Atheists and Heaven: “But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Pope Francis gave a homily recently that changed things. It forced the world to have a conversation: to think about what it means to be a good person and the value of doing good.

“They complain,” Francis said, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” He explained that Jesus corrected them, “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.”

The disciples, Pope Francis explained, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong… Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation.”

“Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio.

“Just do good” was his challenge, “and we’ll find a meeting point.”

Francis explained himself, “The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all 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.”

The impact of this homily is less about “who get’s into heaven” and more about the necessity of ALL PEOPLE doing good, the value of compassion, and humanity. That is an example all people, all religions, and all dogmas can respect and learn from.

Since then the catholic church has slightly redacted that statement, but it’s none-the-less interesting.


2 thoughts on “Atheists and Heaven: “But do good: we will meet one another there.”

  1. jon

    Interesting and nice post, Att. The article you linked to, from Catholic Online, had a less open take on it, and reminded me that Catholicism isn’t ready to give up Jesus as the only road to salvation.

    1. Atticus

      I don’t think the catholic church, or any Christian church, will ever give up that aspect of their faith. If they did it wouldn’t be Christianity anymore. I do appreciate the values the new Pope is projecting though. Values of love, compassion, and humility are things everyone can appreciate – at least to me.


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