Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Uproar on Huffington Post: The Pope said what?!

So remember the time everyone thought Pope Benedict XVI said it was okay to use condoms if you were like a male prostitute with AIDS? (Not what he meant guys!) Well, an article has been going around about Pope Francis. Here is the link below if you haven't seen it yet and below that is a very congent response from Brandon Vogt.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html


"I was thrilled to hear the Pope's remarks, which were simply a reiteration of traditional Church teaching, but I'm afraid most HuffPost and reddit commenters have misinterpreted them. The Pope is not saying that "All people are saved." What he's saying is that all people were redeemed by the blood of Christ since Christ's one sacrifice was for all (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:15 and 1 Peter 3:18.)

However in Catholic thought, Christ's redemptive act on the Cross is not the same thing as salvation. Salvation comes when we accept that redemption. Christ died for your sins, but you must accept that free gift by believing in him--accepting his proposal of love and following him with your life.

So while Christ redeemed all people, even atheists, that doesn't mean that all atheists have accepted that offer of salvation, and thus it doesn't mean that all atheists will be saved.

The key Church teaching in this regard is paragraph 16 of Vatican II's "Lumen Gentium":

"Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the Gospel to every creature", the Church fosters the missions with care and attention." "

And then he added, for the sake of clarity the following...

"Suppose you destroyed your friend's car causing $10,000 in damage. You're taken to court, and the judge sentences you to 10 years in prison for the crime. But then I burst in and tell the judge, "My name is Brandon Vogt. I'm Fabi's friend, and I want to pay for her deeds. Whatever it costs to fix the car, whatever it costs to make things right, I'll pay it." The judge agrees.

Now even though I offer to pay the charge, you have a choice. You can either accept my free gift of freedom or, though it would be a strange option, you can reject my offer and choose to go to jail anyways.

Christ's redemption of all mankind is analogous to my paying off your $10,000 charge (to "redeem" literally means "to buy back" or "to restore.) Christ has paid the debt for every person, but you still have a choice whether to accept that act of redemption--it's not forced on you. You make your choice by how you live your life and who you worship: God or yourself, self-giving love or self imprisonment."

Thanks Brandon!
~

Update: Brandon just posted a more thorough response here

http://www.BrandonVogt.com