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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis meets with Palestinian President to open Palestinian Embassy Watch

Image of Pope Francis meets with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has met with Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican during a ceremony to unveil the new Palestinian embassy there. The meeting comes as the world wonders is the incoming Trump administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. LOS ... continue reading


Join us in praying a novena for Fr. Tom's safe release, as he remains captive for the 10th month Watch

Image of Salesians prepare novena for Fr. Tom's safe return.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

On the 10 month anniversary of the kidnapping of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil in Yemen, the Salesians are inviting people around the world to join them in praying a novena for the priest's safety and release. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - The Salesian order, to which Fr. ... continue reading


Holy Father warns against the sin of gossiping Watch

Image of Pope Francis warns against gossip.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis Sunday traveled to a parish on the outskirts of Rome where he visited a priest suffering from a severe form of ALS and celebrated Mass, warning parishioners, as he often does, of the harm gossiping does to a community. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


India's Christian population explodes in inspirational burst of faith Watch

Image of India's Christians need help.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

India is a country of more than 1.2 billion people, with Christians accounting for only some three percent of the population, including close to 19 million Catholics. Despite its relatively small size, the Indian Church has a disproportionate impact on Indian society ... continue reading


Can Pope Francis bring peace to the Middle East? Watch

Image of Can there be peace in the Middle East (Project Peace on Earth)?

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the Vatican Saturday before inaugurating his country's new embassy to the Holy See, where he met with Pope Francis for a discussion focused largely on peace efforts in the Middle East. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Hostage to the Devil: Catholic 'Exorcist' priest's death involved possessed child and invisible force Watch

Image of The priest who inspired

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Friday the 13th is a day of suspicion, horror stories and the harbinger of bad luck. This Friday the thirteenth, however, brings with it new details of a famous priest who died of injuries sustained at the hands of an evil spirit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islam remains a major killer of Christians as 90,000 were martyred in 2016 Watch

Image of ISIS terrorists take over a Christian church in Mosul.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Every six seconds, a Christian is martyred for their faith in Christ. This is a rate of persecution that hasn't been seen in Christianity in ages, if ever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It is unknown when Christians were last persecuted at rates seen in ... continue reading


For the fourth year running, VIOLENCE AGAINST CHRISTIANS IS ON THE RISE Watch

Image of Christian persecution has increased over the years.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Global persecution of Christians has risen for the fourth year in a row and is on a "rapid rise" in Asia, the advocacy group Open Doors UK warned on Wednesday in its annual report on Christian persecution. Washington, D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Religious nationalism is ... continue reading


'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind...' - Pope Francis reminds us to love NOW Watch

Image of Pope Francis encourages us to love the Lord TODAY.

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis reflected on Thursday how each person, not knowing what will happen in the future, has only "today" to love God and open their heart to the Holy Spirit - while the temptation to put things off is foolish, because there may not be another day. Vatican City, ... continue reading


Bishop begs prayers for Dylann Roof's conversion and the souls of his victims Watch

Image of Please pray for Dylan Roof's victims and for her conversion.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

The death sentence announced this week for mass murderer Dylann Roof prompted the local Catholic bishop to call for prayer, for both the victims and Roof. The bishop also reiterated Catholic opposition to the death penalty. Charleston, SC (CNA/EWTN News) - "Please ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 6:10-20
10 God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my heart, in the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 2:23-28
23 It happened that one Sabbath day he was taking a walk through the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 17th, 2017 Image

St. Anthony the Abbot
January 17: Two Greek philosophers ventured out into the ... Read More