Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/30/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

Pope Francis calls us to love one another more clearly.

Pope Francis calls us to love one another more clearly.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/30/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, atheist, salvation, redemption, Christ, Gospel


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.

However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ.

Francis based his homily on the message of Christ to his disciples taken from the Gospel of Mark. Francis delivered his message by sharing a story of a Catholic who asked a priest if atheists were saved by Christ.

"They complain," Francis said, "If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good." He explained that Jesus corrected them, "Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good."

The disciples, Pope Francis explained, "were a little intolerant," closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that "those who do not have the truth, cannot do good." "This was wrong... Jesus broadens the horizon." Pope Francis said, "The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation."

"Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio.

"Just do good" was his challenge, "and we'll find a meeting point."

Francis explained himself, "The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. 'But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.' Yes, he can... "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!" We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there."

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, told the Huffington Post, "Pope Francis is saying, more clearly than ever before, that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for everyone. That's always been a Christian belief. You can find St. Paul saying in the First Letter to Timothy that Jesus gave himself as a 'ransom for all.' But rarely do you hear it said by Catholics so forcefully, and with such evident joy. And in this era of religious controversies, it's a timely reminder that God cannot be confined to our narrow categories."

Pope Francis is trying to deepen our understanding of the fullness of Christ's sacrifice and its reach, which extends to all men and women. We often fall into familiar ways of thinking that are closed. We divide ourselves into groups, forgetting that we are all children of God, identical, regardless of any divisions we establish for ourselves.We are also all called to the One who created us and, through His Son,is recreating us anew. He calls us to accept His salavation.  

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) contains an important explanation of the phenomena referred to as 'Atheism' (See, GS #17-22). It is a very large term and we have to first examine what is meant when it is embraced by an individual to best understand the effect of the claim. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that "Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion but the imputability of the offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances" (CCC#2125).

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. On Good Friday we all pray:
 
Let us pray also for those who do not believe in Christ,that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit,they, too, may enter on the way of salvation. Almighty ever-living God,grant to those who do not confess Christ that, by walking before you with a sincere heart, they may find the truth and that we ourselves, being constant in mutual love and striving to understand more fully the mystery of your life, may be made more perfect witnesses to your love in the world. Through Christ our Lord.

We are judged by a just God 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, to paraphrase a quote oft attributed to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

However, the most loving thing we can do for all men and women is recognize that they too hunger for the God who created them and then help them to find Him as He is fully and completely revealed in his Son Jesus Christ and the Church. That includes recognizing the good that they do and joining with them in the work.

These latest comments are consistent with Pope Francis' efforts to reach out to people of other faiths and of no faith at all. By emphasizing our common bonds, our Holy Father breaks down artificial barriers so that we may see, and love, one another more clearly.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis names Texas bishop-elect Watch

Image of Pope Francis has selected Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver the bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver, a parish priest from the Diocese of Dallas, as the new bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Msgr. Coerver, pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dallas, will ... continue reading


'The church stays close to you' - Pope Francis welcomes victims of Nice attack at Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis welcomed victims of Nice attack.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis welcomed relatives of the victims of the Nice, France attack on Saturday to encourage them to resist the need to "respond to hatred with hatred and to violence with violence." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, Pope ... continue reading


'The lack of exorcists is a real emergency' - More people dabbling in black magic and other pagan arts Watch

Image of Exorcists are busy fighting the devil while more people practice black magic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There has been a rise in pagan activity among the masses, leading to a shortage of exorcists in the United States and Italy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts from the Catholic Church in Italy and the United States revealed a desperate spiritual fight as more ... continue reading


'Dear President Obama:' 6-year-old's letter inspires the nation Watch

Image of We can all learn from Alex.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A six-year-old boy named Alex witnessed the heartbreaking images of children in Aleppo, Syria. One picture in particular caught his eye and, unable to stand by and do nothing, penned a letter to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The image ... continue reading


Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi with his top 10 quotes Watch

Image of How will St. Francis of Assisi challenge you today?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Today is St. Francis of Assisi's birthday! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Francis Assisi was born Giovanni de Bernardino to a wealthy merchant in Assisi, Umbria, in 1181.As a youth, St. Francis lived a lavish life of wealth, feasts and joy.[media ... continue reading


'There's a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society' - How the Church impacts the US Watch

Image of What impact does the Church have on the United States?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new report revealed exactly how faith and religion impact the United States - and you won't believe what researchers found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a report published at Faith Counts, the "growing belief that religion doesn't contribute ... continue reading


Gee, thanks Pope Francis! Why it is now harder to get a miracle Watch

Image of Pope Francis has made it harder to certify a medical miracle.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has approved new rules that will improve scientific accuracy when evaluating miracles. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Before a person is beatified, a miracle is required. Before a person can be canonized, two miracles are required. Miracles provide ... continue reading


CT scan reveals Biblical discovery in ancient scroll Watch

Image of The scroll revealed part of Leviticus.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ancient scroll's charred remains were discovered after a fire at the Dead Sea. Scientists believed they would never discover what was written inside - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... continue reading


Newsanchor's rosary and crucifix jewelry stirs up atheist community Watch

Image of Italian newscaster criticized for wearing crucifix and rosary beads on air.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Italian anchorwomen Marina Nalesso was criticized for wearing a crucifix necklace and rosary prayer beads while reading the news. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Daily Express, Nalesso has worn such accessories several times in the past without ... continue reading


Child saint recorded opening eyes in AMAZING supernatural video Watch

Image of Child saint recorded blinking her eyes 300 years after death (Obscura habitacion/YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A miracle was recorded at the Cathedral of Guadalajara when Santa Inocencia Bares (St. Innocence Bares), whose body is on display, blinked her eyes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Innocence Bares was murdered by her father 300-years ago after she took Holy ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel