(RNS) Is Pope Francis endorsing heresy?

March 19, 2013 -- World leaders are heading to Rome for Tuesday’s inauguration mass for Pope Francis. The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will be formally enthroned at a mass in St Peter’s Square, with city authorities preparing for an influx of up to one million people to Rome. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who until his election was Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit to become pontiff. Illustration shows Pope Francis I.  RNS photo courtesy Graphic News

Drawing of Pope Francis courtesy Graphic News

It might look that way from the eye-catching headlines this week that made it appear everyone was bound for heaven — “even atheists!” — thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross.

The passage that prompted the reports came from Francis’ brief homily at the informal morning Mass that he celebrates in the chapel at the Vatican guesthouse.

Speaking on Wednesday (May 22), Francis said that as human beings created in the image of God, everyone has a “duty to do good.”

“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,” he said, answering his own query. “Everyone! And this blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the blood of Christ has redeemed us all!”

Cue the jaw dropping and head scratching. Atheists were pleasantly surprised, conservative Catholics were dazed and confused, and the pope’s comments raced around the Internet; for a while they were the second-most shared piece on Reddit.

So was Francis preaching a form of “universalism”? That is the unorthodox teaching that says, essentially, that all faiths are equal and all are going to heaven, especially if you are nice to people here on earth. It’s also a heresy that Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, spent a career quashing every time he thought he thought he spied a hint of it in some theologian’s writings.

But the short answer to the question is easy: No. Francis was only affirming the doctrine that Christ redeemed the whole world. Whether people accept that belief is another matter.

In fact, popes going back to Leo XIII in 1891 and up through John Paul II – not to mention authoritative texts from the official Catholic Catechism and the Second Vatican Council – have said the exact same thing Francis did.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, confirmed as much in an explanatory note the next day that reiterated these basic points. Even rejecting Christianity, Rosica noted, does not automatically consign someone to hell because Catholics believe God can save anyone, Christian or atheist or a member of another faith – though always through Jesus.

Also, Francis was speaking off-the-cuff, as he likes to do, and not in precise formulations that have magisterial, much less infallible, authority.

In fact, the wide attention given to Francis’ remarks may have as much to do with the popular appeal of his approachable, plain-spoken style and his insistence that Catholics not only help the poor but that they also join hands in respect and humility with others, be they believers or atheists.

The retired pope, Benedict XVI, also made an outreach to atheists a signature issue, and he also preached about making common cause with nonbelievers for the sake of the common good. Yet to the wider public he apparently was neither sufficiently kindly nor convincing to make it sound original.

Still, Francis has managed to rattle more than a few cages, especially among Catholic conservatives who were sending “panicky emails” trying to figure out what is going on in Rome.

Indeed, in the two months since Francis was elected, his broadsides against “savage capitalism” (a remark he made the day before his homily on redemption) have repeatedly unsettled economic conservatives, just as his preference for a low-key pontifical style and simple liturgies have appalled many high-church traditionalists.

Francis’ most recent remarks also tapped into a passionate debate in church circles over a new translation of the Mass that was ordered by Benedict XVI. One of the most problematic aspects of the new translation concerns a crucial Eucharistic prayer in which the priest used to say that Jesus’ blood was “shed for you and for all.” Now the Latin phrase has been translated to read “for you and for many.”

The tweak from “all” to “many” may sound like inside baseball for church geeks, but it actually has profound implications for how Catholics view the nature of salvation, the mission of Jesus and the church’s role in the world.

“Do church leaders want to signal that the grace of Christ is available only to the regular, traditional churchgoer? Is their intention to leave out the rest?” the Rev. Paul Philibert asked in a 2011 essay in America magazine. “More and more it looks as if the covert message beneath the written text is one of effective exclusion rather than antecedent inclusion of all humanity in God’s will for salvation.”

Despite stiff and ongoing resistance from bishops across the English-speaking world, Benedict’s Vatican pushed them to adopt this reformulation as a new orthodoxy. Now Francis seems to have come down on the more expansive side of the debate, giving conservative Catholics another case of agita.

As faux conservative – and genuine Catholic – Stephen Colbert put it in his televised parody of Francis’ recent remarks: “If the Lord redeems atheists all bets are off. What’s next? The Lord redeems Lutherans? It’s madness! … I’m just so glad Jesus didn’t live to see this.”

It was a funny line on Colbert’s cable show, but some are wondering how far the new pope will take it in real life.

KRE/YS END GIBSON

85 Comments

  1. Alan C. Mitchell

    Unlike John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Francis is inclusive. He has said nothing different from the traditional Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation, the work of Christ is efficacious for all humans regardless of belief. He shows his deep Jesuit spirituality in this decoration. In the Incarnation of Christ all of humanity was transformed so that it could be saved. And indeed it was saved, atheists included.

