Pope Francis Lied To A Child About Whether His Dead Atheist Father Was In Heaven – (Patheos)

Today we’re looking at an article that made me raise an eyebrow because of its implications. It was written and published by Hemant Mehta on his Friendly Atheist platform on Patheos, April 18th, 2018.

Note that the article is using a quote in itself (a quote within my quote). To help avert confusion, I underlined all quoted material in the article.

By all accounts, there was a touching moment outside of Rome this week when Pope Francis consoled a little boy who recently lost his father.

The boy, Emanuele, stepped up to the microphone during a Q&A session but had trouble getting his question out. The Pope told him to come whisper it in his ear, which the boy did, and the situation was later shared with the audience (with the child’s permission):

He revealed that Emanuele was crying for his father, who had recently died. The boy told the pontiff that his dad was an atheist, but a good man who had all four of his children baptized.

“Is Dad in heaven?’” the boy asked the pope.

Your heart has to go out to that poor child, and the pope said what you’d expect the Catholic leader to say: He told the audience that anyone who gave birth to a child like that, one who has the “courage to cry in front of all of us,” must have been a good man. The Pope added that he must have had a good heart, too, since he baptized his children.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/04/18/pope-francis-lied-to-a-child-about-whether-his-dead-atheist-father-was-in-heaven/#fwDuWtbqv5OeoMOQ.99

I don’t much object to the answer anything so far. If anything, the boy’s father has been given more respect by the pope than I have seen given to many friends and relatives at funeral services held in their honor. Normally, Jesus is always front and center, with the life and accomplishments of the deceased almost an afterthought.  Likely because goddonit anyway, right?

But what about Heaven? That answer generated a lot of positive headlines but deserves closer inspection:

“What do you think? A father’s heart. God has a dad’s heart. And with a dad who was not a believer, but who baptized his children and gave them that bravura, do you think God would be able to leave him far from himself?”

“Does God abandon his children?” the pope asked. “Does God abandon his children when they are good?”

The children shouted, “No.”

“There, Emanuele, that is the answer,” the pope told the boy. “God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier as a believer to baptize your children than to baptize them when you are not a believer. Surely this pleased God very much.

That’s a beautiful response… and a complete dodge of Catholic teachings.

Yeah . . . and, so what?

I was under the impression that it was a GOOD thing that people didn’t take this dogma so seriously. Even if it is because of the audience (children), what is there to criticize?

Pick your battles.

Catholics believe you must accept Christ’s divinity in order to get to Heaven. The Catechism also says the window of Heaven is also open to those “who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart.”

What about atheists who are aware of Catholic teachings but still reject them? What about people like the boy’s father, who may live in a culturally Catholic society but who has no use for irrational dogma?

They’re. Screwed.


They’re. Dead.

Am I really defending the pope against an atheist being ridiculous?!

It doesn’t matter if you went through the ritual of baptizing your kids (and we have no idea why Emanuele’s father did that). It doesn’t matter if you were a good person. If you actively rejected the Church’s teachings, Catholics say you’re not in Heaven.

Barring a deathbed conversion — the sort of thing that only ever exists in the minds of religious apologists — the boy’s father, according to the Catholic faith, is now in Hell. That’s why the kid was freaking out in the first place; ever since his father died, he’s been under the assumption daddy’s getting tortured. That’s what Catholicism did to him.

What Pope Francis did, then, was protect a child from the actual teachings of the Catholic faith.

Yes. He did.

What was he supposed to do? Say “He’s burning in HELL for all eternity!”, laugh maniacally, and walk off into the sunset?

So call it beautiful. Call it heartwarming. But don’t forget to also call it dishonest.

The boy’s father isn’t in Heaven. But here’s the good news: He’s not in Hell, either. However, if the kid grows up to be a kind, decent person — the sort of man his father apparently was — that’s a way of letting his legacy live on. In that way, his father is never truly gone.

The Pope could’ve said something like that without being a hypocrite and without really answering the question. Instead, he offered a platitude that may have sounded nice on paper but isn’t even accurate by his own religious rules.

I call it a nice middle ground between “He’s pushing up daisies and nothing more!” and “He’s burning for all eternity!”. If anything, I see an issue with YOUR attitude. If you grow up to be a decent person, he will live on through you.

In life, there are beginnings and there are endings. People live, and people die. Sometimes it may seem like their time came earlier than it should have. But it is what it is.
Indeed, THAT criticism may not be fair. Grief is a personal process, and however the person best handles the situation is their prerogative.

Either way, an Atheist telling the Pope that he is lying because he skirts his supposedly false book of rules, is asinine. For one, this could be seen as lending the teachings credibility. And for another . . . WHO CARES?!

Vatican City has orchestrated and gotten away with more crimes than has justified the invasion of other sovereign nations before. You have ALL OF THAT to pick from.

Stop making me defend the Pope for not going full-on ideologically driven psychopath on a grieving child.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.