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Pope Says Atheists Can Go to Heaven. Indulgence Market Tanks.

Written by Gary North on September 12, 2013

For those of you who read or watch The Onion, you know this headline or something like it is coming. Here is why. This is a real story, not a fake. It is all over the Web.

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church’s fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI. “Francis is a still a conservative,” said Mr Mickens. “But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world.”

If the present Pope’s views had been shared by Leo X in 1517, would Martin Luther have nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg? No. There would have been no indulgence market to protest against. John Tetzel would have been in another line of work.

If atheists can get in, then the average believer has a good shot, if he has a clear conscience. That’s where the indulgence market has always been: the “not quite good enough” market.

While the indulgence market has been badly hurt by the Pope’s statement, the market for fusty images has soared. It’s a matter of supply and demand. The supply has just collapsed. That is extremely good news for me. I have been heavily invested in fusty imagery for years. It’s a shame that I did not take a leveraged long position in the futures market in August. I would have made a killing.

Continue Reading on www.independent.co.uk

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143 thoughts on “Pope Says Atheists Can Go to Heaven. Indulgence Market Tanks.

  1. The Vatican has obviously been compromised too…

  2. I wonder if Christian-beheading Muslims will be the next ones to get into heaven after the atheists?

    Wow! The Catholic Church is really hip because of this statement. Gays, atheists, what's next, Pope? This is really cool!

    I used to be a fusty guy but not any more.

  3. Well, honestly do any religions make 100% sense to anyone???

  4. I’m a conservative, protestant minister, and yet I can see what he’s saying about forgiveness. With original, unacknowledged and hidden sins, a nonbeliever will still be in debt and unreconciled to God. But, for any acknowledged, individual sin for which a person sincerely repents, God forgives it, believer or not.

    Now, the comment about not judging gay choices, that’s in error, especially if they’re a believer, like a priest. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount was clear that lust in the heart was the equivalent to sinful action. So, priests with homosexual urges/thoughts are to be honest about this sin, repent, and if they can’t stop, leave leadership. Scripture says that those outside the church are judged by God (though the church still needs to teach against the sin and try to turn the person from the sin).

  5. And that's the whole point. Religion is a man-made invention. Relationships with God is the way to Heaven. Accept His Gift, the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, in atonement for your sins, and you have a relationship with Him, because that's the ONLY way sins are forgiven and forgotten by Him. God cannot have sin in His presence, but He gave us a bridge to Him, via His Gift, His Son's sacrifice for us.

  6. BTW, even Jesus HATED religion. Anytime it's mentioned in the Bible, it's spoken of in no good terms. Because it causes division amongst us, not unity.

  7. The Pope has placed himself above God in many ways. He has made himself man’s judge and Savior and mediator which are offices that belong only to Jesus. So he has sinfully presumed the prerogatives of God. The Bible makes it clear that the only way into heaven is through faith in the merits of Jesus’ atoning death and turn from sin. Man can’t pay for his own sins by simply repenting. The Bible defines sin as the breaking of God’s commandments. The Pope claims he has the right to change God’s law and put man-made laws in its place. According to prophecy, the Pope is the “man of sin” who “sits in the temple of God,showing himself to be God” and “will think to change times and laws.” The Pope has no right to change God’s conditions for how a sinner gets eternal life. The Pope is the greatest example of blasphemy. He is indeed the “antichrist”.

  8. The pope is full of that which makes the grass grow green. The Bible, God's Word, the God of Abraham, Isaac,and Jacob, clearly says the Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light, no man cometh unto the Father but by Him. If you reject the salvation that God has provided Himself, then you are rejecting God and, according to God's Word, your part is in Hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not. You can't get much plainer than that.

  9. The pope is a heretic & unbeliever! Ones conscious doesn't save anything or anyone. Jesus taught that sinners need to repent and believe in Him , not their conscious. If conscious saved then Jesus payment on the cross for our sins was unnecessary. Only belief , trust, faith,in Jesus Christ saves anyone from their sins. Nothing else saves us from the penalty of our sins! Not anything, priest, pope, pastors,doctrine, conscious, wishful thinking Karma, Muhammed, Islam, Buddah,gay pride, etc. Sinners need a savior not a religion. Nothing can save anone only a persons personal belief , faith & trust in Jesus Christ alone . This is the main salvation plan that Jesus taught. Christians who love Jesus, love sinners (which we are one) yet hate the sin. We and the church point sinners to our only hope…Jesus Christ.

  10. Ignorance must be bliss huh! The Fullness of the Truth can only be found in the Catholic Church. The same one begun by Jesu Christu Himself!

  11. backtotheplate says:

    Well, there goes the notion that popes will necessarily go to Heaven.

  12. It is not about a religion, it is about a relationship with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and I am sure the dope, oops pope will answer for this at some point. Of course, I am not a catholic anyway and what the pope says, any pope doesn't have much sway in my walk with the our Lord Christ Jesus.

  13. LOL. All of this. The article, the comments… just LOL.

  14. The catholic church of the pope is not the church our Lord Christ Jesus founded. It is cultic at best and is unscriptural. The pope no more speaks for God than a dead dog in the street. I believe he is a heretic and it did not take this blasphemy to prove it. The Roman catholic church has been out of step with Christ since 313 AD when they saddled up with the Roman Government.