    • it upsets many Catholic’s to hear people say that previous Pope’s Paul 6 John Paul 2 and Benedict 16 did not do the very best in their roles is so sad. They made big steps in areas for many years not visited by previous Popes. Personally I refer to the Bible as the way the truth and the life. Previous Popes have re enforced this doctrine just as the present Pope is doing. The Bible says those who have been given the gift of Faith must share it with those who do not yet have it. Pope Francis I think is just re-iterating the same. Sometimes his terminology seems to say the opposite but God made us all in his own image and likeness, he gave us dominion over all other living creatures. I’m Catholic and proud, God gave us the Bible as the pathway to live our lives. Too much has always been made od religious dogma, we need to get off our backsides and practice the virtues of the Good book, yes be guided by the Popes past and present but more so by the infallible one whose message is in the Bible

    • Dr. Robert Brown

      The distinction is that everyone has been redeemed, but that does not mean that everyone will be saved.

      It is also false to oppose “for all” (pro omnibus) with “for the many” (pro multis). The former is obviously inclusive (and does not jibe with Scripture, which uses the word “pollo”), but the latter does not deny that Christ died for all.

      There is, however, a tendency for some to think that “for all” indicates that everyone will be saved. On the other hand, others might think that “for the many” indicates that Christ did not die for everyone.

      IMHO, a better translation of pro multis (Greek: pollon) is “for the multitude”.

      • Dr. Robert Brown

        1. “pollo” should be “pollon”

        2. One of the Fathers says that pro multis means pro multis gentibus, indicating, IMHO, that the Redemption does not merely apply to Jews.

      • Sharbel Ferro

        The ‘res sacramenti’, or ‘proper grace’, or ‘special grace’ (all the same thing) of the Eucharist, is the union of the faithful with Christ – the union of the mystical body with the head; Jesus Christ.
        Each sacrament must signify what it effects, and effect what it signifies.
        In the prayer of Consecration, because it is the form of the sacrament of the Eucharist, there must be a signification of the union of the faithful with Christ.
        The catechism of the council of Trent explains it:

        Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II, chapt. 4, paragraph 24

        The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race….

        With reason, therefore, were the words ‘for all’ not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine (Hebrews ix:28; John xvii: 9).1

        Now consider this. It is Catholic Dogma that all who willfully stay outside the Catholic Church and reject it are damned, (provided they meet the normal conditions for a mortal sin, which includes ‘sufficient knowledge’).
        The novus ordo mass english translation which for decades said: ‘for all’, was either saying that ‘all’ are in the mystical body of Christ and going to heaven, or, that the blood of Christ is fruitful in ‘all’ souls, regardless of their cooperation. Both of these propositions are erroneous.
        As this is a matter of dogma – ie. that only those who are joined to the church before their death can be saved – to say that all are saved is heresy which puts a person outside the church if they hold to it obstinately.
        As I said, the Res Sacramenti of the Eucharist is the union of the faithful with Christ. So then, if that res sacramenti was not signified, there would be no valid consecration. With the ‘for all’ of the english translation of the novus ordo missae, the one place where the res sacramenti was signified – ie “for many” – was now gone and replaced by a word of heresy – ie. “for all”
        Because the novus ordo missae, with it’s various translations, was given and approved by Paul VI, it becomes clear that Paul Vi was not a Pope of the Catholic church, but an antipope usurper. It is an infallible impossibility that a Pope could give error in the mass, because mass expresses and teaches Catholic faith, and the Pope is infallible in faith and morals. In short, a Pope of the Catholic church could never give or approve “for all”. The fact that B16 changed it back to ‘many’, only highlights that it was erroneous, and doesn’t save anything, because it’s already proven by the fact the Paul VI gave it, that he was not a pope, which means Vatican II was not a council of the Catholic church, ratified by a Catholic Pope. Join this to the hundreds of incidences of heresy in word and action from the other claimants to the Papal office since 1958, and you quickly see that the whole thing is a non Catholic, end-times sect; the whore of Babylon, eclipsing the Catholic church and blocking it from view.
        I urge you just as one example, to look up what JP2, B16 and now Francis say about the Jews and their covenant; they maintain formal heresy.

    • Great article, Mr. Gibson! I’m beginning to have some grudging respect for this Pope which is saying a lot since the most recent Popes did a fairly good job of turning me off even more than I am towards religion and Catholicism.. At the very least, it seems as if this Pope contemplates his beleifs, why he beleives as he does, and how all that ties in to the greater beleif in his God, and in his being selected Pope. I said it seems that way, I hope it is but we as common folk will never know the answer for sure. Whatever the reasons are it IS nice to hear a religious leader of any faith sound tolerant and kindly. Thanks, Pope Frank!

    • Tibor Spagina

      I and the Bible disagree with you totally. Pope John Paul II. and Pope Benedict XVI. were right; if Christ is not all-inclusive, anybody else’s all-inclusiveness means nothing, and it is erroneous. Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life; those contradicting Him, cannot expect any other outcome, than what He Himself has talked about in many instances, and so have the Gospel writers.

    • When the new modernist Vicar of Christ’s reply is: “who am I to judge?” or “we get to hung up on abortion!” – then yes, this pope is a liberal and a modernist.

      Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies – Pius X stated that clearly in: Pacendi Donimici Gregis.

      This new liberal pope will not be able to offer the world clear definitive truth, he won’t be able to give clarity and orthodoxy in his teaching, because he is torn between the modern notion of charity versus the need for truth and teaching that guides souls to God-

      With Francis people will hear what they want – rather than being instructed in what they need to save their souls.

      His pronouncements on abortion are a good example of a liberal modernist.

      One day Francis says that: “We get to hung up on abortion”, then the next day its: ” Dear Catholic Doctors, abortion is a great evil”.

      Well if it is evil would should fight it with all our strength. You don’t flim-flam with evil.

      The pope’s statements in print and on television have shown that the Holy Catholic Church is heading for more self-destruction – with more loony priests, nuns, laity changing the truth to suit their agendas.

      When the Vicar of Christ fails to state that the Catholic Church, and ONLY her is the depository of the teaching of Christ and the ONLY path to salvation – then yes this pope is a modernist.

      When the pope says at Lampedusa in Italy to Muslim refugees that their made-up Allah is worthy of honour – and their denial of Christ’s divinity and role is not serious – that Islam is to be honoured- then yes this pope is a modernist.

      When this pope fails to declare the truth of the Trinity by bestowing the Papal blessing at the commencement of his pontificate, for fear offending non-Catholics – then yes this pope is a modernist.

      When this pope states that there is no “Catholic God”, thus all religions are true and valid – and by default that Christ’s Holy Church is no longer the ONLY road to salvation – then yes this pope is a modernist.

      When this pope says ” who am I to judge” implying that sinners don’t have to repent for “they are seeking God with sincerity” . This statement won’t alter behaviour for these poor ignorant people, who live sinful lives and risk their immortal souls – so yes this pope is a modernist.

      With his: “Who am I to judge” for : gays, young promiscuous adults, single mothers and unmarried couples begetting children outside wedlock, divorcees who remarry ,those using contraception who violate God’s natural law and ultimately those who murder the innocent, then yes this is pope is a modernist.

      When will this cleric realise that: “Tu est Petrus!”

      Under Francis we are in store for more heresy, apostasy and ultimately more souls going to Hell.

      Maybe this is a fore runner to the long building schism between Orthodox Catholicism and the large number of uninformed ill-catechised teflon Catholics who now cheer their new modern pope.

      The great tragedy is that people are yearning for spiritual truth. They have seen through the cultural wish-wash of the 1960′s and 1970′s – and what is the Vicar of Christ giving them, more modernist wish-wash because; “Who am I to judge”

      This pope is reviving the WORST of modernist Vatican II double-speak, the conflicting statements and moral confusion – which ultimately changes truths to suit modernity.

      Now this pope is asking all the crazy teflon-Catholics to tell their priests and the eventually the Vatican what the Church should believe.

      Well we have that already – it’s called the magesterium – the teaching handed down from Francis’ papal predecessors.

      At the start of 2013, we had a champion of truth and orthodoxy, and now the Cardinals have gifted Holy Church a new liberal modernist pope.

      The devil must be rubbing his hands in glee!.

      • Sharbel Ferro

        Your words defy all reason. How can you still hold that Francis I is a Pope of the Catholic church? And do really think that the body of believers under him who adhere to him have the Catholic faith? You yourself called them ‘teflon Catholics’ which means, ultimately, that they don’t have the Catholic faith, and need to convert / be taught the faith.
        Don’t you know that heresy puts a person outside the church, and that if any man holds an office in the church and falls into heresy, he falls outside the church and loses that office?
        Don’t you know that heresy is unlike any other sin, and upon falling into heresy, a man falls outside of the church immediately, with no declaration required?
        You surely must be an SSPX’er. The position of the SSPX is sadly illogical, though any Catholic must value the preservation of tradition in the SSPX.
        The SSPX behaves like sedevacantists, but speaks like members of the V2 sect. SSPX holds the man in Rome to be Pope, but listens to absolutely nothing he says, recognizes nothing of his authority, doesn’t obey the bishops joined to him and ignores their jurisdiction as if they were members of a sect. That’s because they are! And SSPX admits with their actions that Rome has lost the faith and is now the center of the end times sect we know as the whore of Babylon. But they won’t admit it or take that final step to break all ties with Rome. Each year they remain in their precarious position, danger looms more and more, and look at the divisions which have plagued the SSPX recently!
        Wake up man! We’re in the end times, and all the prophecies have / are coming true. “Rome will lose the faith, and become the seat of the antichrist….the church will be in eclipse.” – Our Lady of La Salette.

      • Sharbel Ferro

        Andrew, hate to tell you this, but Francis I has already committed many sins of heresy in word and act, and does not have the Catholic faith. He is not a Catholic, much less a pope of the Catholic church. No non-Catholic can hold any office in the church, and sins of heresy put a person outside the body of Christ immediately – with no declaration required, because sins of heresy are different to all other sins – they break unity, because the church is the body of believers – the church of the FAITHFUL.
        If you don’t believe what I am saying about Francis I being a heretic, do your own research on the internet. You will find unambiguous, irrefutable evidence that he says and does things explicitly opposed to infallible Catholic teaching.

