friends and hellspawn
From the same article linked below:
Benedict, who had a meeting with Jews on Friday, is making good inter-religious relations one of the aims of his papacy.
How, exactly, does this work? I was brought up Catholic, and as I recall according to the Catholic faith, everybody who isn't a Catholic is going straight to one of the less pleasant parts of Hell immediately following their demise.
For some C&E Catholics, they find wiggle room there, but it's pretty clearly spelled out in Catholic Doctrine: Either you're with us, or you're going to burn for eternity. I used to argue about this endlessly. My non-Catholic friends would say, "But I still believe in Jesus" or "I believe Jesus was a prophet", and I'd say, "Not good enough, here's your ticket into the fire". No wavering, no forgiveness.
Unless there's been a huge change in dogma over the past few years, that's still the case. So how does one make reaching out to people that are destined to the fires of hell one of the primary points of your Papacy?
And of course, it has to complicate matters that the Pope isn't the only one in the room thinking "This guy's gonna burn". Jews and Muslims, not extremists but traditionalists (i.e., the leaders of their faiths) believe the same thing. The biggest common thought here is "If you don't believe like I do, no matter how you live your life, you're going to hell and endless torment". Dosen't matter what they say in press releases, that's the core of the faith, taught every weekend in church, mosque and synagouge: If you aren't a believer, you're going to hell. Just that simple.
So how does the leader of one of these faiths make gracious, accepting overtones to the leader of another? How does one say, "You're gonna burn for eternity, but I'd like to have tea this Friday"? How do you say good things about someone who is, daily, committing a sin so egregious it is tantamount to rape or murder?
I like to see these people getting along, on a political level, I just fail to see how one can stay ideologically faithfull and still sit down and have lunch with, or for that matter call for closer relationships with, someone who is a hellbound soul; a leader of a group of people that are calling others into hell before them.
To a strict Catholic, a Jew or a Muslim is no better than a Satanist. While it would make for great satire, I have a hard time seeing Benedict sitting down with the leader of the Church of Satan.
Don't understand. Maybe some good Catholic out there can explain it to me, but make sure you're a good Catholic first; someone who lives by the rules. Maybe there is a reason, beyond current events, that a Pope should be making nice to the Children of Abraham and the Children of Mohammed. I just fail to see what it is, and it seems to me like blatant, perhaps sinful dishonesty to do so.