After being named Pope, it seems that the Holy See is seeing some things the Vatican doesn’t like. During his homily at Mass in Rome, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of doing good as a principle that unites all of humanity
The Pope said, “The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”.. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
In other words, you don’t have to be Catholic, or even Christian, to go to heaven. Wow! I bet that left a mark on the Vatican!
And that’s not the only controversy created by Pope Francis. A few weeks later, he acknowledged the existence of a gay lobby within the Vatican. Oh my! He even ordered the Vatican to act on sex abuse and take action against pedophile priests. That’s a refreshing change from the seeming indifference of Pope Benedict and his predecessors.
Pope Francis has even ruffled the feathers of conservative followers by speaking out against the “tyranny of money,” urging more state control of free markets in order to cut global poverty. He (gasp) spoke of the need to protect the environment. And he encouraged followers to bring hope to others, “especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.”
Given the conservative direction the Church has taken during the past decades, these admonitions are going to be tough for many Catholics to accept.