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

Wow, this pope is really radical, and not at all in the same conservative mold as the previous. How far do you think he is taking this?

How is this radical. It would seem to be a continuation of what the RCC has previously taught.

…all the way to the showroom at Caesar’s, the Valhalla of show business…

Seriously, I hope he manages to at least drag the RCC into the 21st century. If he can manage to alienate and distress the masses enough with his reforms, maybe there’ll be a schism and/or a reformation. If it’s lottery-winning-time maybe he’ll kickstart the whole downfall of the RCC and organized religion in general, but I wouldn’t bet the rent on it.

What a weird headline: he said several things that would’ve made for a decent headline, and they tried to sum them up (I guess) by combining them into something he didn’t say. He said Jesus redeemed everybody, which is nothing new, that atheists who do good things are good people, and that regardless of everybody’s faith, they can find common ground by doing good deeds. I agree with the sentiment, but of course we have some significant disagreements about what good and good deeds are.

It is in line with something that the dalai lama said.

It is radical, or have you already forgotten the pro child rapist Pope Rat

*Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society".

He went on to urge the UK to guard against “aggressive forms of secularism”.

The Pope made his remarks in his opening address to the Queen at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

He said: "Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

“As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny.”*

From here-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11332515 and this was just the first result to come up.

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus?

Thank you, Pope Francis, for saying I have been redeemed. In spite of what some say, I’m sure your intentions are honorable. You are the fucking Pope, fer Chrissakes. However, I do not wish to be redeemed, as it may reduce my chances of entering Hell, where all the interesting and educated people are. Would you please process my application to be un-redeemed ASAP?

– In His (or Her) name, An Atheist

It’s quite nice of him, but I kind of feel as though somebody has said, “If you leave out a bowl of milk, the brownies will clean your kitchen, whether or not you believe in them.” There’s no relief at all in his words, except inasmuch as he’s signaling Catholics not to show hostility toward atheists.

Which, now that I think about it, is pretty good.

Hey, awesome! Well, I’ll see ya’ll in heaven then, but not at Mass! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m still unclear whether he’s referring to all non-Catholic/non-Christians as Atheists or if he means all those who don’t believe in any Supreme Being.

Everyone, including those who have no belief in a deity.

The statement is not aimed at those outside the church, (who very likely share the views of Left Hand of Dorkness or miss elizabeth), but at Catholics, to remind them both that they need to avoid sanctimoniously thinking that they are in some way superior and also that it is important to maintain both dialogue and cooperation with those whose beliefs we do not share.

Well, this certainly removes any incentive for doing “good” (whatever that is) in this world. I mean, the last place I wanna wind up is a heaven where I won’t know a single soul. No, send me down where all my buddies are.

Question (real one):

In the context of this thread what does “redeemed” mean?

Everyone goes to heaven? I though the bible was explicit that the only route to heaven was belief in Jesus.

To wit:

While it seems the Pope is trying to be cool and tolerant (nice to see) it remains that he cannot possibly think atheists can go to heaven.

So again I ask what is “redeemed” in this case?

Catholics aren’t literalists.


I thought this was dogma among all Christians (at least officially…I know individuals will have differing opinions about this).

I guess he did enlighten up…

I continue to be impressed by the new pope. While I haven’t been following everything he’s been doing, everything I’ve heard makes him sound like a nice guy - blessing a guide dog, being inclusive of women, and now this.

As a joke this sort of thing is fine. But as there was already a better joke upthread, I have to check something. You do realize that, in their mythology, Hell is a place of torment, right? This sort of thing is like saying you are going to jump into a bonfire and have a party with your friends. You’re going to be too busy burning to do anything else.

It’s a pet peeve of mine to see people take on part of a mythology but not all of it. If Hell is real, you don’t want to go there, by definition.

Redeemed means that Jesus has paid any debt that is considered to be owed for sin. The language comes from the Jewish practice (not limited to Judaism) of sacrificing animals to God in atonement for sin. The concepts, today, can vary widely as to what that means in current theology, but the central meaning remains that God calls all people to be saved and provides the means to accept that salvation, (even if they do not realize it). The act of Jesus means that no person can “earn” their salvation, he has earned it for them.

There has been a long and developing tradition in Christian theology, (not embraced by Evangelicals or stricter adherents to Calvinist theology), that God would not punish people who could not have known of Him or that were prevented from believing in Him due to other factors. In the twentieth century, Catholic theologian, Karl Rahner, made that a keystone of his theological tracts, coining the term “Anonymous Christian” to explore the idea that a person who has embraced the principles of the message of Jesus would be saved. The Lutheran theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the term “Unconscious Christianity” to explore a similar message. (C.S. Lewis incorporated the idea into his final Narnia book, The Last Battle, in 1956. The concept of “Baptism of Desire” extends at least as far back as the Council of Trent in the late sixteenth century.)

There are scriptural allusions to the idea, (contradicted by other passages, of course :stuck_out_tongue: ):
Romans 2:12 - 16
1 Timothy 2:4
Matthew 25:34 - 46 (to which we will return).

= = =

There will be kickback from a number of non-Catholic Christians, (and probably several groups of Catholics). The Catholics will be mad that he has not reversed the condemnation of Fr. Feeney’s claim that only Catholics are going to heaven. (That heresy was suppressed about 60 years ago.)
Many Protestants are going to be upset (or delighted to have more ammunition) over what might turn into a revival of the “faith vs works” dispute.

The Catholic church has never denied, (despite claims by some non-Catholics), that it is impossible for a person to “earn” salvation. However, the RCC has always pointed to Matthew 25:34 - 46 for its position. That passage makes no mention of faith while describing those who will be saved or damned, but refers to the actions of those judged. It is the teaching of the church, not that anyone earns their salvation, but that their response to God’s offer of salvation can only be identified by their actions. The Letter of James makes much the same point–it is not a new belief–which is why Martin Luther would have liked to strike it from the canon. Rahner, (and Bonhoeffer, though not Catholic), expand on that idea by setting forth the idea that the Spirit of Jesus is in the world, calling humanity to be with him and that they respond, (even if unconsciously), by behaving in a just and merciful manner.

There are plenty of references in Scripture, (and any number of pronouncements from the church over the centuries), that are in conflict with the current expressions, but Pope Francis has not really made a startlingly new claim.