    • Tibor Spagina

      I am total agreement with you. The Pope should not try to be humanist: he becomes the best humanist if he follow Christ the Lord in everything , and does not try to change the fact, that those believing in the Lord had been chosen from them beginning of the world – in the sense, that He knew from that time on, who were going to call upon His name for their salvation. Christ’s blood only redeems those, who accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

  2. Oh, come on, Mr. Gibson. The actual normative version of the Roman Catholic mass is in Latin. In it, the words of consecration read “pro vobiis et pro multis effundetur.” This translates directly as “shed for you and for many.” This has been the case since scripture was determined canonical, since the words themselves are scriptural.

    Stop finding a “change” when the change was really just back to what the Latin and Greek actually say; it betrays either your ignorance or your bad faith.

    • Thank you. How in the world can a writer who proposes to be a commentator on Christianity not know that this is a passage from Matthew 26:28 and that the words of Christ, spoken at the Last Supper, are translated as “for many” in virtually all the major translations of the Bible into English, including the Wycliffe Bible dating back to the 14th century?

      • Tibor Spagina

        In reality, it does not change the basic meaning of salvation: if it is translated, that it was shed for all, it means, that salvation is available for all, who call upon the Lord’s name. If on the other hand, it is translated, shed for many, it means, it expresses Christ the Lord’s knowledge, who are those many, who would call upon His name. I am convinced, the thrust of what the Bible says is, that the great majority of people, unfortunately, will not be save, by their own decision of rejecting Christ. God bless all – a faithful Catholic.

        • Sharbel Ferro

          Catechism of the Council of Trent

          The two Gospel accounts (Matthew 26:28; and Mark 14:24) which indicate for whom the Blood of Christ will be shed (beyond the “for you” — the apostles at the Last Supper — of Luke and First Corinthians) say it will be shed “for many.” No account says “for all.” Beyond not being found in Sacred Scripture or Tradition, the Catechism of the Council of Trent explains that the words “for all” are not used in the consecration:

          The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race….

          With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine (Hebrews ix:28; John xvii: 9).1

          The idea that all men will eventually be saved is known as apokatastasis,2 and was condemned by Pope Vigilius (537)3

          If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at sometime, that is to say that there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema.

  3. I’m not a Roman Catholic, I come from a Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. As such, I see no problem with his statement, since God’s prevenient grace provides the possibility of redemption for all. It is, however, efficacious only for those who choose to accept this marvelous gift.

    • Tibor Spagina

      In my opinion, as a life-long Catholic, you are right. I disagree with the pope, though, that those rejecting Christ will be saved. The Bible says the opposite.

  4. David Gibson

    David Gibson

    Article author

    Dear Latinist: I hope I’m not guilty of either ignorance or bad faith, but if anything I hope it is the latter not the former. If you have researched this you probably know that the meaning of “pro multis” is hotly debated. For decades it has been rendered as meaning “for all,” given the context in which Jesus was saying the words and in connecting the Eucharist with His sacrficie on the Cross, which was certainly “for all.” Some say a possible third option is “for the multitude.” In any event, while some would wish to make it as easy as feeding the Latin into Google translator, it’s actually not that easy, nor always theologically correct.

    • liamascorcaigh

      The meaning of ‘pro multis’ may be “hotly debated” but such “debate” is tendentious. Snide remarks re Google translator notwithstanding, ‘pro multis’ means very clearly ‘for/on behalf of many’. If one wished to say ‘for/on behalf of all’ Latin provides the equally simple and clear ‘pro omnibus’. These are facts beyond dispute. They are not, of course, beyond interpretation. All things are subject to interpretation. Hence the tendentiousness.

    • I have studied Latin for over twenty years from high school through a doctorate in ancient history. I have a B.A. in Classical Languages. I have taught Latin at the prep school and university level and am currently on the faculty of a university classics department.

      Pro multis does not mean “for all”; pro omnibus does. Pro multis could never mean “for all” any more than it could mean “eggs over easy”. The reason that there are debates is because certain theologians and clerics of a universalist bent want to water down what remains Catholic doctrine: extra Ecclesia nulla salus, which is not Latin for “everyone is saved regardless of their belonging to the Holy Catholic Church”.

      • Sharbel Ferro

        Then you must realise that Paul VI was not a Catholic Pope, as a Catholic pope could never give or approve of “for all”, because it’s a matter of faith.
        You must realise that V2 was not a council of the Catholic church, but a robber council called to found an end times sect in Rome – the whore of Babylon.
        “Rome will lose the faith, and become the seat of the antichrist…the church will be in eclipse.” – Our Lady of La Salette.

