Pope Francis: God’s Mercy Extends to Atheists

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Pope Francis this week stressed the need for dialogue between believers and non-believers. The pope’s comments came in a letter published in Italy’s popular paper, La Repubblica. One of the paper’s founders, an atheist, had written to the pope asking whether God forgives those who have no faith. Francis responded that God’s mercy has no limits, and those who do not believe in God must obey their own consciences. Earlier this year, the pope made a similar statement, saying atheists who do good can be redeemed.

  • Kimberlee

    Ii doesn’t surprise me that an Atheist, possibly someone who doesn’t study the Bible, should ask the question. The disappointment is that so many Christians, who supposedly study their Bibles regularly, don’t know this; and will so often threaten Atheists with hell for their disbelief. It may well be that an Atheist has acted more Christian in the living of his life, than a Christian has. Mere belief without change in the way we act towards others is meaningless or, worse, hypocrisy.

    The same in my own Faith: “The man who lives the life according to the teachings of Baha’u’llah is already a Bahá’í. On the other hand, a man may call himself a Bahá’í for fifty years, and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá’í.” – Baha’i Writings

  • Sarah

    ”One of the paper’s founders, an atheist, had written to the pope asking whether God forgives those who have no faith”
    Why would an Atheist even ask about G-d? One of my best friends is an Atheist and she is the kindest and most concerned about others that I have ever known. She does not need to affirm that there is a G-d to inquire about. I, as a Jew, could also ask why a Jew would want the Pope to affirm that a non believer in Jesus could be redeemed. In other words, the fact that the Pope does, or does not, think we will be redeemed is moot—–it is of no interest to us.

  • Kimberlee

    Shalom, Sarah! Good question. I’m speculating only: maybe the man who asked the question has family or loved ones who are Catholic and to whom the Pope’s opinion would matter?