Pope Francis says the Catholic Church of today is not the same church it was in the days gone by. The Pontiff says the church must reflect changing and evolving values and open its doors to all manner and shades of people who would otherwise be deemed unwelcome.
“Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes” he said. “The time has come to abandon all intolerance. We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes”, he added.
The Pope who has also previously released a series of ‘controversial’ statements upheld the virtue of all religions. “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. … In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children”.
He said the church has room for “heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists”.
He has also previously made comments which most people interpret as him saying there is no hellfire.
“Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.”
Perhaps the one statement that has really got the faithful clearing their throats is this one: “God is changing and evolving as we are, For God lives in us and in our hearts. When we spread love and kindness in the world, we touch our own divinity and recognize it. The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgement. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture. In accordance with our new understanding, we will begin to ordain women as cardinals, bishops and priests. In the future, it is my hope that we will have a woman pope one day. Let no door be closed to women that is open to men!”
For the last half of 2015, high ranking Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been meeting in the Vatican City to discuss the future direction of the church and to redefine age-old Catholic doctrines and dogmas. This group is called the Third Vatican Council. The Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962.
The Pope Francis says the new council is tasked with to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.”