General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Will Pope Francis be burned at the stake?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22765points) December 20th, 2016 a speech today, he acknowledged evolution, the Big bang theory, and said that God is not a magician.

How will traditional Catholics respond?


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41 Answers

janbb's avatar

Catholicism is no longer a monolith. Some will applaud him and some will vilify him but he is still their Pope.

zenvelo's avatar

As the Bishop of Rome, only the apostates who would defy his statements are the ones in jeopardy.

Francis I did not announce anything new; this understanding has been Church teaching for many decades. Teilhard de Chardin espoused the same teachings years ago.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What’s in a word? You say miracle, I say magic ( to be polite). As for the reaction, it’ll be all over the map. His Holiness has done more to scrape the rust and tarnish off his religion than any pontiff I can name.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The catholic church isn’t anti-science and specifically not anti-evolution. In 1950 Pope Pius XII published an encyclical Humani generi, which encouraged study of the scientific evidence of evolution.

But the views of a small number of fundamentalist Bible literalists have come to be seen as THE Christian view, because they are the biggest loudmouths, insisting everyone else cater to their superstitions.

If you are interested in the churches history,the Wikipedia pages are a good start.

Catholic Church and evolution

Catholic Church and science

Darth_Algar's avatar

These are hardly new positions for the Church. The Vatican has, for several decades, recognized evolution as true. And the “Big Bang” was hypothesized by a Catholic priest.

gorillapaws's avatar

In other news: the Church stopped charging people with heresy for hypothesizing a heliocentric model of the solar system.

Sneki95's avatar

No, we’re not in the middle ages.

josie's avatar

What do you think?

Sneki95's avatar

addition to the @Call_Me_Jay‘s list, here is a page about many misconceptions about Christianity. The subpage “Science and Christianity” lists many examples that prove that statements about Christianity opposing science are not true at all.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

He and Galileo will most surely be roommates in hell.

tranquilsea's avatar

He won’t be joyfully burned at the stake but he will have to be careful of the radicalized. As does every person in positions of power.

cookieman's avatar

How could he not acknowledge the Big Bang Theory? It’s what, in its seventh or eighth season now?

cazzie's avatar

THANKFULLY he is the first educated Pope, so he’s bound to say these things because it is what rational, educated humans say. Somehow, he does mix it up with enough bible banter to make it swallowable. I applaud it. It’s baby steps. He is the FIRST Jesuit Pope. It’s a big thing.

Thankfully, @tranquilsea is that his position of power is for life. I wish my mother were still alive to see this. The fact that St. Francis was her favourite Saint after the Mother Mary, this pope’s words would make my mother feel very good.

zenvelo's avatar

@cookieman which do you think is his favorite, Leonard or Sheldon?

ucme's avatar

Give the Pontiff enough rope to hang himself, I can see the headlines now…

Pope on a rope

cazzie's avatar

Oh… anyone commenting here know anything about Catholicism? Asking for a friend.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’m not a practicing Catholic—I haven’t been to Confession or Communion in over forty years—and I don’t consider myself religious at all, but I was raised as one and did ten years of Catholic school from 1960 – 1970. Since then, my interest in the Church has been as a person interested in its history and evolution as an institution.

Nobody can deny that it has had a significant impact upon all aspects of Western culture. Because of this, I find the history of the Church and its relationship and influence on Western social development in general, its doctrinal evolution and related rationales, and the machinations of it’s interior, upper-level politics, all extremely interesting.

The recognition of evolution, and science in general, is nothing new in the Catholic Church.

Catholic scientists and Catholic priest-scientists have been on the vanguard of science for hundreds of years. Since the Renaissance, Catholic scientists have been credited as fathers of a diverse range of scientific fields:

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), a devout Catholic in good standing with the Church, prefigured the theory of evolution with Lamarckism, the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it has acquired during its lifetime to its offspring (also known as heritability of acquired characteristics or soft inheritance).

Friar Gregor Mendel (1822–84) pioneered genetics.

Fr Georges Lemaitre (1894–1966) proposed the Big Bang cosmological model.

