Skip to main content

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 154 Comments

  1. Wout Koopman
    1 year ago

    Can you please, with all you opinions and differences, tell me what your evidence is for your specific believes, and also religion for itself? I understand it has great social values, it makes some people behave better, and give meaning to their lifes, a reason to get out of bed each day, but what is your proof for the validity of your believes. And understand that 'feeling it is true' does not count as evidence.
    And after that could you explain how being religious is better than being agnostic, atheist or anti-theist? I live a happy fulfillled life, I help people regularly for no other reason than it makes me feel good. If I see a beautiful landscape, read an endearing book or piece of poetry, or fall in love I get a warm feeling and might even cry out of happiness. I do a lot of charity and am really commited to making the world a better place. This includes seperating at least politics, but in my opinion as much as possible, while respecting peoples personal believes, of organised religion.
    There is a real danger in organised religion because, as you can see clearly in the comments on this site, it creates differences between people where none exist. I think a personal believe is no problem, as long as you keep it to yourself. Don't preach, send missionaries, teach creationism, expect to receive governmental fundings and pose yourself as charities as a cover of missionary missions. I honestly believe the world would be a better place without people preaching gays should be killed (I know this is not your religion, but it's on the same level), atheist are morally wrong people, there is such a thing as heaven and hell without any evidence for that claim. I have studied religion for many years, since I was brought up a roman-catholic, but it was an unsustainable believe because it does not at up. Next to the fact that the empirical proof is, as far as I know, non existing (please explain if I am wrong), there are no positive extra's to being religious.
    My life consists of searching for the truth of life, religion says it allready found it. With the realisation that religion is wrong the world becomes a whole lot more interesting!

  2. Lizel
    1 year ago

    The 10 commandments, God state clearly, you shall not have other gods than Me. How can the Pope claim to be the Holy Father if there is already a Holy Father, our God who died on the cross and went to sit with his Father in heaven. The Almighty is the ONLY one we must worship, not wafers at a mass where you kneel before and sacrifice God then and there again and again, He was sacrificed already. God died on the cross for all of us, but you and me have to live life according to where the Holy Spirit takes you, become one with God, not an earthly "holy father" but the true Maker and only God in this world. Start to read the Bible again and ask yourself what God wants you to do. In the old testament God gave the Laws (10 commandments) just by looking at that, you will see that God does not want us to follow earthly holy father but HIM and HIM alone. Good people and good deeds does not make you a Christian, it makes you a good person. God does not want good people serving Him he wants disciples that live and breath His word. He wants you to be one with Him, so that His divine Glory will be visible not your good deeds.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Saint of the Day

March 26 Saint of the Day

St. Margaret Clitherow
March 26: St. Margaret Clitherow was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, ... Read More