Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As some of you know, when Pope Francis said that God loved atheists and those who are not Catholic and that even they are capable of good works,for which they should be praised, since God imprints the design of love on to each person created in the image and likeness of God, not a few thought the pope meant that everyone is going to heaven including atheists. Well, we can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Vatican has set the record straight at least in the mind of a reporter writing for a news organization I haven't heard of, Newser:

Vatican: Oops, Atheists Still Hell-Bound
Looking a little toasty for Protestants, too
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff

Posted May 29, 2013 1:37 AM CDT | Updated May 29, 2013 8:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pope Francis' admission that atheists are capable of doing good has been followed by a Vatican statement clarifying that the Church still believes atheists are going to hell. In a corrective statement that suggests people misunderstood the pontiff's remarks, a Vatican spokesman stresses that the Church believes all salvation "comes from Christ, the Head, through the Church which is his body," meaning those with awareness of the Catholic Church who "refuse to enter her or remain in her ... cannot be saved," Salon reports.

The spokesman also makes it clear that Church doctrine considers salvation off-limits to members of other religions and other branches of Christianity, although people who have never been exposed to Christianity might still have a shot. "Catholics do not adopt the attitude of religious relativism which regards all religions as on the whole equally justifiable," he writes. The pope's original comments, in which he said the "Lord has redeemed all of us," were welcomed by surprised atheist groups, the Christian Post reports.



Pater Ignotus said...

More wretched reporting--> "Church doctrine considers salvation off-limits to members of other religions and other branches of Christianity,..." WRONG.

"It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church." (Unitatis Redentigratio)

Anonymous 2 said...

Pater Ignotus: “More wretched reporting.”

You have a gift for understatement. The Newser article gives a link to the “corrective statement” by “the Vatican spokesman." The Salon article, which is also linked in the Newser article, names the author of the “corrective statement” as the Rev. Thomas Rosica and gives a link to the same statement. So, if we want to know what the “corrective statement” really says, here is the text of the actual statement in those links:

Read and marvel at how the Newser article grossly misreports the "corrective statement," and at how indeed that statement, on a fair reading, in several respects stands for almost the diametrically opposite point from that claimed by Newser. Thus the statement contains assertions such as:

“A non-Christian may reject a Christian’s presentation of the gospel of Christ. That however, does not necessarily mean that the person has truly rejected Christ and God. Rejection of Christianity may not mean the rejection of Christ. . . .

“The Scriptures teach that God regards the love shown to a neighbor as love shown to Himself. Therefore the loving relationship between a person and his or her neighbor indicates a loving relationship between that person and God. This is not to say that the non-Christian is able to perform these acts of neighborly love without the help of God. Rather these acts of love are in fact evidence of God’s activity in the person.”

Moral: Caveat Lector.

P.S. More “Caveat Lector”: I have only “spot” source checked the sources quoted and cited in the “corrective statement.”

PP.S. I assume that Father McDonald’s comments in his post are an example of verbal irony.