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I found this on Huffington Post.  I'm glad the Pope has decided that atheists can be good people, but  what if I'm not interested in being  "redeemed"?

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

Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists. During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and a "culture of encounter" to support peace. Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Francis explained how upset Jesus' disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “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” Pope Francis went further in his sermon to say: "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.” Responding to the leader of the Roman Catholic church's homily, Father James Martin, S.J. wrote in an email to 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." Of course, not all Christians believe that those who don't believe will be redeemed, and the Pope's words may spark memories of the deep divisions from the Protestant reformation over the belief in redemption through grace versus redemption through works. The pope's comment has also struck a chord on Reddit, where it is the second most-shared piece. More from Reuters: Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis said on Wednesday in his latest urging that people of all religions - or no religion - work together. The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning Mass in his residence, a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments. He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus. "Even them, everyone," the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. "We all have the duty to do good," he said. "Just do good and we'll find a meeting point," the pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: "But I don't believe. I'm an atheist." Francis's reaching out to atheists and people who belong to no religion is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.


Asked by musicmaker at 9:43 PM on May. 23, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 28 (34,183 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I personally don't think heaven or hell exists.

    Answer by 3libras at 6:08 PM on May. 24, 2013

  • We can all choose whether or not we believe in God. But whether God chooses to believe in us or not is up to Him. We have no say in the matter.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:57 PM on May. 23, 2013

  • Since the Pope has not claimed infallibility this is simply his stance on the subject.


    Answer by Dardenella at 10:30 PM on May. 23, 2013

  • It's pretty basic in Catholic thought. We are all redeemed by Christ. And through that redemption, we are welcomed into heaven. A person can still choose not to enter.

    Answer by snookyfritz at 8:34 AM on May. 24, 2013

  • If God exists that great, if not it won't matter. I believe in God and one reference to God for Catholics is  " Christ the Redeemer" .  It's Pope Francis belief we can all be redeemed by our actions not just Atheists.  


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 10:00 PM on May. 23, 2013

  • Yes but it is not by our works but by faith.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:30 PM on May. 24, 2013

  • That's exactly my point 3 libras. I'm glad the pope is acknowledging that a person who does not think there are Gods, or a God can be a good person, and does not need to be told that they need to be saved, (because we already are, according to the pope.) but as a non believer, I don't need to be redeemed because for me, there is no God. Just accept me, like I accept you, ( I have zero problem with others believing in God, or Gods)and understand that just because I don't feel the need to worship a God or Gods doesn't mean I can't be a good person, no redemption needed. Luckily I have found  the vast majority of moms here, are very accepting of atheists, and I appreciate that. My co workers, not so much.


    Comment by musicmaker (original poster) at 9:26 PM on May. 24, 2013

  • im atheist. i dont believe in heaven, hell or a higher power. but just as im sure its a relief for Christians to know that I don't think they're stupid for their beliefs, its a relief for me to know that there are people that exist that ascribe to the Bible religions and don't condemn every soul to hell that doesn't believe the same as they do. imo- the Bible doesn't paint Christ as a condemning character. so if you want to follow in his footsteps, having an attitude like this is a good start.

    Answer by tnm786 at 11:51 AM on May. 25, 2013

  • It is nice that he says atheists and those in other religions can be very good people and do good works. I did not know that there was any question on that.
    If I were not Catholic, I honestly can not see how that stamen would do anything for me on way or the other, because I would not believe in the religion and anything they said about my personal faith or spirituality would mean would mean less than my older neighbor patting my arm and saying I am a nice girl. Its just too bad I am not Lutheran. lol From that I take only you are a nice girl and leave the rest behind. My guess is that is what I would do if I were in the situation.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:27 AM on May. 26, 2013

  • That's exactly my point 3 libras. I'm glad the pope is acknowledging that a person who does not think there are Gods, or a God can be a good person, and does not need to be told that they need to be saved,

    That is not at all what he said.

    Answer by snookyfritz at 5:52 PM on May. 26, 2013