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Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too! Comments

Pope Francis has good news for atheists. Jesus died and was raised for them as well. His redemptive embrace was for all, not just a chosen few.The choice to accept its reach is our own. The Holy Father was not teaching anything new. In fact, this hope that all who do not yet know God are not only capable of doing good - but will progress toward that knowledge of God by doing good - is ancient. The Church wants all men and women to be saved. Continue Reading

41 - 50 of 152 Comments

  1. Mary
    1 year ago

    Pope Francis has spoken out of a good heart. Though the problem is, Christianity and Jesus IS about doing good and following the will of God. An atheist, muslim, budhist, hindu, etc cannot fully understand the goodness of God and do good if not united one with Jesus/the Holy Trinity. Thats something all people and the pope have to remember. Of course Jesus died for all people. To save all from sin. But that means on that term we come ONE with Him, united with Him, persuing goodness within Him. It does not make sense that atheist, who DO NOT know God can understand the full term of goodness, because they do not understand God, Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus warned "False prophets will arise". They will try to be Jesus, say I am he!. We have been warned, on the contrary it is not to be said that any one can actually do good if not done within and from the Power of Christ, the Holy Spirit. All things should be confided with Jesus. Our own will power and thoughts of good will be tweaked by satan and his demons. The pope is a sinner, we are all humans. The misconception on doing good is to be only done with Jesus. He IS the ultimate good. Full stop.

  2. KarlVDH
    1 year ago

    Christianity really hasn't come far since the days of the confused and dense , have we?

    We've got a Pope who reaches out to unbelievers, who offers a way. We have a Holyu Father who kneels before his flock, who refuses to live in splendor, who gets on his knees and washes the feet of a female Muslim in a juvenile prison... and we all sit around debating what the words mean, what the legalistic right and wrong are like a bunch of latter day Pharisees instead of really GETTING the message and following the Holy Father's LIVING EXAMPLE.
    Viva Papa!

  3. Theresa H
    1 year ago

    My understanding is that even an atheist--someone who does not believe that God exists (I think we have to state what we "mean" when we say "atheist")--if that "belief" is born of upbringing and ignorance, then the possibility is there that at the last moment, when at death that person who has endeavored to "do good" all their life (and had sorrow when they failed to do good) comes face to face with God--God--who knows ALL--and is all JUST, would, dare I say, give that person the opportunity to receive and embrace the "Light of the World" and fall down in worship with gratitude!" I can't believe that Pope Francis believes that no atheist goes to hell. Some atheists are adamantly God-haters. Yet, only God knows the "history" of such a person and can see the depths of the heart.... We know that Baptism is the normal initiation to the way of salvation and the fact is, too, that Jesus spoke of those who "will go into the everlasting fire...." Yet, ultimately, God is a Just Judge--who knows the heart of each of us--our knowledge (or lack thereof) of at least the "Natural Law...." He Alone is the Supreme Judge who knows all things!

  4. Drew
    1 year ago

    Faith without works is dead and good works are evidence of our salvation through Christ, but works alone will not get us into heaven:

    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," - Ephesians 2:8

  5. Maureen
    1 year ago

    "As an atheist, I know that all evidences points toward the fact that when you die it's the end."

    What evidences?

  6. LYNN ALAN HEATH
    1 year ago

    It is indeed true that the Scriptures teach that the Lord Jesus the Anointed One shed His blood as a sacrifice for all mankind. It is also true that everyone is capable of doing good deeds and that each of us has within us a conscience. Our conscience is placed their by God and on it are written His moral laws, which can be ignored. Just doing good though, according to the Scriptures, will not put anybody into Christ and this is where all spiritual blessings are to be found.
    It seems that the Pope is teaching an iideology known as Pluralism, which cannot be found in the Scriptures given to man by inspiration. Jesus commands His disciples to "go and as you are going make disciples of all nations [how do I do this Lord] immersing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20). The apostle Paul informs us that when the Lord returns He will be "dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). It behooves us, as Christians, to get the gospel out to all that we are capable. Since, no where in the Scriptures will anyone find the teaching being expounded here that "We are judged by a just
    God [this much is true] who will welcome us based on what we have done with what we knew. Those who do not know God will be judged on the good they have done and the values lived by." That is just plain false teaching and cannot be found taught within the Holy Book anywhere!

