Discussion 1 to Meditation 1044
Signal for change confirmed - with a caveat.
I noted that Cardinal Scola's support for "the values of healthy secularism" might indicate a change for the better in the Catholic Church. This week Pope Francis showed another indication by stating that even atheists can be good and thus be saved. This is all in marked contrast to Benedict's many denunciations of secularism, atheism, along with his attack on "intolerant agnosticism."
“They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”
Essentially, Francis is saying doing good is more important that one's religious beliefs or lack thereof.
On the other hand - and almost always there's another hand when we read change into pronouncements from Rome - in his first mass after becoming pope, Francis said:***
"If we do not confess, if we do not pray to the Lord, we are praying to the Devil. When you do not confess to Jesus Christ, you are confessing to the worldliness of the Devil."
So we are still officially regarded as devil worshippers - even if we do good. The signals remain mixed.
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
40 for whoever is not against us is for us.
** Huffington Post 22 May 2013
*** The Telegraph 21 May 2013