Pope Francis stated that Atheists that do good

I was just talking to my husband about this yesterday. I was saying that there are many who say “Lord, Lord” but will not enter heaven. This is because they speak His name but do not live in His Spirit. I wonder sometimes if there are atheists that resist the idea of God because of people like this. I often wonder if some professed atheists may actually live in the Spirit of God, visible in their actions. If they live in a spirit of love, does not this love come from God?

I think that there are some people who preach the gospel but do not live in the spirit of Love, just like many scribes and pharisees. Jesus Himself called them “sons of Satan.”

I think there is a lesson in there somewhere. The followers of Jesus are those who live in Love. If what few words of Jesus the atheists put into action they may actually be in a better position with God then those who have heard abundantly God’s Word but only apply very little of it in their lives.

It does say in scripture something to the affect of, “If you so much as give a glass of water to one of my disciples, because they are My disciple, you will not go without your reward.”

My question is: Is it possible that a person’s profession of faith could be in your actions?

I must say first of all, it was an unfortunate choice of words that have been very much misinterpreted, as I have witnessed by the myriad of facebook comments over the huffpo article… The meaning of “redeemed” does not mean “you are going to heaven,” it means, frankly, you are a part of the human race, which Jesus “redeemed” to the heart of God by the cross. It means salvation is possible, there is a way of salvation for you. But no, doing good does not get you to heaven. Scripture tells us this. As far as whether an atheist will go to heaven, that is a matter of individual circumstance. If the atheist has learned the truth but has rejected it out of defiance of God or for his/her own desire to do evil, then no, that person cannot be saved. If there is some special circumstance that prevented the person from coming to faith through no fault of his/her own, then God will judge that accordingly, that person can be saved.

Yes, this.

I don’t think he directly referred to heaven or hell, but just that everybody is designed and inwardly compelled to do good works.

Yes, this.

We can remember that a huge majority of the gospels has to do with how we live. But the Pope is not discrediting the necessity of faith for salvation.

I think the Pope meant what he said here, though the question of salvation outside the Church is always a big debate. I have many atheist friends, and all of them actually like Pope Francis. We definitely needed a Pope who could attract people of different faiths to the Church, and I think Pope Francis is gonna do that better than anyone else.

I often wonder if many reject God because WE reject them? Ooooh it’s a scary thought!

Your question is a great question and would like to know now too. I just thought of something. If you deny God’s existence, what are you doing? Putting yourself first? His first commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Isn’t that also talking about the relationship you and God should be having? Not me, myself and I will do good things and I’ll go to Heaven even if I don’t believe there is a God or a Jesus who died on the cross for my sins. I think I answered my own question and because scripture is coming to my mind about what Jesus taught us about that. I thought my meds were making my mind foggy. hahahaha. Plus there are great answers on here! :slight_smile:

Right but this attraction should ultimately draw them to conversion… the concern I have with his choice of words is that an atheist will read these comments and say “oh, well great! no need for me to convert then!” This is the opposite of what we want. Faith is necessary for salvation. The only way that an atheist can be saved is if some serious circumstance has prevented that person from attaining the grace of faith; and even then, only God the perfect judge has the ability to judge these men’s souls. I think we need to be extremely careful about saying things like “atheists can go to heaven as long as they are good.” Sure, lots of people will love to hear this but we may very well be leading people to their doom.

Sometimes that is true. I know people who are harsh and cruel to others and profess to be Christians. There is a lady in England, an Atheist, who told me she had never in her life had another Christian talk gently to her as I did. Nor judge her. Therefore, she didn’t trust our beliefs and thought all Christians were hypocrites. ~Please God don’t let me come off as bragging~ It shocked me because I talk the way I always do. (Y’all should be glad I’m not calling you sug. lol) And now that lady in England and I are friends. Love, Sheila I have to rest now. Have a great day everyone and I will try to pray for you or get Danielle to do it. :hug1:

Maybe they deny God’s existence because they were never taught in a rational, reasonable way, without someone jumping down their throat because they question and test everything. I’m sure that I might not be a believer if it wasn’t for my Father explaining everything to me and letting me ask any question I wanted without a negative reaction. I’m lucky that my Father had most of the answers and not only that, I developed a prayer life very young. Not everyone has that experience. Not everyone has had people who could answer their questions reasonably and rationally. :slight_smile:

Romans 1:20

Consider the source of the article and disgard. Read Fr. Longeneckers take on this instead and head.