  15. How is it ignorance? Are you saying that the pope isn't saying that atheists will go to heaven? Seems to me he is. If that's true then he's denying that one must believe in Christ first.

    I tell you what, these liberal popes are slitting their own throats as they become more and more "liberal". I bet the conspiracy theorists who think the Vatican runs the world are having a field day with this. Catholicism is going to be a minority one day at this rate.

  16. God's Word declares this: "Whosoever shall call upon the name of Jesus shall be saved!" Romans 10:13
    We must ask for the Lord's forgiveness! We must repent of our sin, and most importantly, we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! Salvation and forgiveness of sin can come by no other way! The Pope is wrong!!!!!!!!

  17. Seymour Kleerly says:

    You say it's not about Religion and then talk about Christ as if he is some kind of God. Hello!!!

  18. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Not the ones who started wars and inquisitions, molested little boys (common practice centuries ago), sold indulgences etc.!!

  19. Jeff Brodhead says:


    …Worse yet, for the individual, sin cannot exist in the presence of our Holy God.

  20. backtotheplate says:

    I don't know. Maybe they were sincere. Let's ask Francis!

  21. Regrettably, being a practicing Catholic, I am considering the thought that the tag team of evil is among us: the anti pope, Francis and the anti-Christ, Obaa-baa-ma; either way, we are living in the SEASON of the end times and to deny this is to be a fool!

  22. Jeff Brodhead says:

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    [John 14:6, KJV]

  23. I agree!

  24. Wow a Pope that defies the word of God. Unbelievable Insanity.

  25. Jesse Tomblin says:

    CHRIST had nothing to do with the Catholic Church because it is based on LIES. Peter did not own any ring and he was NEVER the leader of the First Church James and John were. If Peter had owned the ring the pope wears he would have sold it to help the new Church when it was starting up as did many members. The pope and Catholics break the Number One rule of GOD which is not to worship IDOLS yet every catholic prays to Mary , Peter, and many more so called Saints. They even break the3 Number one rule of getting into heaven which is only done by faith in CHRIST not by works. Read Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9.

  26. For all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.

    For the wages of sin is death.

    While they were yet sinners, Christ died for them.

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

    And to they who believed, to them gave HE the power to become sons of God.

    …but the greatest commandment is this: that you love one another as you love yourselves.

    behold, I go and prepare a place for you.


  28. just further proof that roman catholicism is not a Christian religion. what's new
    there are 100's more reasons if one understands the scriptures. the very fact that they have a poop is proof that Jesus is not allowed control.

  29. It is good to know that the Pope doesn't have the final word. He, like all sinners, must accept and abide by the words of Jesus Christ. And, like those whom he instructs, will face judgment when he stands before Christ to give account of himself. The Pope simply cannot modify the teachings of Christ for the sake of inclusion. Romans 10:9-10 9 (ESV)because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
    — Leon

  30. I don't think that this or the comment in July constitutes a complete waffle job; even though it sound like it. There are caveats to all the statements made . For anyone interested, the Catechism of the RC Church has been a huge eye opener for me mostly because it answers a lot of questions and tacitly shows there are so many similarities with the values of Protestants. But speaking of waffling, If the church comes out and eventually condones homosexuality as a valid & proper practice as the expression of an individuals "Love" for another person, like some Protestants denominations have, than that will, as far as I'm concerned, be a complete & utter lose of credibility. I don't think they will, but that's sort of the point, I think this post has been taken out of context and another thing I can't understand is this mad dog attitude against the church. Don't say "read the papers" or "sex crimes", if that's the argument that make sure you direct it at every congregation, institution or group of people. The RC's didn't invent pedophilia.

  31. I find it very sad that the author, a non-Catholic, believes the liberal media spin on this pope. The liberal media is intent on portraying Francis as a progressive in its attempt to manipulate Catholics and create phoney disagreement between him and his predecessor,

    This pope has said nothing that differs from 2000 years of Catholic teaching. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and you'll see the pope's comments are either taken out of context or distorted.

    I am a loyal practicing Catholic. I get my info from reputable Catholic sources, not the media which hates the church.

  32. You are right to question this, Bob. I expect distortions from the liberal media, but when a source claiming to represent the Tea Party spouts this nonsense against the pope, I want no part of it.

  33. I believe atheists will go to heaven – some atheists. The reason being, I’ve known atheists and agnostics that were more “Christian” than many Christians I have known. As Mark Twain said: Never confuse religion with Christianity. Christianity is not church membership and attendance. It’s a philosophy and a way of life. It’s an altogether personal thing. Some have it, some don’t – and it doesn’t matter how one labels themself.

  34. What "proof?" A writer who makes allegations without foundation? Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and gave Peter the keys to "bind and loose" in His name (it's in the scriptures!). Jesus did not leave us orphans when he ascended to the right hand of the Father. I am a practicing Catholic, a member of the Body of Christ. If you don't think Catholics are Christians, then who do you think Christians are? Christ prayed that "all may be one," not members of thousands of different churches who believe whatever each individual decides he likes to believe. The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains the same teachings we've held to for the last 2000 years. God's commandments don't change to accommodate the culture, polls or the media.

  35. the bible is a fiction written by jews, the pope and the vatican are also owned and operated by jews. i wonder what their next move is.

  36. Joanne, Thank you for saying this! You are 100% correct! I wish Gary North had done more research before writing his piece.

