My apologies for my absence. Our internet connection died and went to heaven from whence it came, for surely the internet is heaven sent.
I jest. But we've had quite a time lately discussing the Pope's recent statements. Leave it to a new Pope to say things. He's been very busy saying things. He actually gives a pep talk every day. Of course, since this is the Catholic Church we don't call them pep talks. We call them "fervorinos", which is Latin for "Sermonette". A little sermon. A pep talk.
So the Pope got very enthusiastic about the idea that Jesus came to us with love and redemption for everyone. He excitedly reiterated the "everyone" part saying, "even, atheists".
That led everyone to go viral with the news that the Pope said atheists will get to go to Heaven, with my internet connection device.
But the Pope did not say that atheists will go to Heaven. He said that "Jesus has redeemed all of us." Which is true.
It was a sermonette, though, so Pope Francis didn't clarify that, because we have free will, we have to choose redemption. You are not redeemed if you do not accept God's gift. Like any gift, if you don't sign for it when it's delivered, the UPS man takes it away. It isn't gone. It sits at the UPS store until you come and sign for it. You could always go get it. That's what the Pope meant. God's gift is waiting at the UPS store, even if you're an atheist.
There is no controversy or problem with the Pope's statement. But I do wonder why he choose to crack this particular theological egg open in this format where a further explanation is necessary.
Because this particular theology is some extra heavy lifting. It's at the heart of why the separated brethren are separated. Redemption vs. good works. Some pundits went so far as to extrapolate that what the Pope meant was the if a atheist was a good person who did good works that that was good enough to get your Heaven ticket punched.
I have to think that the Pope was tickled to kick the hornets nest. It causes our heads to rise, our ears to open and the next thing we know we're all talking about Truth.
I can't wait to see how he peps us up next.