The duty of a religious leader
is to usher in an era of world peace and unity.
I want to start by acknowledging the recent good works of the Catholic Church. It takes a big people and an even bigger faith to come forward and admit to wrongdoings, express sincere regret and concern, and show a deep commitment to preventing such offenses from happening in the future. Your condemnation of sexual abuse in the Church is something to be proud of and something that the world community needed and wanted and is very much thankful for. As a religious leader, the world looks to you to set an example and to set moral boundaries and to make ethical decisions based on the tenets of your faith and the Bible. Thank you for your efforts in setting the record straight and for doing sometimes uncomfortable or embarrassing work for the greater good. It is certainly commendable. In taking such actions you have demonstrated yourself to be kind, compassionate and fair. For these reasons and more, you are greatly admired not only by your people but by the general public.
I recently read this article which states that the Vatican has announced that Jews don't need Christ to be saved.
My initial reaction was sarcastic, "What a relief! Now I can sleep peacefully at night."
Then I thought, "Thank you so much Mr Pope, for not shoving your religion down our Jewish throats. But what about everyone else who doesn't believe in Jesus? What about Buddhists, Daoists, Hindus, Native Americans, African tribes, Shamen, and other religions who don't share your views on Jesus? Do they get a free pass too? Why not? How can there be a double standard? We Jews are not selfishly interested in the salvation and redemption of only our own people. Our mission is TIKKUN OLAM, Healing the World! So your proclamation begs the question, what about all the righteous gentiles who don't believe in Christ? Why are you indirectly asserting that their inevitable fate is eternal damnation?"
Is a Buddhist monk who has done good to others his whole entire life but does not believe in Jesus allowed to enter the Kingdom of your Lord? Does it make sense that a Christian murderer would be welcomed in heaven because of his belief in Christ but a monk or a yogi who never harmed another soul would not be welcomed? I do not believe in such propaganda, discrimination, and lies. This type of scare-tactic was employed to entice others to covert by offering them a free pass into heaven. We have evolved since the dark ages and we don't buy that story any more.
What happened to all the Biblical sages who were born before Christ? Where did Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Noah, Moses, Aaron and King David and their holy wives, go after they died? It's time for the church to come clean and admit that it was never true. NO ONE is going to eternal hell for not believing in Christ.
God loves all His children regardless of what they believe in. Religion does not define who a person is. A person's actions defines them, not their beliefs. Religion is only a framework into which humanity ascribes teachings and imparts values onto people. Religion is meant to make people better people but if it fails to do so, do we blame the religion or the person? Each individual is responsible for the choices he or she makes. A religious belief cannot compensate for despicable actions that are crimes against humanity. If Hitler believed in Christ, does that mean he is automatically "saved?"
Members of the terrorist KKK organization are Christians. Are they automatically forgiven for their hatred and racism because they believe in Jesus? What kind of a God would allow belief in Christ to supersede over a lifetime of evil actions? Only a sick and cruel one. Is that the God you believe in? What good does it serve to be a "good Christian" and a "bad person?" I believe that God would prefer the opposite. Be good, do good, and the belief in your heart is secondary.
Please correct me if I am wrong but it is my understanding that the Catholic Church took King Solomon's Temple vessels from the Jews in Jerusalem and the Catholic Crusaders killed thousands of Jews who didn't accept Jesus and denounce their faith and convert.
Why do you think we, the Jews, need your stamp of approval to escape eternal damnation-- which is a concept that the Catholic Church invented and imposed upon any non-Christ believers? Why does the Catholic Church get to make up and enforce the rules of who gets to enter Heaven?
I know your heart is in the right place and I appreciate the thoughtful gesture of this recent announcement. It's really a nice intention but I think you can do much better Mr Pope. For instance, the Catholic Church can apologize for murdering people who didn't accept Christ and give the Jews our Holy vessels taken from our Sacred Temple back. Actions speak louder than words and by doing this, we will know that you are indeed sincere! It is time for the Church to set a leadership example, in light of all the terrorism happening in the world in the name of religion, and to take responsibility for the blood on its hands. Tell the terrorist organizations of the world, "We have done what you are doing and we were wrong and we regret it. The Jews are our friends and allies and we do not seek to convert them or force our views on them or harm them. Neither should you."
You have already made affirmative, loud and clear statements in support of the Jewish State, Israel, and her right to peacefully exist. You have made strong statements against anti-semetism. I have profound respect for you for that. Standing for truth is bold, brave, and beautiful. It is because of your uprightness and history of humanitarian efforts that I believe that it is within your ability and even obligation to heal the wounds between us. I believe that is what you are trying to do and I believe that you can reach higher and accomplish even more. May God bless you with strength to do so!
Ahuva the Jewess