  37. Larry Cates says:

    Hello!!! The vatican has always been compromised. They prove it every time a young boy is assaulted by one of their perverted leaders. They've always "ridden the fence" and always will.

  38. Larry Cates says:

    I know you're being sarcastic here and that's fine, but some may not know that. For those that don't know that alkidya is being sarcastic and kidding, don't be mislead here, no on will ever be allowed into Heaven because of the state of their conscience. The Holy Bible does not state that. You either accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and repent of your sins or you don't . Those that don't can spend eternity with Francis and Satan.

  39. You accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior only if you have ever heard "the Good News" in order to do that. Many people are ignorant of Christ through no fault of their own. God alone will judge them, not you. Pope Francis has not said anything heretical, or, frankly, anything different than what you state above (believe and repent). The article lacks context in order to misrepresent what the pope actually said. Those who knowingly reject God will, in turn, be rejected by Him.

  40. I don't understand that statement about Jews. Jew this, Jew that, everything's the Jews. If by Jew you mean a deviant cabal of wealthy bankers and merchants or the atheist state of Israel then there should be a category for those people. I'll bet there's a lot of anti-Zionist Jews who'd thank you for it.

  41. What "notion" are you talking about? Popes are sinners, too, and nobody, including the popes themselves, deny that. The great majority of them became saints, including the first 20 or so who were martyred for the faith, but there were a handful who clearly caused scandal to the church. Christ never said all his followers would be free from sin, but He did promise that he would be with the church until the end of time. FYI: Infallibility is the Catholic teaching that the pope cannot err in teaching faith or morals. You are obviously confusing that with "impeccabilitiy," which is that one cannot sin. No pope, even the "bad" ones, ever taught heresy. It would be impossible, for example, for a pope to teach that homosexual acts are OK or that abortion i snot a grave sin.

  42. David in MA says:

    First queers and now atheists can go to Heaven.
    I must have read the wrong book, or el popeo missed Corth. and a few others.
    and, re-visit Hebrews for the definition of faith…(bet most will not understand it though)

  43. The pope never said he could change God's law–although there are certainly many Protestant denominations which do exactly that! The Catholic Church condemns abortion as an intrinsic evil–and always has. Many Protestant churches not only think abortion is OK, they "pray for it to continue." Likewise homosexual acts,, adultery and fornication: the Catholic Church calls that sin because God called it sin. Some Protestant churches have gay clergy who live openly gay lives, etc. The "anti-Christ" is anyone who opposes Jesus Christ and His teachings, and the pope does not fit that description.

  44. Perry Mason says:

    This is weak and odd-ball attempt by North to slander Catholicism using logical fallacies (e.g. strawman and non-sequitur), which is actually quite unlike him given his usual scholarly approach.

    The potential for salvation outside the Church is an old question, not a new one as North seems to imply. Scholastics wrote about it, as did some early Church fathers. The points made by the Pope about the need to follow one's conscience, and the corollary (but unstated in the quote above) obligation to properly inform your conscience, are traditional teachings in Catholicism that have their roots in the writings of the early Church fathers, and in the Bible.

    I know Gary is a reconstructionist, but, given his incredibly well-read background, surely by now he should realize that the medieval Church is far more the historical model for his reconstructionist future than the disordered world of ever-fracturing Protestant denominations.

    PS – I still love Gary North and the good he does in this world.

  45. David in MA says:

    The teachings of the catholic church are not necessarily the same as the Bible…
    These catholic buggers pray more to the "queen of heaven" than Yashua…..
    And the "queen of heaven" may not be understood by many for who she actually is,
    ever heard the name Lillith?
    Didn't think so………………ask a priest who Lillith is, and watch him try to run away from you .

  46. David in MA says:

    There are two types of Jews,
    you have zionist jews and Hebrew Jews,
    i'll take the Hebrew Jews, thank you.
    google zionists, bring lunch though, you may be a while….

  47. David in MA says:

    Not exactly, ever heard of the conference of Necia, Constitine (or his mother) approved the "final version", that is until the re-writes and new version and other re-writes, there must be about 20 versions by now, I'll stick with the King James version, thanks.

  48. LiberalsRCommies says:

    It just shows that the Catholic faith does not follow Christ. How can you be Christian when you don't follow the words of Christ. Catholics are NOT CHRISTIANS. It's like the Lutheran's who turned their backs on the important teachings of Martin Luther who saw the jews for what they truly are. The last pope took a stand against homosexuality and they forced him to resign. The Vatican as well as all major religions are compromised . Its all unfolding just like the bible said it would.

  49. What is certainly laughable is the statement wondering whether Martin Luther would have nailed his 95 theses to the church door had Francis been Pope then. The Reformation above all was not a movement of liberalization but sought to apply once more fundamental principles they believed had been lost by the Roman Catholic Church.

    In any case the media have a way of reading things into this Catholic Pope's statement which are not there.

  50. The teachings of the Catholic Church are easily found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You might want to read it sometime, David in MA, so you can stop being so misinformed. You may be surprised to see all the foot notes with direct references to the bible and church fathers.

