Was the Pope Right?
If you haven't seen the video yet, whether you are Catholic or not, Christian or not, you should. It is a wonderful depiction of grace and understanding shown to a little boy worried about the soul of his atheist father. I am not a Catholic myself, and have a great many disagreements with some Catholic theology, but I found the answer of Pope Francis very compassionate and understanding. There is no way Pope Francis can say for sure that this boy's father is in heaven, nor can he say for sure he is not. God is the final arbiter of that situation and only He knows the answer. As a minister myself, the Roman pontiff accomplished two things with his response: 1) he reinforced the boy's faith in a loving and righteous God, and 2) he reinforced to those assembled that God is just and loving. I cannot argue with either point. I remember being taught in seminary, "You don't preach to those who are dead, you preach to those who are living." I believe the pontiff was seeking to comfort a little boy, remind the crowd of the grace and love of God, and I think he succeeded.