Pope: A Christian Refusing to Serve Others is a ‘Pagan’

Pope Francis I: As a part of a greater effort to use social media to connect with Catholics worldwide, the Pope will start relieving punishment for your sins via Twitter.

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.

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2 Responses to Pope: A Christian Refusing to Serve Others is a ‘Pagan’

  1. I disagree with your assumptions about what the Pope is saying. As a Christian, my interpretation of his message is that if I am not willing to serve others (as Christ calls his followers to do through out his teachings) then I can not be considered a Christian. Therefore, if I think I am a Christian but don’t really belong in this group (according to the Pope, who doesn’t truly have authority on this but just for his argument’s sake) then I would have no religion as I don’t consider myself belonging to any other world religion. If I’m not a Christian and not any other religion, then I am a Pagan.

    The Pope does not at all imply that non-Christians aren’t “good hearted” or able to serve. This is just a call to action to those who do claim the Christian faith, to follow Jesus’ multiple teachings on service, charity and humility.

    • Keld Bach says:

      Thanks for clarifying. I’m rather new to the Bible and have noticed that there often are different interpretations of what the various texts mean. I had probably expected the Pope to be a little more clear here, so that everybody, regardless of faith, got his message right. Thanks again for your reply.

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