  51. Go to the Gospels and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Do not concern yourself with Muslims or atheists except to pray for them to come to Christ. Jesus told us not to judge but he also said to speak the TRUTH and forsaking God as and atheist or killing in the name of allah as a Muslim are wrong in my opinion but I'll leave the judging up toid, sa Jesus Christ. Maybe this Pope spoke directly to God but I think this is his personal view. Jesus said, "many are called, few are chosen". To me the prospects are not good in the hereafter if you reject Jesus Christ. Also, are you okay if your concience allows killing and theft? I DO NOT THINK SO.

  52. Joihn Sullivan says:

    I agree with your comment about atheists. Also, leading them to at least seek to follow a well-formed conscience initiates a dialogue that is evangelical in nature.

    The comments of Pope Francis regarding gay priests have been ripped from their original context. He was responding to a question about the Vatican's investigation of a particular priest. What he said was there is nothing sinful about the urges/orientation God gives you (or asks you to bear as a cross). It is the conduct that is sinful, and as long as the homosexually oriented priest honors his vows of chastity then "who is the Pope to judge." He was NOT saying it was alright for priests to engage in homosexual conduct.

  53. Yea and Amen!

  54. No, Jackie, the pope would never go against the word of God. Gary North should be ashamed of himself for repeating liberal media misinformation. The media picks and chooses what sound bites will fit into its agenda and leaves the context on the editing floor! There's a big difference, for example, between conscience and informed conscience. Homosexual acts are sinful, and the pope is not saying otherwise. I thought all Christians are taught to hate the sin but love the sinner. The media would have you believe the pope is affirming sin, which is clearly not what he is doing.

  55. The book of Hebrews states, without faith it is impossible to please God. The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, "By grace you are saved through faith not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not of works lest any man should boast." No one is ever accepted of God on the basis of their good works or moral character. Jesus also said in the Gospel of John Chapter, 3, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is borned again. Christianity is not a pholosophy, it is the way the leads to salvation i.e.forgiveness and the deliverance from the gult and penalty of sin. .

  56. This Pope must be on drugs or under control of liberals or Illuminati . Maybe is * senile * and doesn`t know what he`s saying .

  57. Betsy B.: Please read the full interview. The pope was answering a question about an alleged gay "lobby" and about a priest who was accused, not about an individual person's choice to engage in homosexual acts. The latter is sinful.

  58. It is true all the Bible was written by Jews, so what? They are the chosen people of God. Who would God use to write his word? Atheists?, Pagans?
    The Apostle Paul states in the book of 2nd Timothy "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. About one third of the Bible is prophecy. Prophecy is foretelling history sometimes centuries before it happens. And you call that fiction? The Apostle Peter wrote in his first letter (1st Peter 1: 16, 19-21) For we have not followed cunningly devised fa bleles, when we made known unto you the powr and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitneses of his majesty . . . .We hav also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you do well that you take heed . . . . Knowning this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; by holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

  59. It might be better to stay away from theology if you distort simple stories so badly.

    Romans says that righteousness of God is to all and on all[h] who believe. Pope Francis says that " if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart" you are forgiven. That means you no longer are in unbelief. He did it for His disciple Peter who not only didn't believe – but he publicly denied Him – which Jesus had already said would discount someone from receiving Jesus's grace before the father.

    What the Pope did NOT say (and what you are erroneously inferring) is that those who STAY in unbelief will somehow be accept to heaven.

    (Next time you might want to actually pray about what you think before you write.)

  60. I heard this story, it's not mine and I want to share: An Atheist who is about to enter Hell asked God why is it that the Pope of all people went to Hell. Because he allowed himself to be worship by the people instead of leading them to God.

  61. Faith in God. Yes! I also agree with Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black (Torcaso v. Watkins -1961) and his judgment: "Anything that one believes in so strongly that it influences their behavior is deemed a ‘religion'." If faith in Christ does not influence behavior how is that faith justified? Does one truly have faith if they only “talk the talk?”

  62. It seems that we now know the correct answer to the question "Is the Pope Catholic?"

  63. Learn to spell Jesus Christ unless you are trying to be funny.

  64. If it were not true I would have told you so.

  65. Peter is buried at the Vatican, but that does not mean we think any other Christian religious expression is not equal to Catholicism. He made us all, Protestant Catholic and all other faiths. I don't think Jesus is upset that Catholics are praying to the Saints as if we think they are God. As Catholics, we ask the Saints to pray for us because they are close to Him. We believe each person has a guardian angel that looks out for each of us. We believe that Jesus introducing Mary as "Your mother" while on the cross to John, he was saying she is our mother in a spiritual way. We do not worship statues. People don't understand that the status are like 3 dimensional pictures Catholics use to pray. They are not praying to the statue. We realize they are not divine. Think of it as a symbol, like the cross. I am sure God has enough love for all of us in any way we choose to pray to him. I also think he likes that we honor His mother. Only God will decide who gets in to Heaven. I agree with the Pope. God can see in to your heart and see goodness. Why would he deny a good person salvation just because they didn't have the opportunity that you did to understand Christ? God bless.

