Pope Francis calls for Open Dialogue with Aethists

by Rachel Baker on September 15, 2013

Pope Francis wrote an Open Dialogue with non-believers, responding to a series of questions by the former editor of the Italian newspaper. The letter is addressed to the former editor and was published by La Repubblica. The letter provides historical background from the Church’s prospective, as well as philosophical and theological discussion. There is a very small section telling Aethiests to abide by their conscience (not even a whole paragraph), but its an interesting read if one is trying to understand the Church’s attitude toward faith.

First of all, you ask if the God of the Christians forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. Given that – and this is fundamental – God’s mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision.

Here’s a link to the Letter to the Editor by Pope Francis: http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/the_pope_s_letter-66336961/ It should be in english, but if not, there is a link at the bottom to translate.

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