        Catechism of the Council of Trent

        The two Gospel accounts (Matthew 26:28; and Mark 14:24) which indicate for whom the Blood of Christ will be shed (beyond the “for you” — the apostles at the Last Supper — of Luke and First Corinthians) say it will be shed “for many.” No account says “for all.” Beyond not being found in Sacred Scripture or Tradition, the Catechism of the Council of Trent explains that the words “for all” are not used in the consecration:

        The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race….

        With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine (Hebrews ix:28; John xvii: 9).1

        The idea that all men will eventually be saved is known as apokatastasis,2 and was condemned by Pope Vigilius (537)3

        If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at sometime, that is to say that there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema.

  5. I am a conservative Catholic and this didn’t rattle my cage. The pope is smart and he was absolutely right to restate this and should at every opportunity: salvation is available to everyone, everywhere, every human being is capable of both good or evil. We believe in free will. To me, that is the central, the primary message of Catholicism. Whether or not we avail ourselves of Christ’s offer is another story. I’m sure many will misinterpret the pope’s speech. Kudos to Gibson for getting it right.

    It’s not surprising coming from the first openly socialist order he neither understands nor appreciates the free enterprise system and its interplay with our religion. That is the bigger tragedy, because I believe Catholicism and free enterprise go hand in hand. Our obligations to our fellow man are individual in nature, not collective and mandated social welfare cannot be confused with “charity”. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each of us to help, to be charitable, to love and to give of ourselves. I wish the pope would explain what he means by “savage” capitalism. Is that like “savage” stalinism? I think he may need a reminder about the brutality of socialism, communism and all totalitarian philosophies.

    • If one cannot see that to observe what the selfishness of “savage capitalism” is doing to the lives of so many without thinking that to do so is to choose socialism, or communism or totalitarianism or any other ‘ism’ is to show one’s fear of embracing only the provision of God. Fear of depending on God for provision and a love of money is at the root of that blindness and none other. Try accepting that challenge. Most of the defenders of capitalism are easily exposed when the Lord’s Prayer is set before them. What you don’t want is to face the possiblity that you won’t be protected from hardship. Yet St. Paul encouraged us in the scriptures to “do our part in enduring hardship”. A capitalist does not want to do so. And if he/she does not, then how can God teach them to trust and depend on him? He/she is unwilling to acknowledge that life is not the simplistic laundry-basket sort of those ‘lazy’ poor people and his enterprising, hardworking well-earned self. When you take more than your fair share you help create not wealth but poverty. And that is explained when Chesterton states that “The problem with Capitalism is not that there are too many Capitalists, but too few.” You create laws to bar people from entering the market. Laws that favor you for tax shelters and breaks. Laws that give corporations over people personhood, and so forth. We could be here all night with instance after instance of the massive selfishness that Capitalism does and has created. It thinks every invention, every technology is always needed and makes everyone’s life better and yet, the price tag for those things is either out of reach for many or keeps them in a working slavery to it. If you can’t see it, it is only your fear of depending on God that keeps you from seeing it. As Jesus told the rich young ruler who claimed he had kept all the commandments: “Go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor and come follow me.” Yet he went away, the scriptures say,grieved. That is it in a nutshell.

    • Ask any private charity if we need public charity. They will say we do. We need both. Contributing to one is no excuse for not giving to the other. If we use the private economic sector solely to line our own pockets, without considering those left out by this system, this is good? This is following Christ? The Gospel? Greed per se is not good, no matter how we may spin it. The Church, the Pope, Christ may be foolish in the eyes of market worshippers. Indeed some comments here have said as much. You seem to lean in that direction, which IMHO smacks of idolatry.

    • Oh, please. Is your translation of the Bible missing the Acts of the Apostles?

      “And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them all. For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things they sold, and laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.”

      That, by the way, is the Douay-Rheims translation.

      If you don’t recognize what’s being described there, it’s a communal lifestyle.

      The greed and exploitation rampant among modern capitalists reflects more closely the lifestyle of “a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day” — and you should know where he ended up.

    • Tibor Spagina

      Most popes, especially lately, have spoken against the unbridled capitalism, which is what we have had opportunity to experience for centuries. You cannot separate charity from economy any more, than you should not appear to be different person depending on circumstances, places. Our argument becomes faulty, when we talk about the separation of church and state. Christ’s attitude was much simpler than that, He could not stand hypocrisy, so in His instructions, He taught us to come out of this world and be spiritual, because His kingdom is not of this world. So let us not try to force to marry those two, we will fail.

