The Vatican corrected The Pope, pointing out that atheists are still going to hell. In his May 22 mass, Pope Francis made a bold statement that even atheists have been redeemed with the Blood of Christ. Now a Vatican spokesman has clarified the comments, contending that atheists can still expect to go to hell.
Pope Francis’ address was broadcast on Vatican Radio on May 22. The theme of the mass was simply “doing good.” The Pope explained that every man and women was created in the likeness of God, and therefore should and must do good. He specifically pointed out that everyone, not just Catholics, are capable of doing good.
Pope Francis then went on to explain what he meant by “everyone”:
“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 … And we all have a duty to do good.”
In his closing prayer, Pope Francis speaks further about doing good. The Pope highlights the fact that good must be done by everyone “a work of the family,” as we are all “children of God.”
The following day Vatican spokesman The Reverend Thomas Rosica, issued an “explanatory note.” The Vatican corrected The Pope’s previous statements, pointing out that atheists are still going to hell.
In the note, Rosica explained that those who “refuse to enter” the Catholic Church “cannot be saved.” He clarified Pope Francis’ intention by pointing out that anyone is capable of being saved, only if they choose to convert to Catholicism.
As reported by CNN, Pope Francis has made several statements that seem to suggest movement toward unity and acceptance. Following his election in March, Pope Francis called for the unity of all men and women despite religious belief:
“In this we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however the need to search for the truth … who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples.
As Pope Francis seems to appeal to unity, the Vatican has corrected The Pope’s intentions. The Vatican spokesman, and other Catholic leaders, agree that unity and salvation can be granted. However, conservative leaders point out that the only way is through the Catholic Church. The issue will likely continue to be a topic of debate. Conservative and more liberal Catholic leaders often have difficulty finding common ground.
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