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 August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Living Faith

Mother Teresa: What was she really like? Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Women's rights activist Reggie Littlejohn is known for her fierce work fighting forced abortion and gendercide in China, often through grilling speeches given before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - However, what is less-known ... continue reading


'Forgive, Love and Heal': One man's journey to 'Heaven' and back Watch

Image of Dr. Rajiv Parti believes he died and temporarily went to Heaven.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Dr. Rajiv Parti experienced an emergency in 2010 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, leading him to an event that changed his life forever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Dr. Parti was rushed to UCLA's emergency room, he lost control of his bodily ... continue reading


Famous atheist believes after miracle at Medjugorje Watch

Image of Randall Sullivan was an atheist, but now he believes after experiencing a vision on Cross Mountain.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Randall Sullivan was an atheist, working as a war correspondent in Bosnia. He was also a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine. During a visit to Medjugorje, something changed his life forever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sullivan started his day ... continue reading


Pope Francis prays for victims of Turkish wedding attack Watch

Image of Pope Francis prays for victims of Turkish wedding bombing.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A child believed to be between 12 and 14-years-old interrupted a wedding ceremony in Gaziantep, Turkey, killing 54 people, 22 of whom were under 14-years-old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack has not been claimed by ISIS or other terrorist groups but ... continue reading


Christian persecution is real - emotional exhibit opens in Rome Watch

Image of A man removes a charred cross from a burned out church. Christian persecution takes place constantly around the world.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Aid to the Church in Need has opened an exhibit in Italy where visitors can share the experience of Christian persecution. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Christian persecution happens far away from us. We may complain about the atheists or the satanists and ... continue reading


Toilet trouble: Target tests temporary toilet theory Watch

Image of Target attempts to compromise its bathroom policy (Kai Pfaffenbach).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Amid continuing dispute over its transgender bathroom policy, the retail giant Target has denied that the controversy is linked to its decline in sales and says it will not change the policy. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Instead, it will spend $20 million for ... continue reading


Statue of Virgin Mary weeping blood - is this a WARNING? (PHOTO) Watch

Image of Our Lady calls for the conversion of hearts.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic parishioners at a remote Bolivian church report a statue of the Virgin Mary is weeping blood. If true, this is yet another message from Our Lady that conversions of heart are needed more than ever. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A statue of Mary is ... continue reading


Pope Francis inspires Michelin 3-star chef to do this AMAZING thing for Rio's homeless Watch

Image of Massimo Bottura offers Rio's homeless free fine dining meals.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Olympians burn thousands of calories during practice each day, leaving them ravenous. Over 250 tons of ingredients feed the Olympians per meal but what happens to the leftovers? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The New York Times, Italian chef Massimo ... continue reading


Olympian who helped fallen competitor says God groomed her to love Watch

Image of Abbey D'Agostino stopped to help a competitor in the middle of an Olympic race.

By Kevin Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

An Olympic runner whose sportsmanship drew headlines this week says that her faith in God helps her to find joy in her sport. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (CNA/EWTN News) - Abbey D'Agostino, who was raised in a Catholic family, spoke to Julia Hanlon's "Running On Om" ... continue reading


Never let shame keep you from confession Watch

Image of Never be too ashamed to attend confession.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

While Reconciliation is intended to allow Christ's victory to overcome sin in our lives, what happens when shame over one's sins is so great that it keeps people away from the sacrament? Madrid, Spain (CNA/EWTN News) - The famous Spanish theologian Father José Antonio ... 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

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 21:9-14
9 One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls full of the seven ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall ... Read More

Gospel, John 1:45-51
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 24th, 2016 Image

St. Bartholomew
August 24: St. Bartholomew, 1st. century, one of the 12. ... Read More