From AFP:Pope Francis has declared everyone has the right to be baptised, even aliens should they come knocking on the church’s door.
Christians cannot “close the door” to all those who seek baptism even if they are “green men, with a long nose and big ears, like children draw,” the pope said at his daily mass on Monday, according to Vatican Radio.
Nice story from AFP, but too bad it is only tangentially related to the fact of the matter.
The Spirit blows where it wills, but one of the most common temptations of those who have faith is to bar its path and drive it in one direction or another – a temptation that was not alien even in the early days of the Church, as the experience of Simon Peter in today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows.
A community of pagans welcomes the proclamation of the Gospel and Peter is an eyewitness to the descent of the Holy Spirit on them. First, he hesitates to make contact with what he had always considered “unclean” and then he suffers harsh criticism from the Christians of Jerusalem, shocked by the fact that their leader had eaten with the “uncircumcised” and had even baptized them.
It’s a moment of internal crisis that Pope Francis recalls with a hint of irony:
“That was unthinkable. If, for example, an expedition of Martians were to come tomorrow, and some of them were to come to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says: ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?”
Peter understands his error when a vision enlightens him to a fundamental truth: that which has been purified by God cannot be called “profane” by anyone, the Pope explains. And in narrating these facts to the crowd that criticized him, the Apostle calms them all with this statement: “If, then, God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?”
It would be nice, sometime, if the mainstream media made even a momentary effort at reporting the facts.
Don’t worry: I’m not holding my breath.