  66. Lilith has NO baring whatsoever to the historical figure of Mary. Lilith first appears in Isaiah written 900 years BC. They start tossing her name around and piecing together these ignorant & erroneous conclusions to meet a particular agenda; namely Christian bashing. You can also find Lilith in the Talmud. It's also says she wouldn't be subservient and so ran off with the Angel Samael. I love hearing about that how she wanted to be on top and wanted to dominate Adam and so on; always a sexual thing. As far as I'm concerned it's more occult hogwash; been hearing that for years and if you ask an RC priest, the only reason they talk around it is because it's such a load of trash that it's not even worth studying. I love the comparison to the Blessed Mother, a very mature, grown up, astute, studied and informed statement which, I'm surprised it wasn't followed up by her being a hairdresser who liked to sleep with carpenters. It is nothing less than garbage. I don't know why Protestants disdain her so much. We do not worship her we pray for intervention. We believe there is one true God and yes Catholics are Christians (end of story.) Furthermore, before they were Protestants they were Catholics. It's mankind's preoccupation with stupidity that causes schisms. Luther was right, the RC church needed reformation but I doubt he envisioned the fractured construct as seen today. He counted himself a Catholic to the day he died.

  67. This sounds ridiculous on the surface…but keep in mind its only that, ridiculous on the surface.

    Read what Pope Francis is saying…there must be a change in the person..a contrition, following their conscience…not their 'thoughts' and 'feelings'.
    In a nutshell…'CONVERSION"…true change.
    So, Jesus came for ALL…Jew, Gentile, free man, slave, woman, man…..in fact Church is for sinners…Heaven is for Saints.
    And that's why you see will see me at Church!!! …lol…

    Seriously…its not easy, but knowing conversion is possible for all people.
    For with God, and only God, all things are possible.

    If a person…created by God, and we all are…follows his 'conscience', then it leads him/her inevitably to God.
    If we follow our 'thoughts' and 'feelings'…we follow our selves, just as Lucifer did, and we go to Hell.
    If we, people who know and love and honor God, condemn and hate those who don't, we drive those very people further from God

    Everyone of us has sinned…or continue to sin…just on different levels.
    Sin is sin…and so each and every one of us need God's mercy, or we are doomed.

    A simple statement like this from Pope Francis is much deeper and much more complex than it appears.

  68. You are right on. The Catholic Church has always taught that the ultimate norm of morality is one's own conscience. However, that means an "informed" conscience and one is responsible to inform himself to the extent possible under his own individual circumstances. The Church has elevated many to "sainthood", but has never claimed to know whether any individual has gone to hell; not even Judas. The Church will not and can not put limits on God's mercy.

  69. What’s the difference in this pope and all before him , making their own rules like Obama does. They have always used young boys and girls for are demanding that right . This is perverts after our young.

  70. laughpurplecat says:

    It's awful presumptive to assume that all non-believers are Atheist. To not know God yet, or come to know Him yet, does not suggest that he is being denied entrance into ones life…I am glad God is the judge of all things and no men!

  71. Come on people, easy now. You are glossing over a key word–contrite. That means a heart that seeks forgiveness from God. Now, a true atheist would not approach God with such a heart, would he? Look at the entire statement and better yet, read the entire letter to get the context before you become infuriated with the Pope.

  72. For the record, "all the bible" was NOT written by Jews. St. Luke, who wrote the third of the four gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles, was a gentile.

  73. Rita freeman says:


  74. I agree

  75. If only you'd left out the gay…..slide in…you'd have made a wonderful point. It didn't happen.

  76. He is the False Prophet spoken of in the Bible.

  77. As a long time Catholic…. I'm sorry to sat this Pope is in SERIOUS error, sadly. What would the sermon on the mount have meant?? Or the 10 COMMANDMENTS!? WHY would Jesus say, " if you deny me before men… I will DENY YOU before my Father"..

  78. I suspect this is a spin from the rules of the Bible for people who have never had an opportunity to know about and accept Jesus. For these people, if they are true to their conscience, they may be saved, but I have never heard of someone, who had the chance to learn the truth, and refused to do so, being acceptable to God.

  79. Virgil_Hilts says:

    Reply To Simon and ANYONE who wants to pipe up and sound off. Conscience? I do NOT read that in the Bible. I DO read that, in Romans 10: 9,10….THIS. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

    Nothing there about conscience, good intentions, works, (good or otherwise)….or that you 'meant well'. That word 'confess' is in the Third Person Singular in the Greek; Remember this? "I am, You are, He, She or It Is." The last part is the third person. It is an individual confessing (The word is homologia..meaning 'to say the same thing'. NOW…anyone can confess that Jesus is Lord; not everyone believes that he was raised from the dead…but THAT is the critical part. People can FAKE behavior…they CANNOT fake believing…which is why God looks on The Heart!

  80. As an aside, Gary might have a point. Hmmm, I wonder what statements the Pope could or would make to manipulate markets. Surely, the remark about Indulgences tanking can only be construed as sarcasm. I wonder….

  81. Virgil_Hilts says:

    Jesus Christ did NOT establish the Roman Catholic Church! The Emperor Constatine did.

  82. cal tech you are the fool ! and deluded by satan as well !

  83. Can you see it ? the end times are here !

  84. Seymour Kleerly says:


  85. Does the fact that Francis says atheists can go to heaven mean they can’t co to hell? I don’t think so. Would a benign scientist, who confesses that he can’t prove the existence of God, go to hell because he refuses to believe in what cannot be proven . . . while a serial killer who confesses faith in God will go to heaven? I don’t think so. I guess I just have too much faith in God.