    • BRAVO.
      I ADORE THE LATIN MASS, my free will , and the GIFTS OF THE HOLY sPIRIT…….I pray for them daily….especially KNOWLEDGE and to not be duped by any man ….not even the Pope

      why won’t he consecrate RUSSIA to the Blessed Mother? The answer is OBVIOUS. l let’s storm heaven with rosaries and say the first 5 beads of the rosary for good honest priests and the St Micael prayer daily

  6. R. L. Hails Sr. P. E.

    Perhaps I, who knows only one language, English, poorly, can help. I had the privilege to take courses in biblical theology from Fr. Gerald Solyan at Catholic U. He, an expert in biblical languages, knew and spoke scores of languages, wrote libraries of publications, and was one of a two consultants, with Cardinal Dulles, to Vatican II. He was, simply, the most educated person I ever knew. He could translate original bible text, mostly ancient Greek, some Aramaic, directly into modern day American English. He said that there is open, honest, ongoing and cordial debate among Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic scholars (some Muslims, and others) on the best, most accurate, translation of ancient languages. It is a titanic effort, worthy of the highest scholarship, to precisely capture and convey 4,000 years of evolving languages. Mankind went over 1500 years without much scientific knowledge; until the advent of modern archaeology in the 19 th century. A mile stone was discovery of the code of Hammurabi.
    The late Pope, a world renown scholar, insisted on the best wording. This prompts debate among experts. So be it.
    It is interesting, but small beer to me. And God. He is. That is enough.

  7. David Gibson

    David Gibson

    Article author

    John Petty, perhaps I should have made it clear in the piece, but it is Catholic teaching that considers universalism out of bounds. Others may not (though there a lively debate in some evangelical-Pentecostal circles too) and of course individuals can agree with it.

  8. Pope Benedict XVI rightfully changed the word “all” of the consecration back to the original word “many” spoken by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper and “many” has always been the word used in the Latin/Tridentine Mass since 1570 A.D. The reason “many” is used in the consecration is because Jesus used it to fulfill the prophecy about Him in Isaiah 53:10-12:

    Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
    11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.

    12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
    And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    Because He poured out His soul unto death,
    And He was numbered with the transgressors,
    And He bore the sin of many,
    And made intercession for the transgressors.

    • AND, most significantly— the words were spoken to Israel, NOT the Gentile nations. The grace of God toward the whole world was not to be revealed until after the cross and resurrection.

  9. I am a conservative catholic and i have no idea why this is considered news. God is Love. the catechism, published in 1983, provides only two criteria for those that up in hell….rejecting love with full knowledge and freedom..and persisting in that state. If you seek and follow the truth that is revealed to you, then when you die you will be saved and continue towards what you desire. If you reject that truth, then you will close yourself off and love will torment you for all eternity.

    What should really annoy the liberals is that heaven is no longer a cute joke about knowing the right people. Its about rejecting or accepting the truth which is ultimately Christ. And it does not allow for moral relativism that is at the core of liberalism in which every person has a right to come up with their own definition of good and evil. This was original temptation in the garden when the devil tempted humanity to be “like god’s naming good and evil.” (In this case “naming” such as adam naming the animals means defining.) Liberals today are fond of saying “we are the ones we are waiting for”. Christians aren’t waiting on ourselves. We are waiting on Christ who comes to us every day through the sacraments and through the physically, spiritually or emotionally needy. do you accept or do you reject the dignity of each person. or are you king naming good and evil for yourself.

  10. I’m an ex-Catholic, a humanist and a religious None. I think this pope is a breath of fresh air. I could never again be a Catholic, but I may now wear the “ex” part a little more lightly.

  11. IF YOU WHO WANT TO BE SAVED AND ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

    Jesus (who is both God and man) laid the groundwork for salvation by stating; “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

    The Catholic Church with its sacramental system (e.g., baptism, eucharist, confession, et. al. – all referenced by Jesus in scripture) is the straight and narrow to heaven (the later two sacraments sustain your faith until death) . As the Vatican stated a Christian who KNOWINGLY rejects salvation through the Catholic Church cannot be saved (unless they repent through confession).

    For those of you who are not truly saved, pray that God the Holy Trinity give you, through the Holy Spirit, the free gift of faith so that you may be born again (have the first parents’ original sin removed and your personal sin freely forgiven) by repenting of all your sins, believing that Jesus died for your sins, is all God and all man, is the second person of the Holy Trinity, that God is three persons – one God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and that Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back to judge the living and the dead.

    Also pick up and read the Bible and read a Catholic catechism and pray that the Holy Spirit guide you to an understanding of the mysteries of God, including salvation through the Catholic Church. Once you come to faith, call up a Catholic church and indicate you want to become a new Christian and be baptized; and then go to Church on all Sundays and holy days and be modest in your attire in and outside Church and avoid sin and occasions of sin. Remember the Church is full of saved sinners (and at times, as in our present times, many unsaved sinners who lack true faith). Also, pray for God’s continued grace throughout your life, especially in moments of doubt and temptation.

    Those who do not accept the innocent blood atonement of the Jesus on the Cross for their sins cannot be saved and will be judged by God the Father, instead, for all the sins they ever committed and be sent to hell. Those who reject the mercy of the Son (Jesus) choose hell because failure to accept this mercy leads to continued hatred of God and all the myriad of wicked sins that flow from this rejection of God. The reason for this negative outcome is that without being born again (having original and personal sin removed through faith and baptism) we are born in rebellion against God from our conception/birth and we need this rebellious nature removed before we can enter heaven (hence, the need to be born [again] through the water and spirit). Otherwise, those who lack faith and are unbaptized will hate God and choose hell over heaven WILLINGLY.

