Is this new Pope actually Catholic? Bill Moyers discusses Pope Francis with Thomas Cahill

December 28, 2013 | By | Reply More

This is a delightful conversation, in which author Thomas Cahill offers excellent insights into Pope Francis. Cahill’s view on Christianity meshes well with the teachings by Pope Francis.

Here is how Cahill would describe the important part of Christianity:

I’ve come to the conclusion that they are really only two movements in the world. One is kindness, and the other is cruelty. I don’t think there’s anything else, really. You can explain virtually everything by those two movements. The cruelty in religion is so often a form of, “Under no circumstances may you do this, because if you do, we will exclude you. That’s not how Jesus spoke. Jesus is the one who, you know, lifted the weeping prostitute off the floor and said, “Your sins are forgiven you.” He had no problem with sexual deviancy of any kind. It’s we who have that problem. And it’s a problem for institutionalized religion as it is for institutionalized anything. The institutions will tend to exclude.

I’m a believing Christian who finds himself equally at home and equally impatient and equally ill-at-ease in virtually any church.

BILL MOYERS: Why is that?

THOMAS CAHILL: I just don’t think that it matters that much. I think that we’ve, you know, in the 16th and 17th centuries, we killed one another over doctrine. It was after this period that you finally had in the period of the enlightenment, people saying, “Do we really have to keep doing this? Do we really have to keep– is it really necessary to kill one another? Couldn’t we just agree to disagree?” And then you have the beginning of a new era. And it’s time that we got past the largely silly divisions, theological divisions, which really don’t count. Because people don’t care about those things anymore.

BILL MOYERS: What do you think they care about? Or what do you care about?

THOMAS CAHILL: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” That’s Christianity. The rest of it, isn’t worth a hill of beans.

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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