Having previously stated that Jews do not need to accept Jesus as their savior to get to heaven, Pope Francis recently expanded that to include everyone, stating that you don’t even need to believe in God to be forgiven. Ecumenism anyone?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14
“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
Times of India | 12/26/15
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 Mickens. “But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world.”
In a welcoming response to the letter, Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all”.
In July, Francis signaled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?”