  7. Rev. Michael Houser
    1 year ago

    This story has been taken way out of context, and the headline by CatholicOnline is not helpful. The Pope simply said that everyone is redeemed by Christ (which is basic Catholic doctrine--we don't believe in limited atonement) and everyone can do some good (which is also basic Catholic doctrine--we don't believe in total human depravity). But redemption and salvation are two separate things, and both Scripture and Catholic tradition are clear that faith is one of the requirements for salvation. To say that good works suffice is Pelagianism, an old error which the Church rejected 1500 years ago. That Catholic commentators would twist the Pope's words as if to suggest he is saying otherwise is irresponsible, to say the least.

    The Pope's point, in light of the passage from Mark that he was commenting on, was simply that we should not dismiss those without faith as if they are no good or beyond the pale of God's love. In other words, Christians have a duty to be charitable to everyone, even atheists. But one of the greatest acts of charity we can do is to try to show them that they need Jesus if they wish to have eternal life.

  8. Bob Rees
    1 year ago

    Jean Francois, or john frank. If you're an atheist, why do you read what's written on Catholic Online. Is it to spew your idiotic remarks and to try and dissuade others. When I was a combat Marine in Vietnam, I remember a saying, "there are no atheists in foxholes". I think you're just another immature little man who attempts to spread hatred among others through your unfortunate comments and lifestyle.

  9. DLL
    1 year ago

    In fairness to atheists and those of that mindset,I do not believe that any commenter here has not at one time considered atheistic viewpoint. I think it is pointless to sell atheisism. There is no point to being an atheist. So what if one does not believe in god. There are good reasons for this. Religious perspectives bring a fairness to secular society that atheism,if it is forced on society as fascism was,does not provide. All religious/anti-religious viewpoints must be respected because traditionally they are universally taught as legitimate. I believe that the only true church is the Holy Catholic one. It is also the only true faith based religion. I have my reasons for such a belief. Not all believe as I do obviously. I am interested in every religion and anti- religious belief systems. Tradition forms societies. America is a multi faith/anti-faith belief society. For this reason special interest minority groups that influence because they are a wealthy,powerful,lobby group,that I have issue with. When the black population fought for civil rights they fought for a basic human right.Even when their were inter-racial marriages they wanted a right to marry under such circumstances. Again this is a basic human right. Gay marriage,or the thought of it,was an abomination in any society,for the most part,historically. Prop 8 in California voted it out. This was not malicious,as it was because that group that advocated this as a human right,were fundamentally changing the meaning of marriage itself. Atheism does not respect tradition either as it seeks as an organization to destroy religious freedom and tradition. It in short is forcing itself on society in general. It is arrogant to think that any responsible reilgious person has not considered either the GBLT position or the atheist-agnostic one. To be religious requires thought and a legitimate choice intellectually to be as such,just as it does to oppose religious or traditional advocates for the traditional marriage and family. The label "conservative" is offensive. Try "Practical" as opposed to impractical as one is fighting to preserve a practical lifestyle as opposed to impractically destroying it. Obviously many government people are atheists. They do good. They must respect all people and their traditions just as religious people must. It is childish not to. A free society is free thinking responsible one but never restricting. Any group trying to restrict the other or destroy their basic human rights are wrong. Practical Government is a government by the people in fairness to all people. Traditions and symbols of all kinds of diverse groups are spread around for all to see in this country. This is all fine as it is a part of what "America" and it's history is all about.

  10. Youba
    1 year ago

    I believe that the Pope is trying to give hope to ALL and to tolerate the differences among human beings.
    Nevertheless, I cannot see how the Church is just and simply telling all atheist to do good and to continue doing good because in doing good they will find God, rather than preaching by the name of Jesus Christ and inviting them to accept Him as their Savior. Are we inviting people to Faith in this Year of Faith or just to continue in their life away from Christ. I hope this kind of statement will not be misleading people and encouraging believers to seek their salvation by forgetting their Savior and just doing good.


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