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Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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Well, those are words I never, ever, thought I'd hear from the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Interesting.... Is he to be the foretold last Pope of the RCC? With statements like this? I'm starting to wonder.....

Oh.. By the way, for those who might celebrate that outcome? If it's true to form for where and how it was foretold, the celebration will be short lived and cut brutally short by the world that move leads into. Is that what we're seeing happen?


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.
Source

Now, it's odd because he's echoing my own sentiments and I've voiced similar things...sometimes loud enough to rattle windows in energetic personal debates with some people in life. Yet, it isn't the message itself that shocks me to see this. It's WHO is carrying it.

This makes as much sense as the US Secretary of State filling the role of Defense, as we're watching him actually do in every public sense for face time. It makes as much sense as a Cop saying the basic concept of law is flawed and having any law is a silly notion.

Sometimes, I think WHO says a thing means more than WHAT is being said in specific words. Anyone else get a feeling...rather hard to describe..in reading this statement by a Pontiff, of all people?? What does it MEAN to be Catholic anymore?




posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:12 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 


Well...

That's a change for the better. ...and there's apoplexy all over the more reactionary segments of the Catholic Church.



Good for him. Takes more than a bit of courage to buck that tradition...



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:15 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 


I think this happened over a month ago and the RCC church was quick to come out and denounce what he said by the next day. It will be interesting to see how carefully the Pope chooses his words in future, or not.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by seagull
 


How is this a good thing? In all seriousness? On one hand, I DO fully understand the sentiment in how closed and downright bigoted the Church has been about 'Our way or Hell way', with excommunication technically meaning a WHOLE lot more than just being blocked from attending Mass.

If, as the direct and personal representative of God himself (as the Pope is seen among Catholics I've ever known...or at least, presented to be taken that way) he undermines the 'path to salvation', then what purpose is there for the Church? It's a valid thing to ponder, IMO. The whole basis for the RCC, historically, has been exclusionary, NOT inclusive. Those who submit, get included. Those who do not? Well.... Suntan lotion and ice cubes. Bring lots of both to the next life. lol...

So again, while I might agree with the sentiment (and I cannot express how SICK I am of being told I'm going to Hell as a Wiccan because I don't take Christianity as my life Faith), I don't necessarily want to see one of the single largest Faiths in the world today fall apart, either. Especially when, outside the developed world? The RCC values and lifestyle guide people at 80% rates or higher among general populations. If that falters or fails...what replaces it for values to those people?


+2 more 
posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:21 AM
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The various Religions...including the Bible...actually teach that not ignorance is punished, evil is. So his statements are perfectly in line with biblical thought.
edit on 12-9-2013 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 


Looks like I'm wrong. It looks like this is the SECOND time that the Pope has made these types of statements. The first was back in May.

religion.blogs.cnn.com...

I wonder if the church is going to come out and make a statement about it again, depending on how much publicity it gets.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 


According to 'The Vatican Today'...(don't ask..lol) It was published yesterday..... Interesting if something similar appeared recently. Can you link that for us?

Here is the relevant excerpt from their own paper.


In the letter published on Wednesday, the Pope laments the impasse that has grown up over the centuries with those who see Christianity as ‘dark and superstitious,’ in opposition to the ‘light of reason’.

Quoting from the recent encyclical ‘Lumen Fidei’, the Pope stresses that, on the contrary, faith must never be intransigent or arrogant, but rather humble and able to grow in relationship with others.

Responding to the three questions posed by the Italian journalist and writer, the Pope says the key issue for non-believers is that of “obeying their consciences” when faced with choices of good or evil. God’s mercy, he stresses, “has no limits” for those who seek him with a sincere and contrite heart.
(Source: Link above)

*** Just saw the note above mine.. Thanks for the link! Interesting indeed... This Pope is turning out to be a real shocker in some ways. Definitely not business as usual in the Church right now.
edit on 12-9-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:28 AM
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Well, it's nice to see truth be told from the highest ranking .... Pope!

I for one have NEVER thought ONLY Christians would see the light of day once they cross from this existence to the other. How silly would that be.

From the heart is where there is any judging (imo) to be had.

Bravo for the Pope. Maybe he will continue to shock the world with truth instead of bigotry.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

That's not exactly what he said ... look carefully ....


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.


They still have to go to Him with a sincere and contrite heart. That's the catch.
So they may not believe in Him in life, but at death if they recognize Him and have
a sincere and contrite heart then they can go to heaven.

At least, that's what I'm reading ....



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 



*** Just saw the note above mine.. Thanks for the link! Interesting indeed... This Pope is turning out to be a real shocker in some ways. Definitely not business as usual in the Church right now.


Honestly, I think most Christians today expect this, since the Bible talks about a falling away from the church. Although the Bible tells us that the gates of hell will never prevail against the knowledge that Jesus was the Son of the living God, it does make it sound like a lot of the churches will fall. This kind of reminds me of Revelation 1, when Jesus had John write letters to the seven churches in Asia telling them what He (God) thought about them.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:39 AM
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Deetermined
I think most Christians today expect this, since the Bible talks about a falling away from the church.