None of the above were burned at the stake or punished in any way for their efforts.

The Jesuits, the priestly order of which Pope Francis belongs, have been particularly active, notably in astronomy. Church patronage of sciences continues through elite institutions like the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Vatican Observatory.

In the 1950 encyclical, Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces. This is taught as Theistic Creationism, which has nothing to do with the doctrine of Creationism which is the denial of evolution that is popular today among Christian fundamentalists and literal interpreters of the Bible.

The Catholic Church leaves it’s members to freely accept, or not accept Theistic Creationism which is simply the acceptance of the theory of evolution, but with the added aspect that Catholics acknowledge that evolution, universe in general, was initiated by God according to the catechism of the Catholic Church.

Note: Many of the factual statements above are short pieces of copypasta from various Wikipedia articles that are edited and placed to insure continuity and ease of comprehension. This was done in an attempt to ensure accuracy under time restrictions

filmfann's avatar

I am not a Catholic, and I don’t believe in the infalability of the Pope.
That said, I like this Pope. He has said some things I don’t agree with, like if you live a kind and generous life, you can go to Heaven without believing in Jesus, but he is a good and spiritual man, and most of what he says is good with me.

cookieman's avatar

@zenvelo: I’m thinking Bernadette.

Brian1946's avatar

How about Sheldon’s blatantly religious mother?

JLeslie's avatar

The Catholics haven’t had a problem with evolution in a very very long time. They also don’t have a problem with science in general. Nothing surprising in what the Pope said.

Now, if Jerry Falwell said it or one of those crazy for Cocoa Puffs guys on the 700 Club, then you really have something to talk about.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

So, @filmfann, no Jew is ever going to heaven?

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie. I was taught both Adam and Eve and Evolution back in grade school in my Catholic school. The same in high school. I also had excellent science teachers. Funny enough though, the science teachers were never the nuns. They were just regular teachers that taught in a Catholic school. Whenever we had questions about Adam and Eve and evolution we were told to ask the nuns or our Priest. That is how the science teachers avoided the subject. But we knew what that meant. Oh, I do remember one science teacher once saying that they are told to tell us that man came from Adam and Eve, not apes. She said she had to tell us that but we are free to choose what we believe.

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann But didn’t Jesus sacrifice release all men and women of original sin? So if they did and a person follows the 10 commandments then they should be saved. And if the person never had knowledge of God because of the people who raised them but they are a very good person in every way. Does volunteer work for the poor and sick. Always kind and generous. Never mean spirited. Always thinks of others. Then why would God punish such a person. They don’t have original sin and if they are this angelic then why not. And if they are all that and a Jew, then also why not. Jesus was a Jew.

NerdyKeith's avatar

The Catholic Church has supported evolution and the big bang for a very long time. It was actually the Catholic priest Georges Lemaître who discovered the big bang theory. There will still be biblical literalists who will disagree with him no doubt.

These are possibly the only issues I agree with Francis on. There will be no burning of the stake, time has neutered the Catholic Church in comparison to the dark ages.

JLeslie's avatar

As much as it bothers me that some Christians don’t consider Catholics to be Christian, I myself separate Catholics from other Christians also. Too many Americans, especially very politically liberal, non-religious Americans, view the Catholics as part of the anti-science, anti-women’s rights crowd. Part of this is because the Catholics (not all Catholics, but the church doctrine) is so against abortion. Being pro-life should not be confused with being anti-science altogether. It’s not all the same thing, especially not among the Catholics.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@JLeslie Most non-Catholic Christians are fine with science and specifically evolution. A minority believes that being Christian means rejecting evolution and believing the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Don’t buy into the conservative evangelical line that “Christian” means conservative evangelical.

Just like conservatives have co-opted “patriot” to mean conservative nationalist, and twisted “pro-Israel” into shorthand for support for right-wing Israeli politics, they are claiming the word “Christian” as exclusively their own.

