The Pope in his Christmas address rattled off a list of wars and violent conflicts in the world-- Syria, Nigeria, Congo, the Israelis and the Palestinians-- and called for peace, adding:

"I invite even non-believers to desire peace, with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace," said Pope Francis to sustained applause from the crowd.

I appreciate the intent-- if not the PR value-- of the Pope's completely useless annual call for world peace on his imaginary God's birthday. I'm less appreciative that the Pope included "even" atheists, as though non-believers are the outliers on world peace.

Really, Francis. What wars, acts of violence, or terrorism are being waged over non-belief in God, as opposed to belief in dogmas of religion, ideology, or fascism that "even" atheists must be invited to desire peace? Why the implication that atheists should be excluded or would desire would peace any less than believers do?

It seems to me the Pope has it backwards. If he wants peace he should invite "even" believers to reject dogma in the name of reason. It won't stop any wars, but it'll correctly identify the outliers on world peace.

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I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some mistranslation involved. His message sounds hopeful and inclusive to me, more than indictive. Here's another paragraph from that article:

Francis's reaching out to atheists and people of other religions is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.

It's a whole sentence dedicated to war monger myth-busters.

I really don't want to be "included" or associated with the pope or anything pertaining to that institution of fraud.

How gracious of the Pope to include us.

I understand. Still, I'll appreciate his baby steps, while his institution deserves eternal suspicion.

This.  The Vatican is So F.U.B.A.R that having ANY sort of little steps is well, a Godsend.  

It's all relative. On a scale of world harm, I'd put fundie Islam and Bush way above this pope.

I cant believe I'm about to say this, but i wouldn't read to much into it. it could be very easily miss interpreted or miss translated. look at the difference from these two lined then consider the difference of meaning:

I invite even non-believers to desire peace.

I even invite non-believers to desire peace.

That said, I don't really appreciate being addressed by the pope, I'd rather have the guy at the check out tell me to desire peace next time I'm doing my shopping.  granted it would be weird but I'd get a laugh out of it later.  I want peace because i try to be a good person, not because some loony in a little purple hat tells me to

My address to the pope: If you want peace, sell of your priceless gold ordainments and fund some social reconciliation and peace building programmes.

If his exhortation was delivered by him in English, he is, after all, a nonnative speaker. If we are considering a translation, then we have the double problem of (a) knowing what he meant to say vs. how well it was translated. 

I give this Pope a little ore latitude than I would his predecessors. He seems to be starting to lead the Catholics in a more liberal and socially-conscious direction. He seems genuinely humble.

I don't think the Catholic Church will change overnight. Too much inertia. I do think the future holds a far greater role for women, possibly including priesthood as well as lifting of the celibacy requirement for priests. 

Yes, 70,000 two legged cows were herded down to the Vatican to participate in a very tired tradition that continues to accomplish little in the way of realizing a more peaceful world. They stood there chewing on the verbal cud of his holiness and got a warm feeling inside. Oh boy! Finally departing to return to their pastures of ignorance and smugness.  Tradition is like herpes, sometimes I think we'll never get rid of it.

lol, does anyone ever say 'oh boy' un-ironically any more? I love it.

Must you look at this negatively? Sure, I've no love for the Vatican, but it's got a few years left. We'll be dealing with this and future popes for a while. As I read it, he was asking christians to pray for peace, non-christians to pray for peace, and even non-believers to "desire" peace. He used the word "desire" in place of the word "pray", which seems like a good idea. The fact that he included non-believers is telling. It tells me that the numbers of people leaving the church and the rising numbers of non-believers around the world is being noticed. If nothing else, it seems to be a fairly simple request to grant.

Oh, you want me to desire peace? Ok. Done. That was easy.

"and even non-believers to "desire" peace."

I am a fairly level headed individual and most of the other atheists I associate with locally are the same. We all desire peace as it seems to be a default position for any socially well adjusted individual to assume. There is no need to ask the masses to desire something as fundamentally relevant to happiness as the existence of peace among mankind. It's a given. The popes message would be better served directed at the radical governments and religious extremists who believe violence is the only and simplest solution to international conflict. Why preach to the choir for christ's sake?

very true all around, and as it turns out I do desire peace so no trouble there.  That is to say on a physical level, I don't like war and violence.  At a political level I'm very much at war against all fundamentalist religious types.  Anyone who believes their superstitious world views should affect how others live.  The pope is one of these people, so I wont miss an opportunity to slate him, regardless of what he chooses to disguise his message as.

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