  86. Dennis Blair says:


  87. My cup runneth over…

  88. Francis was quoting Paul in Romans 2:14-15: "Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them."

  89. This pope has totally gone off the deep end. What a blaspheymy!

  90. Howard Roark says:

    Gary, this is universalism. Are you serious? This shows clearly that this Pope is not only an insidious Jesuit, but also a heretic. How this makes you feel better, I can't imagine. “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

  91. It is not by our good works that we are saved. No one comes to the father except through Jesus.

  92. sense when is sin to disobey there conscience,sin is Transgression of Gods Commandments,to obey ones conscience is to Judge according to what is right in our own eyes,that is unrighteous Judgments not righteous Judgments we Judge according to Gods standards(his Torah) not our own,If a man doesn't Repent and turn to God and obey his Commandment they are not Forgiven,saved and a believer regardless of what he may call himself,Obedience is a very large part of what faith is all about,taking God at his word and not making up and inventing your own truth,the scripture clearly say that most who believe they have it made in Matthew 7:13-14 haven't really got it made at all,my advise is forsake this worldly and false religious system completely and come out of her and into Yahweh's Kingdom and live.

  93. Does that really matter? I know many so-called "born-again" Christians who claim "all you gotta do is to believe." Yet the Bible clearly says that isn't true: "for even the devils believe… and shudder."

  94. elle you Catholics epitomize what Ignorance is all about,I don't mean to be unkind,but the fullness of truth does not exist in the Catholic Religion,nor did Jesus(Yeshua) begin or invent the Catholic church,Yeshua died three hundred years before the church of Rome was ever formed by Constantine in the third century,You people should study history a little closer,of course the Catholics will come out of the woodwork to tell me how wrong I am,i have come to expect that,they will have there same old arguments about why they are the one true faith,but their boat won't float when there religion is lined up against the scriptures,to believe the words of man over the word of Yahweh is Spiritual adultery and idolatry,We stopped listening to preachers and priest along time ago,they are lying to you, study your own bible,and the spirit of Yahweh will teach you what you need to know,Jeremiah 7:5 tells us to trust in man and maketh the flesh his arm is for our heart to depart from the lord,John 16:13-15 says the Yeshua is our teacher and instructor and he will show it unto you,it is not wrong to listen to preachers as long as they are telling you the truth,but what ever they say must be Judged by you through the Torah(word) of Yahweh(God),there is no other way,the words of man are unreliable as a means to Judge Truth.

  95. that is Jeremiah 17:5 not jeremiah 7:5

  96. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Finally some common sense from this crippled institution. Next thing they do might actually give women equal rights. It is 2013 after all.

  97. As a long-time Catholic, I'm sorry to say that you, Stealth, don't know your faith. Conversion and repentance make it possible for even the greatest sinner to obtain forgiveness from God. St. Paul acknowledges as much:

    "I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." —1 Timothy 1:14

  98. Sameness is not equality, Seymour. Women in the Catholic Church bring their own unique gifts to the Body of Christ. Creating resentment and division is the work of the devil, not of Christ.

    I love being a Catholic and I love being the woman God created me to be. I don't need you or other men telling me I'm not equal in dignity before my Father in heaven or in the Catholic Church. And, while we're at it, I don't need false "rights" to kill my children through abortion.

    Read Pope John Paul II's wonderful encyclical on the "Dignity of Women" if you still believe the lie that the Catholic Church doesn't recognize the "genius" of women.

  99. You do realize god and all the rest are just mythology right? There really aren't any invisible wizards roaming around.

  100. Checked the real stats re priests, Protestant ministers and public school teachers?

    Don't even bother with Muslim Imams – they marry 8 year old's and consummate.

    Atheists surely don't have a prisitine record of human fallacies.

  101. Jesus lied when he said he would be with his church all days until the consummation of the world?

  102. So everyone you didn't successfully preach Jesus to is going to hell? Try John 6 – all of it.

  103. The catholic church was later than the Baptist Church. After all John the Baptist baptized The Lord Jesus. (Okay, not the same kind of Baptist, but a small amount of humor wont hurt). Still, the catholics are not "the" church.

  104. Satan himself could go to heaven if he would repent, admit his faults, believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and ACT like it. But, of course, in Satan's case, even God himself does not anticipate repentance will ever be forthcoming.

    Speaking of indulgences — aren't those the equivalent of selling hall passes to the local brothel? If there had been no indulgences, I doubt that the Reformation would have gotten much traction.

  105. The Roman church has its own characteristic method of Bible interpretation. Since the church claims to have written the Bible, being that its saints are alleged to have been the human agency that produced the book, it has no intention of being bound by anything in it. The rule are for the unordained.

    The New Testment condemns enforced celibacy, baning meats on friday (or any other day,) and calling a human being "father." But according to Catholic theory, those parts was written by the beatified for the run of the mill "sinners" to believe in, not for the church fathers to follow.

    The only stringent New Testament rule that the RCC follows is that against divorce and remarriage. The church hanlles that by agreeing to annul the marriage in favor of the spouse who offers them the most money, and then declares the marriage invalid and all the offspring thereof to be bastards. That's what the church fathers helped Ted Kennedy do to his wife Joan and their kids. You see, what the New Tesatment said was impotent against the RCC's need to keep a powerful Boston Catholic in the U.S. Senate.

    Mormonism and Roman Cathlicism have a lot in common.