    However, unless you are convicted by God through the Holy Spirit (the third person of God) and then admit you are a weak sinner in need of Jesus for salvation, you will be blind, depth and dumb to the reality of your personal sin and the need for God in your life. Therefore, please pray that God give you a repentant and contrite heart and that He open your minds to the reality of His existence. Because of our frail sin nature from birth, God understands our weakness for sin and this is why Jesus said He did not come to judge sinners, but rather to save them from their own condemnation before God.

    • I left the Catholic Church because I came to see that for 1700 years it has been responding to a post-Constantine Satanic interpretation of what was originally a communal meal at which bread and wine were blessed and distributed to believers as a remembrance of Christ’s redeeming death; and a toast looking forward to His Return, His Second Coming, in power and glory. Satan said to himself ‘He says it is his Body and Blood, so I can have him crucified again and again if I can deceive them, step by step, into believing that it is a repeat of the crucifixion.’ That is what happens on the sacrificial altar fenced around with ritual. Also the apostles were to be ‘fishers of men’; to ‘catch’ men. Paul preached in order to persuade (some) men, and women to ‘change/be born again; people who could ‘remember what they were’. Soon the ‘fishing’ turned into fish-farming as EVERYONE was processed in the fish factory.

      Pope Francis is correct in his emphasis again and again on the Holy Spirit; an emphasis which I believe is prompted to a degree by his experiences in S America where the Holy Spirit leads the Pentecostals and other evangelicals. After an adult religious experience when I received the Holy Spirit, my ‘before and after’ awareness taught me that I certainly did not receive the Spirit when processed as a Catholic child. I believe few do.

      • Interesting, that you quote Satan so authoritatively. Perhaps you’d do well to dwell on these words of Christ:

        “You know not what manner of spirit you are of.”

      • Tibor Spagina

        Your opinion does not make any sense. You and the likes did not leave the Catholic Church, the only one established by the Lord, because you had understood anything about it, rather you might have been lead by some familiar spirits away from the only true church. “You are Peter, this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”. Evidently, they have not, but they have prevailed against some of the members, who now have been indoctrinated by false doctrines. Just read the early church fathers, friend, and if you are truthful to yourself, you will return to us. It is not accidental, that there are more than 33,000 registered “Christian” churches. However, they have no authority. St. Augustine: “I should not believe the Gospel, except on the authority of the Catholic Church.” God bless you, and come back to the only church with the fullness of faith.

      • Sharbel Ferro

        You wrote: “Satan said to himself ‘He says it is his Body and Blood, so I can have him crucified again and again if I can deceive them, step by step, into believing that it is a repeat of the crucifixion.’ ”

        ‘step by step’ hey?
        Well, it didn’t take many steps, seeing that the Eucharist was believed to be what it in fact is, by absolutely the earliest communities of Christians, and continued to be believed as such.
        Go look up St. Ignatius of Antioch and read his letters. He was a disciple of the apostle St John, and was martyred a bit after the year 100.
        People like you wouldn’t speak such error, if you only exposed yourself to the truth by giving yourself a good drenching in early Christian teaching, especially that of the fathers. There was continuity from day one.
        The dividing and destroying work of protestantism only appeared much later, and spawned ever growing numbers of different sects. This is the reason (partly) for your current errors.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      You were more or less right in almost everything you said,”Lucas”,but…you attached too much human activity to Our Saviour’s salvific actions,and you made the Roman Catholic church a false”co-saviour”with Christ The Lord.All redeemed believers have only ONE SAVIOUR,and that is JESUS CHRIST,period! I suggest you trust what the Scriptures teach,not man’s faulty interpretations per Proverbs 3:5-6.

  12. Is the pope a heretic? Well, he claims to be head of the whole universal church (Christ’s role alone) and the church still mixes works and faith for justification. So just by accepting the role, he’s a heretic.

    But yes, the Roman church has been drifting towards universalism for quite some time now. If you got into a time machine 120 years ago, that would not have been the position of the church. Nor 500 years ago. Nor 1000 years ago. Just read Unam Sanctum. I would love to see them defend their position against a sedevacantist.

    If you want a thorough takedown of almost all forms of inclusivism, including the Roman Catholic form, Robert Reymond did good work on it: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=107

