What follows is a reprint of an entire article. I will add my commentary to it afterwards:
(Vatican Radio) “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.
Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”
This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:
“Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.”
In case you missed it, this is worth repeating. Here is the money quote:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!
There are so many directions I want to go with this. So many… such as, has the pope lost his ever loving mind? or, the Pope is no longer Catholic! I thought about taking the high-ground and exploring the act of doing good as the calling card of our common humanity. But I’m not really in the mood for that kind of high-ground. There is too much dishonesty on ground that high. It is where two groups celebrate a point of commonality, while ignoring the fundamental chasm between them that remains uncrossable. It is fertile ground for photo ops. Genuine solidarity among factions does not live there. No. I am not interested in taking the high-ground.
Telling a non-believer that he is redeemed by the blood of Christ is like telling a racial minority that it is okay that they are not white, and that God redeems them anyway. In what way is that supposed to be comforting to me? I have done no wrong. I am not in a state of sin, nor am I an outsider to the universal life-force. I am not a bit of wayward merchandise that needs redeeming, or a bit of drifting matter that needs to be returned to its proper state.
It is still a great insult to refer to me as an object of pity that needs to be forgiven and returned to a state of grace. To such a person, I am seen as hopeless if not for the fictional actions of an imaginary being. To be clear, even if I thought the sacrifice was literally, historically real, I would want no part of it. I find the shedding of innocent blood for covering the imaginary sins of innocent people to be abhorrent and immoral. I want no part of this scarlet-stained justice.
To Pope Francis, and all of his ilk, I don’t want to be your brother in Christ. I want to be your brother in humanity regardless of your estimation of how much good I have done. That is a very different thing. And my worth as a human being cannot be based on your concept of my redemption. I require neither God’s forgiveness nor blood price for my soul. I am a fully realized human being without regards to any of that, fully worthy of your right-hand of fellowship; blood of Christ not required. If you can deal with that, then we are brothers. If not, then your speech changes nothing.