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Pope Francis: "..all the Protestants were going to hell, all of them. That’s what was said."

16. jan. 2015

"Francis spoke Thursday in a 45-minute news conference aboard the papal plane traveling from Sri Lanka to the Philippines."

Gerard O'Connell, America Magazine, skriver bl.a.:

(The following is an unofficial English translation of the Pope’s responses (in Italian), done by the author and other colleagues.)

…but also the Protestants when I was a child, in that time, 70 years ago, all the Protestants were going to hell, all of them. That’s what was said.

Do you know what was the first experience I had of ecumenism?
I told it to some days ago when I met a group from the Salvation Army.

When I was four or five years old walking down the street with my grandmother, I saw two women from the Salvation Army, wearing those old-style hats, and I asked my grandmother,

“Tell me, are they sisters (nuns)?” My Grandmother said “No, they are Protestant but they’re good (people).”

It was the first time that I heard a person speaking well of people of another religion. At that time in the catechesis they told us that they all went to hell.

I believe the church has grown a lot in its consciousness (understanding) and in its respect (for other religions), as I said in the interreligious encounter in Colombo the other day, when we read what the Second Vatican Council about the other religions, and the values in other religions.

The Church has grown a lot in these years and in respect. There have been dark periods in the history of the Church too, and we have to say that with shame.

We’re all on a path of conversion, which is a grace; always from sin to grace. This inter-religiosity as brothers, respecting each other always is a grace.

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