An issue that has come up more than once in class; is it only religious people that can get into heaven?
This article does one side, drawing on God’s mercy and also putting an emphasis on the conscience for humans.
But I’d love to ask the Pope what conscience means to him; is he an Aquinas man or an Augustine of Hippo. I think I know but won’t put words in his mouth…
Pope Francis to dismay reformists with ‘modern families’ document
There should be mercy. A positive message and a big step for catholicism but still a nod to divorce and alternative family life being flawed.
Is it enough? Does it go against traditional catholic beliefs?
I just know I like this pope’s efforts.
Pope Francis is such an interesting man for RE teachers. Here he is shedding a new perspective on fasting for lent, which echoes some aspects of Virtue Ethics. For him sacrifice is pointless if you help no one and that it is the ‘globalisation of indifference’ that means that we no longer look outwards.
In a world where I admit to rather not knowing details to save myself from some of the deep injustices occurring, this highlights a wider issue that people sometimes have. I recently discussed with my yr13s Tondeur’s approach to living an ethical life with business and he said we must seek to be informed. Many of us admitted to not wanting to know about the ethical practices of our favorite companies for convenience. This is potentially the exact indifference that influences us all.
Not being a Christian, I shall be sacrificing nothing for Lent, but I can’t help but think how the advice speaks to us all.
Pope Francis condemns the death penalty as ‘inadmissable’ and a ‘failure’ – People – News – The Independent.
I discuss the death penalty a lot with my students and the reactions are always so strong. Some out rightly support it and wished it would come back to the UK; they believe that there are some crimes that are so horrendous that they cannot be allowed to live. I get that. Shouldn’t society stand up and condemn certain actions explicitly using what could be the ultimate deterrent. We’ve even discussed how Christians often cite St Paul who claimed that it could be the best form of protection if the criminal could not be reformed.
However, there are always students who look puzzled at this and simply reply ‘How can we be punishing them for killing if we kill them’. It’s true society must stand as the model of righteousness, but surely it is more just to not go down that route. I tell students all the time not to ‘sink to their level’ and possibly the death penalty is an example of this. Society should be judged by how it treats it’s lowest citizens, so what would we be saying about us if we allowed it. These students always bring up Ian Brady being on hunger strike and how death can sometimes be an easy way out.
The Pope comes up with some interesting arguments and I’ll be interested to hear what my classes have to say about it. However (as I have done here hopefully) I will forever argue both sides just be annoying.