  106. Theology is a science. It is the branch of science that studies human superstition. As such, it considers both Christian worship and pagan worship on Rapa Nui to be equally productive fields of study.

    The minute that any religion claims that it has "theologians" it is in big trouble. Theology does not deny the existence of God, as atheism does. It merely posits that even if there is a God, for a human being to pretend he knows anything about this God is in the grips of a serious (but perhaps useful) delusion. The theologian engages in a kind of psychoanalysis of the supposed delusional individuals and their associates. He makes no attempt to interface with God at any point, because that might turn him into one of his own "patients."

  107. The sad truth is that the church that calls itself "'The Roman Catholic Church" does not even realize the self-contradictory nature of its own name. St. Ignatius did not claim to be Roman Catholic. He claimed to be "catholic." To claim to be Roman Catholic is an oxymoron that didn't come into existence until after the Bishop of Rome told all the other bishops and patriarchs around the ancient world that he was Jesus Christ's prersonal deputy god on earth, causing them to break off unified church activity with Rome.

  108. Heresy is like treason. The ruling party declares what is and is not treason, regardless of the truth or of any moral values whatsoever.

    There was no moral difference between George Washington and Robert E. Lee, but the fact that George succeeded and became a member of the ruling party, and a patriot; while Robert failed, and had all his property confiscated, and was denied the vote under a sort of Jim Dove law, and was known ever after as a rebel and a traitor.

  109. In the apocalipsis, it clearly says that a group will come into salvation which are not from any religious belief in particular but have lived a life of love. Love conquers all; even Heaven Above.

  110. Keith Breedlove says:

    Good answer.

  111. Keith Breedlove says:

    Why do journalists always want the Pope to be something that they're not? Anyone who has read any number of Pope Benedict's writings would see that Pope Francis complements those. And it is arrogance for any of us to say who God will or will not let into heaven. The only thing we can know is that we, individually, have a shot if we follow His commandments: 1) Love God with all your heart, and 2) Love you neighbor as yourself. While we can believe that our neighbor is not living up to those commandments, it is up to God to make the final determination. We've just been shown the way.

  112. Not to those that have no faith like you.

  113. But, for any acknowledged, individual sin for which a person sincerely repents, God forgives it, believer or not.

    If the above sentence sounds rational to you, your grasp of ENGLISH is lacking. It is not POSSIBLE to repent to a God you don't believe exists.

  114. Why don't YOU learn that the English spelling is not the ORIGINAL spelling. I believe elle is misguided at best. That doesn't justify uninformed insults.

  115. DUMBEST!

  116. The fact is, if you read the Holy Christian Bible (not the catholic version) you will not find the promise of "Heaven" anywhere. Christ will come here to this earth & rule. The statement made by Jesus the Christ on the cross was that the criminals next to him was they would see paradise if, etc, etc. It is a shame that so many professing Christians know so little about the Bible & how it is to be read. The bastardization of the Holy document has been ongoing ever since He was crucified, particularly when the emperor Constintine, about 450 yrs after the Crucifiction, with no authority of God changed the Sabbath from the 7th day, which begins w/sundown Fri & ends @ sundown Sat. to Sunday & it is not the Sabbath!! Study Exodus 31-32 for the truth of the matter.

  117. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Geez, and it's been such a positive force for good!

  118. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Ridiculous! Ghandi went to hell!

  119. Seymour Kleerly says:

    With that logic, you would also accept the burqua if you were Muslim. It's called brainwashing!

  120. Unfortunately KG, one day when you stand before that Holy and Righteous God you will probably say, Woops.


  122. A confussed soul said Christians cut Muslim heads off when Muslim cuts our heads off everyday. . we don’t yet but soon we fight back… It’s coming.

  123. Tara – Jesus is my mediator. There is no scriptural basis for my praying to someone else to speak to the Father. As His adopted child (Eph. 1:5) I have total access to the Father Himself. The only way one is ever going to be able to get to Heaven is by receiving Jesus Christ by faith (Eph. 2:8-10). And that "faith comes all by hearing and the hearing by the Word of God" ( Romans 10:17). Unfortunately, in talking to many Catholics I have found that they are relying on their religion and not Christ for their salvation. Also, most have never even read the Bible to see what it actually says. One of the best places to start reading the Word of God is the Gospel of John. Hope this helps

  124. Todyo Jesus never said all are with him. You did the Only Unforgivables e Sin.. Also John 3. 16 not what Jesus said . .One line John spoke. Jesus said be not of this world.Catholic is not a word that means Christ . The PO

  125. think the one in the pointy hat smokes the pole…

  126. It was a long time ago – the Vatican has been pushing for a One World Religion for years. Sad.

  127. The only Faith or Belief that does make sense, 100%, is the Christian Faith. It is not religion, it is a personal relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ. He died for the sins of every soul in the whole universe. The Gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Holy Bible and especially the New Testament shows the true way of salvation—the only way of being saved from eternity in Hell is through the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood on Calvary. May you put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior for all Eternity.

  128. Howard Roark says:

    Gary, this is universalism. Are you serious? This shows clearly that this Pope is not only an insidious Jesuit, but also a heretic. How this makes you feel better, I can't imagine. “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

  129. I wonder if Martin Luther will be de-excommunicated? That would technically add a lot of Lutherans to the Catholic church.