Don’t let them pretend to speak for the majority.

tranquilsea's avatar

@JLeslie I have heard too many people declaring Catholics to not be christian as well. THAT boggles my mind. I always retort with, “They are the original christian” or, well, as original as you get now. Anecdotally I have found most Catholics to be very open minded. Much more so than many Protestants.

cazzie's avatar

Religious history is twisted and sick. Catholicism, some argue, was invented to control the masses and get them to join a sort of body ‘politic’ by uniting them. If you study Early and medieval Italian history you will really see what ‘Catholicism’ is and was.

tranquilsea's avatar

@cazzie I have studied a LOT of religious history. And, yes, the Catholic Church was horrible at points. But when the church first formed it was a triumph for early Christians. It meant that they would no longer be persecuted.

A fascinating read is Lord Acton’s, A History of Freedom in Antiquity. He was the author of the quote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men”. I agree: power can be very problematic.

full disclosure: I’m athiest. I just love history.

filmfann's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I assume you know that the Jews are God’s chosen people. They will enter Heaven after the second coming.

filmfann's avatar

@Pandora Has anyone like that ever existed, other than Jesus?

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Most young Catholics I know are pretty much on board with what he has to say. That seems to be the general direction in which the church is heading. (Most Catholics also use contraception – quelle horreur!) ;)

janbb's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace And live with their boyfriends before marriage.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@janbb Truth! I’m an atheist/agnostic and I love my live-in Jesuit boyfriend.

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann Yes. There are really good people in the world. You just don’t know of many because they are usually just known to their community and most of the time they are a poor nobody but they share what they can. I have a relative who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Works hard and is always joyous. Everyone watches out for her because she is so kind and easily taken advantage of. She’s a sucker for every sad story. Must help. God mother to several children because of her kind nature. Some people are just like that. True she believes in Christ but I think it would’ve always been in her nature to be that way. It’s not that she is naive but rather she whole heatedly believes that we all make a difference everyday for the better or the bad. She says if she is taken advantage of, it isn’t wrong of her, but rather wrong of the other person. She also doesn’t do it because of low self esteem and is looking for approval. It just is, who she is. Could also be that no one has ever shown her hate either. She is very likable and generous.

She also never expects anything in return. My dad was also the same way. He was always doing for others and didn’t care to get anything in return. But his was probably more based on religion. But he too was born with a very kind nature. It took a lot, and I mean a lot to get him mad most times. Now disrespecting my mother or his mother, and that would trigger his temper. But most of the time, the most mellow happy person you have ever known. All my friends loved him. Well actually everyone we knew loved him.

You also have people who work their whole lives in “Doctors without Borders”, who passionately believe in using their medical knowledge to help man. They aren’t rolling in dough. Not all people who work in social fields to help others are rich or do it to become famous. Most of the time no one ever hears about them but they exist. There are actually people who simply feel it their calling in life to help others. Sometimes it comes from people who actually wish someone had helped them when they were helpless. Sometimes it’s because they were helped when they were helpless and want to be their for someone else in need. And many times it can come from people of no faith other than the belief that they can help change the world around them.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I know many Christians who aren’t Catholic, who are science minded or even scientists themselves. I wasn’t meaning to imply they are rare or don’t exist. All I’m saying is if there is a “Christian” talking about the world only being 4,000 years old, or how evolution is impossible, or even that gay marriage should be illegal, that Christian is way way more likely to be Methodist, Baptist, or some other born again something than Catholic.

filmfann's avatar

@Pandora Everyone has sinned. Everyone has broken at least one commandment. We all fall short.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Theological question:

Can a person break a commandment if they don’t acknowledge that the commandments are binding on them?

Say, for example, I am an atheist, or that I reject the teachings of organized religion; specifically religion that uses the ten commandments as the backbone tenets of that faith. So followers of the religion do, indeed, adhere to the ten commandments, but I am not a member of the religion, nor do I accept or adhere to its tenets.

I do something that – to a religious believer – is a sin.

But I’m not a believer. Have I sinned?

Can you impose a religion’s rules on someone who is not part of the religion?

Sneki95's avatar

As I read it, I noticed that the Wiki above stares Pope Francis said this in 2014. So, why are we talking about this now?

Edit: I also just noticed that the article itself is from 2014.

… gave us the stale news, OP.

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