Did you see what I posted? He said atheists had to recognize God and repent before getting into heaven. That's not a 'falling away from the church'. That's in line with Church teaching ... both Catholic and Protestant church teaching.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


I noticed that too. The Pope still said that they would have to "seek" God, not something an atheist would typically do. It sounds like he's using certain words and phrases just to appeal to people.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


That still doesn't change the fact that the Bible talks about a falling away from the church. To be honest, I think we've already seen a lot of it happen already from past priestly mistakes.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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wrabbit2000
Well, those are words I never, ever, thought I'd hear from the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Interesting.... Is he to be the foretold last Pope of the RCC? With statements like this? I'm starting to wonder.....

Oh.. By the way, for those who might celebrate that outcome? If it's true to form for where and how it was foretold, the celebration will be short lived and cut brutally short by the world that move leads into. Is that what we're seeing happen?


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.
Source

Now, it's odd because he's echoing my own sentiments and I've voiced similar things...sometimes loud enough to rattle windows in energetic personal debates with some people in life. Yet, it isn't the message itself that shocks me to see this. It's WHO is carrying it.

This makes as much sense as the US Secretary of State filling the role of Defense, as we're watching him actually do in every public sense for face time. It makes as much sense as a Cop saying the basic concept of law is flawed and having any law is a silly notion.

Sometimes, I think WHO says a thing means more than WHAT is being said in specific words. Anyone else get a feeling...rather hard to describe..in reading this statement by a Pontiff, of all people?? What does it MEAN to be Catholic anymore?



In all honesty, that has always been part of Catholic theology--that if one sincerely tries their best, one does not have to be a believer. The belief is that God put his word inside everyone--call it your conscience--and if you sincerely follow that internal message, you still can achieve salvation

It is not new, I learned it in Chatechism class 35-40 years ago.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:52 AM
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I have a fair idea of what the Priests are thinking right now.

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened"

Some priests aren't don't exactly qualify for heaven either, but their acceptance into heaven isn't questioned. And I dare say some cardinals will have a whisper in the ear of his holiness, to remind of what you can and cannot say in the presence of the media.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:52 AM
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reply to post by NavyDoc
 


That's interesting. I was raised around devout Catholics on my mothers side, so I'll have to give them a ring later when it's a decent hour on the West Coast and ask them what they think of it. These are the type of folks who can count on their fingers, how many times they've missed Sunday Mass in the last xx number of years. lol...

I've never gotten the impression from them that Salvation was open to anyone, with any belief, and unconditionally through the eyes of the RCC though. That is an entirely new position from what I've personally seen and experienced from that belief system. I've run into many Christian Faiths that are open and welcoming to all comers...but the Catholic Church was never one I thought of that way in even the most passing way in terms of Salvation.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 07:54 AM
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wrabbit2000 It's a valid thing to ponder, IMO. The whole basis for the RCC, historically, has been exclusionary, NOT inclusive. Those who submit, get included. Those who do not? Well.... Suntan lotion and ice cubes. Bring lots of both to the next life. lol...

So again, while I might agree with the sentiment (and I cannot express how SICK I am of being told I'm going to Hell as a Wiccan because I don't take Christianity as my life Faith), I don't necessarily want to see one of the single largest Faiths in the world today fall apart, either. Especially when, outside the developed world? The RCC values and lifestyle guide people at 80% rates or higher among general populations. If that falters or fails...what replaces it for values to those people?


well from how i see it, the church was created originally to strengthen and revive the roman empire, the bible was just a tool for the purpose of legitimizing the church but in the end every incarnation of Rome that was created by the power of the church has failed.
i think it's time for the church to fade into the history books and let Christianity stand or fall on it's own merits, if it falls just because Rome finally goes to sleep then the peoples faith and values were false to begin with but if not; then it will stand without the church.
the training wheels need to come off some time eventually and this pope might be the one to start the process.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:02 AM
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The Catholic church isn't Catholic(universal) for no reason. They have a vested interest in being the biggest, and someday, the only religion on earth. This new pope is no fool. You catch more flies with honey, than you do salt.

I think he chose his words very carefully, and only those paying attention will catch the drift.
edit on 9/12/2013 by Klassified because: redact



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:02 AM
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NavyDoc

In all honesty, that has always been part of Catholic theology--that if one sincerely tries their best, one does not have to be a believer. The belief is that God put his word inside everyone--call it your conscience--and if you sincerely follow that internal message, you still can achieve salvation

It is not new, I learned it in Chatechism class 35-40 years ago.


What NavyDoc said.

Jesus loves two peoples. Those of faith, and atheists. It's the ones waffling around in the middle who can't make up their minds that are in trouble.

Mike



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by NavyDoc
 



In all honesty, that has always been part of Catholic theology--that if one sincerely tries their best, one does not have to be a believer. The belief is that God put his word inside everyone--call it your conscience--and if you sincerely follow that internal message, you still can achieve salvation

It is not new, I learned it in Chatechism class 35-40 years ago.


Are you sure about that?

www.vatican.va...






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