  130. Peter was the first bishop of Rome. peter was the rock on which Jesus built his church.

  131. Indulgences today are nothing like they used to be and its never something that you can arbitrarily go in and just pay for and be absolved…unless your Ted Kennedy and then that’s probably another story all together;-). Just like infalability of the pope is misinterpreted so are indulgences.

  132. “Holy Christian Bible not the Catholic one”….which ones that? Enlighten us.

  133. Yeah, and I won't get any presents cause I didn't write my letter to Santa

  134. Joanne why would anyone read your Catechism,that is Catholic declaration of what they believe,I adhere to what Yahweh has to say in the word of God and I'm not misinformed,and all the foot notes only reflect a Catholic mind set which I and many others don't have, you go with it and believe it, we will pass and we will see how you come out at Yeshua's Judgment seat.

  135. @ts: The Catholic version has 5 books in it that aren't recognized by the multitude of Protestant churches. After all, they are called "Protestant" since they were formed out of protest to catholic dogma. Have you ever read the pamphlet sized book "Babylon, Anchient Mystery Religion" by Ralph Woodrow? It gives a very good account of the catholic church from it's very earliest days. As for me, I belong to no organized church. I am an independent that has spent many of my 77 yrs studying all I can get my hands on so as to clarify in my mind what is the truth. Some of the best resources came out of what used to be the Worldwide Church of God (Herbert W Armstrong, The Plain Truth Magazine & Ambassador Colleges). After his death, the church began becoming more & more secular, causing a rift amongst the church members that disagreed with what was happening to their church. Eventually they split off & formed the Philadelphia Church of God, under the tutelage of a Mr Gerald Flurry, headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma. All of the literature I received from the WWCoG, is still available thru the PCoG, free of charge.

  136. question here,,,,if an atheist were to "sin" and then be remorseful about it and wants to be forgiven of it,,,and if,as the pope says,he shgould be true to his conscience,,,then who would the atheist ask for forgiveness ? himself ? obviously he doesnt believe in god,so that lets god out,,so that leaves himself,,,,now,,,had the poipe read his bible,,the bible clearlyy states that god is the only one who can forgive sins,,,soooooo even if the atheist were to ask forgiveness from the person he sinned against,,,sorry,that still doesnt cut it,,,,sins need to be forgiven by god,,the words of god says so

  137. He was not talking about "gay choices". He was talking about same-sex attraction. He had already reiterated the Church's opposition to gay behavior as outlined in the Catholic Catechism

  138. Jesus told a story about a Pharisee and a sinner who went into the temple to pray. The Pharisee, a religious man, prayed, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men . . ." (Luke 18:11). The sinner, on the other hand, wouldn't even lift up his eyes. He beat on his chest and said, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (verse 13) Jesus said of him, "This man went down to his house justified ." (verse 14).

  139. You have to know about it to reject it. There have been millions of people that never even heard about Jesus. By your faulty judgment these people would all be condemned. God would never hold people responsible for things beyond their control. That would be unjust. And religious crackpots often provide more scandal than testimony in favor of Christianity to the Atheists in our society. Your lack of charity shows your ignorance of the Bible, which is a message of love and compassion.

  140. Every bit of that is rubbish. Not a word of truth in it.

  141. That must be a Protestant notion of what Catholics think, because the Catholic Church has NEVER taught that.

    Besides that, the Pope is right in what he says here. Everyone has the duty to do good and avoid evil to the best of their knowledge. Talking about a hypothetical atheist who truly repents for having done wrong, God will take his good will into account. We are all judged by being true to our consciences, which in reality is God's voice telling us right from wrong. "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. (Romans 2:15)

    Remember that Jesus tells us that on the Day of Judgment, he will divide men as sheep from goats BASED ON THEIR ACTIONS. "34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me."

    He doesn't divide them according to who claimed they were accepting him as their personal Lord and Savior, and who didn't.

    You accept Christ as your Lord and Savior by your ACTIONS of loving your neighbor as yourself, and also by obeying the successors of the Apostles "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me. " (Luke 10:16)

    You mock the Pope who was appointed by God to show you a sure path to heaven. "That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." (Mathew 16:18-19)

    I rather suspect that you do it more out of ignorance rather than malice, just as St. Paul once did: "And they that stood by said: Dost thou revile the high priest of God? 5 And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest. For it is written: Thou shalt not speak evil of the prince of thy people." (Acts 23:4-5)

    But I assure you, you are very much mistaken.

  142. No, it's proof that YOUR religion is not the Christian religion. It was the Church that composed the Bible in the person of the Apostles and St. Paul, and it was the Church that decided which books would be accepted into the Cannon of the New Testament. It is the same voice and the same authority that comes from Jesus Christ that guards and interprets Sacred Scripture. You owe that fact that you have a bible to the Catholic Church.

  143. He is claiming that non believers that have heard of God / Jesus can get in without accepting him. This is changing the law of God and his words make him a false prophet. Additionally failure to strongly condemn Homosexuality and the promotion of their marriage or unions and not proclaiming that those whom perform or promote such actions have reject the teachings of God and can not have salvation makes him a false prophet.

    While I am not Catholic, I have several family members that are and totally dis agree with this Pope. He is trying to be a man of the world, Pope of the world instead of representing God and allowing those that reject God's will not to influence his words or teaching. Look at what is going on in the world and he just may be the last Pope.