Pope: You don't have to believe in God to go to heaven

Pope Francis assures sceptics: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.


Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

So, there you go. We can shut down this forum now.

That is SO cute, listening to a snippet quote from the internet.
(I hope you’re not being serious)

CONTE[size=4]XT IS EVERYTHING[/size],I hope this link will provide at least a little more: [INDENT][INDENT]catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=51077

If a persons faith was held captive by Catholic dogma (they were taught they must believe certain catholic doctrines or they would go to hell), but then their captivator (the Pope) set them free (you no longer must believe certain catholic doctrines to avoid hell), couldn’t people still ‘choose’ to believe those very same Catholic doctrines as an act of freedom of will? Of course they could! So you seem to imply that without ‘fear’ as a motivator to faith there wouldn’t be enough Catholics around to even have this wonderful forum that we all love and enjoy! - I hope the faith of Catholics is stronger than that!

So Christ wasn’t and isn’t needed then.

So why believe in Christ? Was Christ a liar when He said that He was the only way to the Father?

So, you didn’t read the actual interview then.

If you read the Pope’s letter that this article was based on, then you’ll see that the Pope’s words were taken out of context…just for sensationalism, in my view.

Reminds me of the hysteria around his comments on homosexuals a few months back…totally irresponsible reporting.

But, the damage has been done, and protestants are gonna be up in arms.

Again - read his letter

God Bless

Is anyone reading the actual interview?

Interesting question, and well said!

This pope is really something.

fyi, there’s another thread on this very same topic…


Thank you agnes therese

Apparently most are not…just taking the headlines as fact.



If they end up getting to heaven, it would only be because of Christ. There is no other way. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

[size=3]yes yes yes !!!

Your link is from an interview in May, fyi.
The OP is talking about a more current letter–an update to the topic–that the pope wrote and was published today/yesterday in which he answered three questions for the editor of the newspaper.


Others have noted that the statement by the Pope is taken out of context. However, this is essentially what Judaism has said all along: one need not be Jewish to partake of the World to Come. The most important thing for us all is to lead a good life in the service of others, and G-d’s mercy is infinite if one repents (or even if one does not).

While the focus of Christianity is the afterlife, Jesus also taught people how to live a moral life in the here and now.

It seems to me that it’s just another case of the Pope saying what the church already teaches (that yes, sometimes an atheists lack of faith is not of their own fault, and they can in cases still be saved if they strive to live a moral life) and everyones getting up in arms about it

That is true, and I think it is an excellent thing that people, like yourself, can see wisdom and moral teachings in the founders of other faiths.

Still, from a Christian perspective, we can not separate Christ from the cross without losing the meaning of the Gospel. We can’t simply follow the example of Jesus and disbelieve in the sacrifice he offered for the many, for we are not made right with God through our own actions, as Christ like as they may be, but rather our faith that Jesus died for our sins.

Galatians 2

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,[g] who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification[h] comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

That being said, the Pope’s words are true, it is God who passes final judgment, not humans.

Romans 14

  • Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess** to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.***

I don’t understand, he didn’t say anything about non-believers going to Heaven at all. He said that if a non-believer goes to God with a sincere, contrite heart then God will forgive them.

By definition, in order to go to God with a sincere, contrite heart, you would have to believe.

Bingo!! The writer is not conveying what was said, rather what he wishes were said

God Bless!!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.