Skip to comments.Pope Francis: God will forgive atheists who obey their conscience
Posted on 09/13/2013 7:29:54 AM PDT by cleghornboy
Pope Francis, referring to atheists who refuse to believe in God, His Commandments and His Church, recently said, "God forgives those who obey their conscience." See here.
Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, explains that: "Conscience, as the judgment of an act, is not exempt from the possibility of error. As the Council [Vatican II] puts it, 'not infrequently conscience can be mistaken as a result of invincible ignorance, although it does not on that account forfeit its dignity; but this cannot be said when a man shows little concern for seeking what is true and good, and conscience gradually becomes almost blind from being accustomed to sin.'" (Veritatis Splendor, No. 62, citing Gaudium et Spes, 16).
Pope John Paul II continues: "Conscience is not an infallible judge; it can make mistakes....Conscience, as the ultimate concrete judgment, compromises its dignity when it is culpably erroneous, that is to say, 'when man shows little concern for seeking what is true and good.." (VS, Nos. 62, 63, citing Gaudium et Spes, 16).
How then can Pope Francis issue a blanket statement declaring that God will forgive all atheists who obey their conscience?
Some years ago, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, during his Keynote Address of the Fourth Bishops' Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on "Moral Theology Today: Certitudes and Doubts," which was delivered in February of 1984, had this to say...
(Excerpt) Read more at lasalettejourney.blogspot.com ...
He needs to read the Bible...
He’s trying too hard now to be the “every Pope”.
A breath of fresh is one thing, changing tenents to be more ‘democratic’ is another.
The Pope is the “Vicar of Christ on Earth”. He does not speak for God himself.
The Church is just trying to connect with young people.
Um, trying in a way that doesn’t involve ‘hush money.’
You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 12:2-3
This is the gospel of Jiminy Cricket.
What does this say about the college of cardinals who selected this pope, then?
These kind if comments make me very uneasy about this pope. This idea us wrong and anti- scriptural.
I remember the homily the priest gave at the RCC church I was attending at the time immediately after Nidal Hasan slaughtered all those people at Fort Hood while screaming allahu akbar. The message was that Christianity doesn't have a lock on salvation and people can find God and salvation through other faiths, and that it was wrong to condemn other faiths. Of course I, having converted to RCC several years ago after having attended mass regulalry for the better part of 20 years though - Dang! I should have switched to Rastafarian or Pagan.
The Way Home - John 14:4-7
“You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. So how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way. I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, then you would know my Father too. But now you know the Father. You have seen him.”
Respectfully John 14:6 New International Version:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
I wouldn’t be too sure about that.
Acts 4: 12
He’s a Jesuit... enough said. That statement also does not fall into the infallibility category.
False Prophet, check
Just waiting for the appearance of the Beast...
The Pope's/Church's word is above the Bible. Catholics tell me this all the time.
So much for the phrase “Is the Pope Catholic?”
Hillary or Mooshell?
Ya gotta wonder at the Popes intentions because his statement is going to drive Atheists up the wall! They don’t want to believe there is any God and here is the Pope telling them no sweat you live right and God will forgive you you your non belief. What does this do to all of the Atheists that say they live a moral life because it’s the right thing to do, not because of God? The Pope has just threatened them with Heaven.
I’m glad Christ is my Great High Priest, and I’m not beholden to some MAN.
Sorry, but this guy is a kook.
Actually, his statement reinforces the Atheist's Wish: Compulsory Heaven For All (if there is one).......
That is the crux of the situation we cannot obey our conscience, we are sinners in need of a Great Savior, Jesus!
I agree with the Jesuit comment, but even still this kind of statement can put souls in jeopardy.
“He needs to read his Bible.”
You got that right. But a religion that makes something other than the word of God authoritative, allows all kinds of error. To wit: “atheists will be saved.” The Bible couldn’t be clearer or more redundant. Let me give just one verse that does not leave the truth in doubt.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. But he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
And one must believe while he lives not in some limbo land where he might receive a 2nd chance. This is it.
“Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever that liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” (John 11:25,26)
Without forgiveness of sin by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, the eternal lake of fire awaits. (Rev 14:10,11; 20:14,15; 21:7,8). The Catholics don’t believe this either.
He’s a loon.
He is clearly preaching some gospel other than YHvH's WORD.
Francis is channeling the Evil One. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
He is clearly preaching some gospel other than YHvH's WORD.
Go read what the Pope actually said. He said that God will forgive those who COME TO HIM. In other words, an atheist still needs to become a christian before death. If he does, then yes, God will forgive him and will admit him to heaven. If he stays an atheist, then no: “There is no way to the father except through me”.
Second circle of hell for them. Please line up single file.
I’m not trying to put words in the Popes mouth or dispute his words and meaning. I am looking at the reaction atheists will have to his “reported” words. So please don’t be so defensive.
Is the Pope really referring to people who REFUSE to believe in God?
Because that is not simply a misguided conscience - that is man REJECTING the Most High. Big difference.
I think Romans 1:20 (or thereabouts) points out that God has revealed his glory in all of the heavens, and the Earth, and below the Earth (the sea and the ocean I presume), therefore they (the unbelieving man) are WITHOUT EXCUSE.
It doesn’t sound to me like Scripture is giving the atheist a pass for any reason anyway.
Hopefully there can be some logical and reasonable explanation for this. I really do hope because on the surface this is most unsettling.
All the vows of poverty and washing people’s feet go for naught if they remain unsaved sinners. Only Jesus Christ paid for all of our sins, and only through Him are we saved.
And here it is!
I’m going to go out of a limb and guess is this guy is more of a Teilhard Jesuit than an Ignatian Jesuit.
So, God forgives so anything goes? Really? Then no need for a Pope or a church.
I think he is referring to those who have not heard the Word of Salvation, not to those who have heard and rejected it.
I swear I was thinking that after I hit post.
Clear as a bell.
Uh, no he isn’t.
Oh my Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy.
No pushin’ and shovin’! Plenty of fire for everyone!
(Obscure old science fiction reference)
AN ATHEIST IN THE WOODS
An atheist was walking through the woods.
What majestic trees!
What powerful rivers!
What beautiful animals!
He said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.
He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him..
He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer.
He tripped & fell on the ground.
He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.
At that instant the Atheist cried out,
Oh my God!
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.
You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I dont exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.
Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?
Am I to count you as a believer?
The atheist looked directly into the light, It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?
Very well, said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.
In explanation of Frances’ previous remarks as seen from the Vatican (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/explanatory-note-on-the-meaning-of-salvation-in-francis-daily-homily-of-may-22) and other commentators:
100% of humanity is “redeemed”
Redeemed /= saved
Forgiven /= saved
“Anonymous Christians” are surprised to find themselves in heaven in spite of their unbelief: “...non-Christians who end up in heaven must have received the grace of Christ without their realising it.” (Jesuit Fr. Karl Rahner, not repudiated by the Vatican, AFAIK)
But this in turn suggests that being in heaven cannot = salvation, because “only through this Church can one obtain the fullness of the means of salvation.” (Catechism 162, 171)
After reading it all, I sit here wondering, what is salvation? The very concept seems lost in a muddle.
What value is there in God’s “forgiveness” of atheists, honest and true to their consciences, that Frances declares? Is he saying anything with content?
In my opinion all Catholics should feel distinctly uncomfortable with the direction in which Frances is leading.
Make that “Francis,” of course. He is a guy.
I think that the Pope needs to "revise and extend" his remarks on this matter.