Pope Francis: ‘Atheists can go to heaven’
New Pope, Francis I, has already made a huge impression. Francis having unveiled a new app, which gives access to Catholic materials in eight different languages, has also made several appeals for Catholics to pray for the survivors of the Oklahoma tornado and called on Christians to share their faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Controversy loomed, however, as last week, “Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!” said Catholic Online. Francis stated that “We all have the duty to do good.” He then seemingly revealed to atheists, “Do good: we will meet one another there,” ‘there’ being heaven. Catholic Online went on to explain how people will be judged on their moral and ethical values.
The growing debate is whether Jesus’ sacrifice is inclusive of everybody, faithful or not, and whether good atheists will go to heaven through the atonement of Christ, alone?
Adamant Christians might look at the argument from a different viewpoint, John 3:18, “Whoever believes in [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in him stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God,” but what is really interesting is the influence Pope Francis has already had on the Catholic church.
This article was originally circulated by Dr Jim Denison, who runs a US-based Christian forum, reporting on Pope Francis and the initial effect he has had on Catholicism.