Huffington Post repeats and compounds their errors in reporting. The Pope said atheists/Catholics/everyone-ever “ARE redeemed” (not “will be redeemed,” which people then read as “will be saved”). There was no “break with tradition.” If Christ did indeed go to the Cross and rise after three days, he did so for everyone. All have sinned and need a savior. The invitation to know God, repent, and do good is extended to everyone. It is up to each to investigate that claim, come to know God if he is there, and if so, choose to follow to the best of their ability and knowledge.Hypocritical Christians and moral atheists are both still in danger but for very different reasons. The danger is more acute to the degree that they know and reject God.

Let not the shoddy reporting take away from the thrust of the original statement:

“[A]ll of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can…The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!…We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

I’ll reiterate as I said before: To my atheist/Non-Catholic/Non-Christian friends, I affirm and thank you for your good works. Keep at it. Let us meet each other there and talk fraternally of truth. I apologize for my hypocrisy and for that of my fellows.

Checkout Brandon Vogt’s analysis over at Strange Notions: Did Pope Francis Really Say All Atheists are Redeemed?

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