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
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?
I have no idea what a 'noble atheist' is but I would guess that this 'noble atheist' isn't actually an atheist if accepted for this position by the church. In other words, they're looking for a non-controversial atheist? Good luck finding that....