story here.

The Vatican is planning a new initiative to reach out to atheists and
agnostics in an attempt to improve the church's relationship with
non-believers. Pope Benedict XVI has ordered officials to create a new
foundation where atheists will be encouraged to meet and debate with
some of the Catholic Church's top theologians.

You guys, the pope is reaching out to us! He wants to be friends. But...

But in an interview with the National Catholic Register, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture,
made it clear he would not be willing to give a platform to certain
prominent atheists.

Uh oh...

The foundation, he said, would only be interested in "noble atheism or agnosticism, not the polemical kind – so not those atheists such as
[Piergiorgio] Odifreddi in Italy, [Michel] Onfray in France,
[Christopher] Hitchens and [Richard] Dawkins".

Now isn't that strange?! Why wouldn't the pope want to have a public chat with Dawkins?

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No problem, actually. There's the Templeton foundation with plenty of accomodationist atheists. PZ Myers writes a lot about them, have a look here - link.
Will the Pope live that long. Has he got forever to convince us that he as a man that condones child abuse can have any effect on us. Perhaps we can pursuade him to become an atheist, now thats a thought.
Reminds me of the meaning of my name. My first name means 'Of noble birth' and my last name essetially means 'priest'. I'm a noble atheist whose name means 'Noble Priest.' IIIIIirrronnnnnnyyyyyy! (sorry im random)

"Noble atheist"...anything like "noble savage"?


If Joe Ratzinger really only agrees to meet the most accommodationist of atheists or agnostics, I hope it turns into some bad press for him -- highlighting that he's afraid to have his faith tested by intelligent opposition.

On the other hand, Hitchens with "How Religion Poisons Everything" does at least imply that he might not be interested in cooperating with the church in any way.

I have little hope that this will go anywhere interesting. But it definitely COULD.


Since the Pope was so nice to reach out to atheists, I'm returning the favor.


I'm reaching out to the Pope too.


OK, all I can think is the movie Dogma, and the more "user friendly" Catholic branding...That and the recent Onion article:

Pope to Ease Up on Jesus Talk


Because he'd, for want (not really) of a better word, get crucified by Dawkins.


So they want to reach out to atheists, but only those who won't answer them back? Well, a flaw in logic is hardly surprising.

The original post is from mid 2010. Did we really see anything happen? Is there a follow up to this story? I don't feel "touched" by the pope at all...


....maybe because I'm not a young boy? lol

All I can think of at the moment.... Don't drink the punch!
So it's for atheists, just not for uppity ones.
Question: What's the point in talking to them? They've become like the mafia.


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