Discussing what Pope Francis said to a little boy who asked him if his recently deceased, non-believing father might be in Heaven. This encounter happened five years ago but it has resurfaced and made the rounds on social media, prompting responses that range from hostility to shock and disbelief. Most commenters have unsurprisingly misinterrpeted the holy father, and most have shuned the theology he was expressing. Are they wrong? Yes and no.
In this episode I talk about approaching every situation with mercy, not with the wrath of God. I go on to discuss how Pope Francis should be interpreted, discuss his words during the encounter with the little boy, and I talk about Baptism by Desire, which has been the central talking point behind the pope's words, and those lashing out against him.
Calling down fire from Heaven:
1 Kings 18:36-38
"At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench."
"Baptism of Desire"
CatechisM: 1258 - The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
Article from Catholic.com
"Historically, the Church has taught that the graces of baptism can be received not only through the administration of the sacrament itself (baptism of water) but also through the desire for the sacrament (baptism of desire) or through martyrdom for Christ (baptism of blood).
Recent doctrinal development has made clear that it is possible for one to receive baptism of desire by an implicit desire. This is the principle that makes it possible for non-Christians to be saved. If they are genuinely committed to seeking and living by the truth, then they are implicitly committed to seeking Jesus Christ and living by his commands; they just don’t know that he is the Truth they’re seeking (cf. John 14:6)."