Francis: Mercy of God Is Unlimited

Writing in one of Italy’s major secular newspapers, Pope Francis called for a “sincere and rigorous dialogue” between the church and nonbelievers as an “intimate and indispensable expression” of Christian love. An “open and unprejudiced dialogue” between Christians and those of no religious faith is “rightful and precious” today, Pope Francis wrote. Such a dialogue could “open doors for a serious and fertile encounter” between secular culture and Christian culture, which have lost the ability to communicate due largely to modern views of faith as the “darkness of superstition opposed to the light of reason.” Asked whether the church condemns those who lack and do not seek religious faith, the pope replied that the “mercy of God is unlimited if directed to someone with a sincere and contrite heart.” He wrote, “The question for someone who does not believe in God lies in obeying one’s own conscience.”

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