and lost my shit over how much I loved it). So thanks! I hope your blog reaches people with opposing opinions and makes them think twice about spreading hatred. :)

  101. Ed A Abrao says:

    Many thanks for your column..I have no doubts, being a Catholic.

  102. Liz F. says:

    Here’s another, and I believe more reliable link as we always used it at my Catholic School, source for St. Francis of Assisi. If you look around the website it also has the stories of many (I believe all but am not sure) other saints. Hope you enjoy!

    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=50

  103. Jan toraason says:

    Neither Jesus nor the apostles could read or write. The scriptures and religious interpretations of what god is were created and changed throughout the centuries by MEN in the vein of the stories and myths of their eras, fables and parables that we now simplistically embrace as the word of God in our comic-book understanding of the Devine. Read some history of religion!

    • Eric says:

      The apostles couldn’t read or write? Is that how they wrote books of the Bible? Perhaps you may want to read the Bible as opposed to your “comic books”.

      • Jan toraason says:

        Get some learnin’, friend.

      • Eric says:

        Pretty sure I don’t want any of the “learnin'” you have to offer. Revelation was written by the APOSTLE John. Matthew was written by the APOSTLE Matthew (just two as an example). As in, Jesus’ apostles. Even atheists historically agree on this one. So yes, they could read and especially write.

      • Jan toraason says:

        I think not, sir. Let’s hear some others weigh in on this.

      • Hany Said says:

        Let’s hear some others weigh in on what exactly? Most people, atheists included, probably didn’t even read past your first sentence because of how silly it sounded. Reading some blog on the internet, or something like the Da Vinci Code doesn’t qualify as History. If you even had an ounce of curiosity or interest in the subject matter, you would have found more legitimate sources and realized what you mentioned above is beyond ridiculous.

      • Jan toraason says:

        Never read the book or saw the movie “Da Vinci Code.” if you really have an interest the etiology of scriptures, old testimont and new, please read more broadly the analyses of religious historians.. No need to comment further. Go in peace.

  104. Rani says:

    what do you admire most about Pope Francis?

  105. Rani says:

    can any one answer the question?

  106. craig martin says:

    Lotsa TALK , very very little action…..
    Get with it Pope , its 2014….ACTION , not talk …

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  108. Renee Pearman says:

    I’m not sure EXACTLY what a ‘Traditionalist Catholic’ is and I don’t really need an explanation but I most certainly hope that Pope Francis will have an exceedingly strong, public rebuke of them and very soon, concerning their alliance with anti-Jewish protesters in France: From March 21, 2014: ”’THE THREAT FACING THE JEWS OF FRANCE – from Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors

    “Though they make up only 1 percent of the French population, Jews are the object of 40 percent of hate crimes in France.

    Courts in January banned a series of performances by the Franco-Cameroonian comic Dieudonne M’bala M’bala after a state television channel broadcast hidden camera footage shot at one of his shows, called “Le Mur” (The Wall), in which he “joked” that he regretted that a prominent Jewish radio presenter hadn’t died in the gas chambers.

    The banning led many thousands of Dieudonne supporters to join government opponents, including far-right militants, royalists and traditionalist Catholics, for a march and rally in Paris, called “Day of Anger,” in late January.

    Marching through the streets of Paris, some of the demonstrators chanted obscene slogans against “Zionists” and made the ‘quenelle,’ a gesture invented by Dieudonne that looks like a lowered Nazi salute.

    This weekend, the French anti-Semitic party called National Front (UMP) and allies took 47 percent of the vote nationwide, a majority.

    Marine Le Pen, head of this party, in 2012 said that Jews should stop wearing yarmulkas in public for “equality”. All religious headgear should be banned ‘in shops, on public transport and on the streets’, she said. She said ‘kosher and halal foods should be outlawed in schools’, as well.

    Le Pen took over the FN leadership in 2011 and set about broadening the appeal of a party regarded as taboo by many voters in light of her father’s repeated convictions for Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred.”

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  111. aswanash alehim says:

    what you said went to YH

  112. aswanash alehim says:

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  114. aswanash alehim says:

    in heaven there ish not popes or cardinals

    but mother Theresa ish there

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  115. Stephen Agnew says:

    Incorrect.

    1 John 2:2 doesn’t say “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    It actually says: “Jesus is the way our sins are taken away. And he is the way all people can have their sins taken away too.” (ERV)

    This says that all people CAN have their sins taken away, not the whole world HAS had their sins taken away. It’s the same distinction between saying all Americans ARE rich and saying all Americans CAN become rich.

    Big, big difference.

    Jesus said that he was the only way to Heaven and that not everyone will make it to Heaven. He said there will be those that say that they did great works in his name but Jesus will tell them “Go away, because I knew you.”

    The words of Jesus himself, you know the guy who will judge everyone in the end, contradicts Pope Francis’s interpretation of Scripture. I’m not sure about you but I’m going to trust Jesus over the Pope, because it’s Jesus who is going to make the final judgement on if I go to Heaven or not.

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