Pope on atheists, Vatican on atheists

The Pope had some words about those folks who do good but aren’t Catholics. He cited a story from the new testament. In this story the disciples hear about a group doing good works. The disciples don’t know who these people are except that they aren’t them, so they tell them to stop. Jesus corrects them saying, ‘No let them do good. It’s ok.’ Pope Francis said that we must meet other people in our world who are doing good and not restrict it to Catholics. Then (this is huge) he said that all are redeemed by the blood of Christ- “even atheists”. Yeah, he really said atheists. He then reiterated that it’s up to all of us to do good together and not reject anyone doing good because Jesus died for all of us –everyone.

Since the pope delivered these remarks suggesting that atheists might obtain salvation, the Vatican has come out with a statement changing clarifying what he said. Atheists, apparently, have salvation only if they choose to accept it. Otherwise they belong in hell. Dan and I have been wondering what the internal politics are like inside the Vatican and if perhaps the hierarchy isn’t as top-down as I thought. Is the pope being paralyzed by his own institution and the traditions therein?

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