I stumbled upon this speech by Pope Francis and was astonished (and slightly indignant) by the way he used the word ‘pagan.’
- “It is an ugly thing when one sees a Christian who does not want to lower himself, who does not want to serve, a Christian who parades around everywhere. It’s terrible, no? That person isn’t a Christian: he is a pagan! The Christian serves (and) lowers himself,” said the Pope on Dec. 18 in St. Peter’s Square.
According to the Free Online Dictionary, a ‘pagan‘ is defined as “a person who does not belong to any of the major world religions.”
Does that mean that the Pope thinks everyone else cannot be a good person? I certainly don’t hope so, because I’ve met many nice and good-hearted pagans, atheists, animists, socialists, Gnostics, Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, etc in my time, so perhaps the Pope needs to broaden his intellectual horizon a bit.
I’m not sure either that to ‘serve’ and to ‘lower’ yourself always is the best way to lead your life. It certainly depends on whom you’re serving and whom you’re lowering yourself to. Too many people submit themselves to blind obedience of authorities that don’t want them the best or any good at all.
By the way, if you’re a Catholic and need to confess your sins to someone, the Pope is now offering virtual Plenary Indulgences via his Twitter account.