After spending four years in office, Pope Francis has claimed that evolution is real, said that it’s better to be an atheist than being a hypocritical Catholic, spoke against the fake news created by media and the rise of populism in the west.
Encouraging Catholics to practice their religion properly, the 80-year-old pontiff also talked about the sexual abuse of children by priests and talked about the severe punishments for the paedophiles.
Here are some of his top quotes:
On Evolution and Big Bang:
The Pope had long back declared in 2014 that God is not “a magician with a magic wand” and the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real. However, after four years of service, he explained how the theories were not against with the existence of a creator. The pontiff argued instead, that the existence of God was based on these theories!
“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” the pontiff said, adding that The Big Bang, which is now held responsible for the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.
“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
As per the experts, his comments was an attack on the “pseudo theories” of creationism which his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had embraced.
Pope Francis’ comments was on the same line as that of Pope Pius XII who accepted the Big Bang theory warmly and Pope John Paul II who suggested that evolution is “more than a hypothesis” and is an “effectively proven fact”.
By saying that the world needs more bridges than walls, Pope Francis has called on the world to resolve the refugee crisis.
“Barriers create divisions instead of promoting the true progress of peoples, and divisions sooner or later lead to confrontations,” he added.
And they were not just words of preaching coming from a holy man. The pontiff has backed his preaching with his action by taking three families of Syrian refugees back to Rome.
On being an atheist:
Shortly he took office in March 2013, the Pope had assured that the non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.
“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith,” he said. “I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart.
“The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”
The Pope also claimed that it is better to be an atheist than being one of “many” hypocritical Catholics who lead a “double life”.
Criticising some of the members of the Church, he said that it is a sin to say one thing and do another. That is a “double life”.
“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association. Some of these people should also say: ‘My life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life’,” he added.
“How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’,” he questioned the masses.
After two months of getting elected, the Pope had asked the Christians to look at the atheists as good people if they do good.
On Populism in West:
Pope Francis warned people about the dangers of rising populism in western democracies. “Populism is evil and ends badly as the past century showed,” he claimed.
When asked if he was worried about the rise of populism in the United States and Europe, he said people should not repeat the same mistakes as in the 1930s, when the only solution to resolve economic and political crises was war.
“Crises provoke fear, alarm. In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933,” he said, adding that people immersed in a crisis looked for their identity until a charismatic leader came and promised to give their identity back, and he gave them a distorted identity, and we all know what happened.
“In the time of crisis, we lack judgement, and that is a constant reference for me… That is why I always try to say: talk among yourselves, talk to one another.”
On Fake news by media:
The pontiff also criticised the fake news spread by media and claimed that writing fake news and stories about scandals is like being sexually aroused by excrement.
He said spreading fake news is “probably the greatest damage that the media can do” and said that by doing this media is doing “a sin” instead of educating the people.
“I think the media has to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into — no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,” he said and added that since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.
However, he later apologised for his use of a particular psychological term, which describes when people are aroused by excrement.
Severe punishments for Paedophiles:
Despite his progressive reputation and broad-minded philosophies, the Pope has been time and again criticised for the way he handled the child rape scandals that took place within the Catholic Church.
It was revealed earlier this year that the Pope had reduced the penalty for Reverend Mauro Inzoli to a lifetime of prayer after he was convicted for sex crimes against five children as young as 12.
It was said to be one of several times that he had overruled recommendations from his own advisory council and reduced a priest’s sentence.
A senior Australian Catholic official has also warned that the Pope may be “backsliding” in his crackdown on paedophile priests.
However, this time Pope Francis has called for the “severe punishment” of paedophiles. Now, that seems like a positive change for sure!