Pope Francis is all over the news again. After media networks quoted him saying that it’s better to be an atheist than a “hypocritical Catholic.” Apparently, this quote was taken out of context, and several publications now reveal the real reason behind the Pontiff’s words.
Pope Francis Speaks Up About Atheism
The leader of the Catholic Church was quoted by the world’s biggest news publications saying how he supported atheism, Catholic.org notes. Comparing it to those living a “hypocritical Catholic” life, the Pope reportedly said that the former was better. This is not the first time the Pope was wrongly quoted regarding the sensitive topic of atheism.
In 2013, the Pope sparked controversy when he said how atheists also go to heaven. His focus on atheism, as “amusing” as this issue has proven to be for both believers and non-believers, missed the powerful concept at the core of his homilies. The Pope has often told Catholics to practice what their religion preaches. He did say that Christians should see atheists as good people if they do good.
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good,” Pope Francis said.
— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2017
Pope Francis Did Not Say It’s Better To Be An Atheist
Church Pop reports however, that the Pope did not say it’s better to be an atheist. In Catholic theology, “scandal” refers to any sin that hurts another person spiritually. The Pope did say that some Catholics are hypocrites, and results to them causing scandal.
“How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal,” Pope Francis said.
To clarify the issue, the publication further explained how he is not saying that it’s better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic. Rather, he is saying that this is something other people say when confronted with hypocritical Catholics.
“This makes people think they should not be Catholic, which is bad for them spiritually. This is of course true and is completely uncontroversial to point out,” the publication explains.
Is Pope Francis trying to tell President Trump something about immigration? pic.twitter.com/COF7RUJg4t
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 23, 2017