The Pope does not say atheists being good on their own will be saved. He says they, like all men, are redeemed by Christ’s death and their good works are the starting place where we can meet with them–the implication being “meet with them in an encounter that leads eventually to faith in Christ.”

Trying to get any “news on religion” from the huffingtonpost that is not in anyway attempting to reinforce some sort of secular agenda is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. :rolleyes:


I think this touches also on the parable of the two sons:

Matt 21:28-32
“What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’

He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.

The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.

Which of the two did his father’s will?”

They answered, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him."

My question is: Is it possible that a person’s profession of faith could be in your actions?

As in “I’ll show you my faith through my works?”



Here: patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2013/05/did-pope-francis-preach-salvation-by-works.html

Every article the Huffington Post writes about Pope Francis looks like it’s trying to give you the impression that we’ll have female priests and gays getting married at the altar by this time next year.

This is in error. All are not “saved” by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. We are redeemed by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. The two are different things.

While all are redeemed ( have acces to God’s Mercy ) one must make a CHOICE to be saved by Jesus represented in our full and complete belief in Jesus and all he teaches us.

One can be redeemed ( all are ) and not be saved. Being saved is your choice, sactified by Grace and following Christ and his church in love. One must always be careful to not step off the patch of salvation, that is why Christ gave us the sacriment of confession. It is possible for one to loose one’s salvation by not following Jesus and his church in love. We Catholics don’t confuse redemption with salvation and thus fall into the protestant error of “once saved always saved”. That is what is being presented by some in this thread.



The huffington post has an agenda. They support politically and “religiously” a watered down form of “modern liberalism” (which is not the same as classical liberalism). This is why I never ever take anything seriously that comes from a source that quotes the huffington post. Newadvent.org is where you want to go (it’s the Catholic Drudge report). In addition to being a catholic news agrigator it has links to the Scripture (Greek, English, Latin), The Summa, Writings of the Church Fathers, and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Every catholic should book mark this site and read it multiple times a day (as you do with catholic answers :wink: ).

After reading the Pope’s actual homily…and meditating a bit with some of the comments/scripture quotes posted…by Alan et al..-- I am excited by the Pope’s words…I believe it is a very, very Spirit filled…“piercing and uplifting”…exhortation through the Pope…for me at least. Pope Francis is really good for me…keeps me “off balance” from “self”…and from “slouching my way towards hell”!

Pope Francis is saying to me in his words…the only four words of advice my dear father ever gave me…when I came to him with a problem or a situation in my life that was troubling or not right…“get with it son”!

Pax Christi

Hi Cadian

I’ve been trying to follow this thread and now I am confused so if you or some one else could explain this that would be greatly appreciated.
If Jesus redeamed us all and salvation is not for all then what does this quote from your salvation link mean…

Salvation of the human race

We need not dwell upon the possibility of the salvation of mankind or upon its appropriateness. Nor need we remind the reader that after God had freely determined to save the human race, He might have done so by pardoning man’s sins without having recourse to the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Still, the Incarnation of the Word was the most fitting means for the salvation of man, and was even necessary, in case God claimed full satisfaction for the injury done to him by sin (see INCARNATION). Though the office of Saviour is really one, it is virtually multiple: there must be an atonement for sin and damnation, an establishment of the truth so as to overcome human ignorance and error, a perennial source of spiritual strength aiding man in his struggle against darkness and concupiscence. There can be no doubt that Jesus Christ really fulfilled these three functions, that He therefore really saved mankind from sin and its consequences. As teacher He established the reign of truth; as king He supplied strength to His subjects; as priest He stood between heaven and earth, reconciling sinful man with his angry God.

It does talk later about every individuals respocibility but it is also saying salvation for mankind as in all of us.

Agreed but, there has to be a cooperation of the Soul to be saved. The Soul doesn’t have to cooperate to be redeemed. Redemption is access to God’s Mercy. Salvation is the acceptence of Gods Mercy and the williness on the part of the Soul to live by Gods ways and struggle against sin at all costs out of love for God and every other soul. God will not force you to love Him because that would not be love and would be tyranny. Just as God will not force you to love Him, He will not force you to accept His Mercy. That is the distiction as I understand it ( please someone correct me if I am off base ). Redemption is for all but Salvation is for those that Choose it ( and continue to live in Christs ways lest they loose this Salvation).

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