Even the outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens has better understanding of Christianity than Pope Francis. This is an excerpt from an interview of Hitchens by a Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell concerning his book God is Not Great:
Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I'm a liberal Christian, and I don't take the stories from the scripture literally. I don't believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
Hitchens: I would say that if you don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you're really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
It is terribly unfortunate that an ardent anti-theist like Hitchens understood Christianity better than a minister like Sewell and, apparently, even the pope himself.
I'm not sure exactly what the Pope meant, but if it is anything consistent with his views on homosexuality and whether atheist go to Heaven based upon following their consciences, I doubt it's good.
To be clear, my Christianity is my ideology. I've written as much and more than once. Perhaps he meant it shouldn't be treated like secular "politics," in which case I'd agree.
Pope Francis strikes me as syncretic, which I find abhorrent. See: Pope Francis's Syncretic Mistake.
Oh, and I don't buy into the "Petrus Romanus" stuff. Francis is not the final Pope if I'm understanding the "Petrus Romanus" theory correctly.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)