During the Third Vatican Council which has run for the last six months and where Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas, Pope Francis announced a raft of new ideas about the place of the world’s biggest and oldest christian church.
Pope Francis, a church progress who has expanded the traditional role of the church in a technologically fast growing world said Catholicism is now a ‘modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes’.
“We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes. Truth is not absolute or set in stone. Even atheists acknowledge the divine. Through acts of love and charity the atheist acknowledges God as well, and redeems his own soul, becoming an active participant in the redemption of humanity,” said the Pope.
â€œThrough humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with Godâ€ Pope Francis declared.
The Third Vatican council was called by the Holy Sea leader to finish the work begun by the second Vatican Council in 1962. Today, the Pope is expected to deliver the Christmas message to its over a billion adherents around the world.