Pope on Jesus' redemption for all, inc atheists

“Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics”


I think there is a bandwagon assuming he’s talking about universal salvation, rather than simply stating - I as understand it (and is mentioned in the article) - the central Christian belief that Jesus died for everyone’s sins.

Have I understood this right?

Yes, what he said is theologically accurate, Jesus died for the sake of sins of all (inlcuding atheists) and in doing so redeemed all, in the sense that we are all children of God. The distinction is between redemption, which has occurred for all, and salvation, which only occurrs through Christ. People will jump on this because they don’t know (or want to deliberatly obscure) the difference between redemption and salvation.

Never take a religion article from HufPo seriously, they’re about as biased as you can get.

That being said, you are correct. I believe that Pope Francis is referring to the fact that Christ died for everyone, not just Catholics. He likely meant it as an appeal to atheists to research the faith. Christ died for all of us, and all of us are capable of receiving his gifts, all we need to do is seek him out. Leave it to the Huffington post to try to write common Catholic knowledge as some grand revelation >_>

I’m really liking Pope Francis so far ^^

So… We don’t need to believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? I am troubled by this.

I know Jesus died for all of us, but didn’t He die for all of us who choose to obey His teachings, etc…?

Part of me feels like this will only fuel negative Protestant stereotypes and ignorance of Catholicism. Is Pope Francis wrong on this?

Thank you. I re-read and have a clearer understanding now. Whew!

Can’t we as Catholics just admit that atheist have the same chance of getting into heaven as us? An atheist can follow his or her conscience(which God uses to talk to us) which will lead him to ultimately to God through Christ’s sacrifice. I love Pope Francis! He is opening the door for the whole world!

While I would like to think this is true, I cannot. The problem with atheism is that it presents no reason to follow your conscience. It has no logical basis for “doing good” and so there is less incentive to live a moral life (ignoring, for now, the fact that atheism also lacks a basis for defining what is moral).

I agree that it’s possible; and I hope all of my atheists friends make it, but I would not say that the chances are the same. That’s like saying a man wandering through the forest with nothing but a flashlight has the same chance of finding his way out as a man with a compass, map and flashlight.

No, we cant say they have the same chance because they do not.

“Without Faith it is impossible to please God.”
“Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he will not inherit the kingdom of God,”
“Whoever does not believe stands condemned already”

An atheist can follow his conscience, but is that all that is required for salvation? Does the Judge say that? Or does the judge say something else…

Atheists have a good chance just like people before the time of Christ and those who haven’t heard His name. We Catholics should not be so comfortable in knowing the truth. God expects more out us and ultimately it is our fault that they are atheists.

The problem is that a lot of people are going to have the exact same confusion you did (for good reason) and articles like this will only compound it :confused:

This is not true, you’re misunderstanding what Pope Francis said, and misunderstanding Church doctrine.

The Church teaches that Christ and His Church are the one true path to salvation. It also allows that God can, out of mercy, save someone not in the Church. The two are not equatible.

You have contradicted yourself. Those who have heard His name and rejected Him through their own free will are indeed very different than those who were born before Him or had never heard the Word.

if you need a “reason” to follow your conscience, you probably don’t have much of a conscience in the first place

He didn’t say that. There’s nothing to be troubled about. As with so many of his remarks, this is food for pondering and meditation.

So salvation and eternal fate is less to do with what’s in your heart than it is a mind game. You have to somehow manipulate your thoughts into believing something whether or not you’ve actually been genuinely convinced of it. And before that, you have to make sure to pick the right set of religious beliefs to do this mental trick with. I’ll pick Door 3, Catholicism, for all the marbles please.

God cannot be so trivial and cruel

Hello! I basically understand this entire homily and what it means except one part where he says:

Someone can object, “‘But I don’t believe, Father, I’m an atheist.’ But do good and we’ll meet there,” he said.

Does anybody have context as to what “there” is? Heaven? Some sort of hypothetical agreement/friendship?

The quotes I provided were from Scripture, two of which were form the Son of God Himself.
Is that an issue?

If my choice is to A: believe God is that petty and trivial or to B: believe some human somewhere along the way over the past 2000 years misinterpreted an elderly ancient’s account of something he thought he heard Jesus say decades earlier, I’m going to have to choose B unless someone can help me square the two.

I thought that this was interesting, especially in light of Pope Francis’ sermon.
thetablet.co.uk/latest-news/5310 The article basically reasserts that the Church is against the conversion of the Jews according to Cardinal Koch. He is contrasting the Church with Evangelical churches that do have specific Jewish outreach. I think that this is wise based on the Church’s poor history with Jewish communities, but if you believe that there is no salvation outside the Church then doesn’t that action suggest that the Church isn’t willing to save a whole lot of people? I really don’t think that the Church would be down with that.

My feeling on Pope Francis’ take on this is that the Catholic Church provides the full Truth, but aspects of the Truth are revealed to many other people and many other religions. Even atheists have access to many aspects of the Truth. However, it is pretty easy for an atheist to fall victim to the secular, individualized culture. Moreover, Francis suggests that fundamentalists, people who distort the Truth, are less likely to achieve salvation than atheists who understand certain aspects of the Truth.

:slight_smile: I think it’s much better to desire the actual God (even if you don’t understand that what you desire is in fact God) than to be a merciless expert on God’s biography.

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