    • Sharbel Ferro

      Go to youtube and look up mhfm1 or otherwise its now called vaticancatholic.
      Look at the debate they recently did with a calvanist protestant about justification.
      Peter Dimond (a sedevacantist), utterly refutes the diabolical and pernicous errors of his opponent. I challenge you to listen to that debate, and then ask yourself honestly if there is any argument whatsoever that could refute the arguments of Peter Dimond. Keep in mind that Peter Dimond’s arguments are Catholic teaching, he didn’t make them up.
      How you can dare to say that the Catholic church mixes faith and works for justification, and is therefore heretical, is mind numbing. You belong – as of a certainty – to a man made tradition / man made sect, which cannot go back in time more than 500 years, and is in all likelihood much more recent.
      You pride and your boasting will be silenced at death. Hell brings low the proud and humbles the arrogant. I pray that you will convert to the one church of God which alone can save, and which is the “pillar and ground of the truth”, but I fear for the heretics and sectarians of the world, because in many of them I see sings of such outrageous arrogance mixed with profound ignorance and deception, that I wonder what it would take to get them out of such a pit.
      By the way what you call the Catholic church in this age is not the CC. Since the 60′s Rome became the whore of babylon. The Papacy was usurped by masonic and communist infiltrators, and a council of destruction was called by antipope John XXIII. (Vatican 2) – It’s since then that the harlotry of universalism has been preached by Rome – never, ever, before.

  13. REDEMPTION DOES NOT MEAN SALVATION. I was an Evangelical for 25 years before I returned to the Catholic Church. It was through simplistic misunderstandings like this I was compelled to leave the “Bible Believing” churches that understand scripture when it suits their convenience. Jesus redeemed everyone, but salvation must be reached out and grasped.

  14. Pope Francis appears to be reaching to the edges, as he has asked all Catholics to do, to open dialogue with atheists regarding redemption. I don’t see a blanket statement but a calculated invitation to engage non believers in receiving Jesus as the path to redemption. I hear Pope Francis loud and clear saying entry into The Kingdom is through Jesus, good works here on earth is but an important step towards redemption. Non believers are not forgotten and our ministries have only begun.

    • What of the billions who have never heard of Christ, certainly not in a positive way? Are they doomed to hell? Seems that we who have not set a good example, have not been good Christ-followers, bear some blame. Maybe we are doomed to hell. Or maybe no one is so doomed. The church leaves open that possibility.

      Evangelism means more than proclaiming God’s kingdom. It means doing so in a way, a loving way, that invites, encourages them to consider our words — and our actions, our serenity, our holiness — rather than pushing our way on them and to hell with them if they don’t immediately respond as we think they should.

      There are atheists who live better moral lives than we Catholics do. In their concern for others they put us to shame. They may not follow church laws, they may not believe in God, but in their actions they live God-filled lives. That is, if God is love. And God is love. The bible tells us so.

  15. Mike Haigerty

    Who Can Be Saved?
    With Pope Francis’ recent comments about Atheists (May 22, 2013, at Daily Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae) I think it’s a great time to dust off The Documents of the Second Vatican Council, specifically “Lumen Gentium” (Light to the Nations) and read all of chapter II (sections 9-17 of the document). If you can’t, here’s a key passage that could help:
    “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”
    It doesn’t say “will achieve,” though we hope they will, if we care about people and try to love them as God does. It says, “may achieve.” It’s a possibility. Only God knows how. We can hope and pray. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (#1257):
    “The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are ‘reborn of water and the spirit.’ God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism; but he himself is not bound by his Sacraments.” (emphasis theirs)
    This means God can save “extra-sacramentally.” Can and does, I’m sure. But we don’t know exactly how that happens. What we as Catholics do profess and believe is that:
    1) There is a loving God – an Eternal Father, First Person of the Holy Trinity – who made us all out of love, in union with the Son and Holy Spirit (2nd and 3rd Persons of the Holy Trinity, respectively). Our very existence is a free gift from God.
    2) Sin – a rejection of God – entered the world though our own free choice and the temptation of the devil. We chose wrongly “in the beginning” and still do choose wrongly; still do give in to these satanic/adversarial temptations. Sin has wounded us all and has divided us all from our loving God. Not because He wanted this separation from His creatures, but because we rejected Him who made us and sustains us in love. Why would we do that? Why would we make an enemy of the One who made us and allows us to exist? Isn’t that insane? Yes, criminally and sinfully insane!
    3) Our loving God desires to be reconciled to us and therefore sent his only begotten Son, the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity (in union with Father and Spirit), who became incarnate in Jesus Christ and suffered, died, and was resurrected so that we could have forgiveness for our sins and true reconciliation with God. Jesus bore the punishment we deserve for our hostile rejection of God; for our act of criminal insanity toward God. Through his sacrificial death he restores us to sanity and God’s friendship. To paraphrase St. Paul: “He who knew no sin was made sin for us.” (2 Cor. 5:21).
    4) God has given us a guaranteed means by which we can share in this forgiveness and reconciliation: when we become part of his people, the Church, the Body of Christ, through the Sacraments and the Holy Spirit – 3rd Divine Person of the Holy Trinity, in union with Father and Son – we receive through these Sacraments to sanctify us/make us holy/free us from sin/restore us to God’s friendship.
    5) These rituals then are then the ordinary means of salvation given to us by God, ordinary in the sense that “this is the way that God usually saves,” yet they are absolutely extraordinary because they are an infallible means to receive God’s grace and attain salvation if we approach them with the proper disposition! Yes, a flawless path to God, which is why we should share this Good News! Yet, individuals, given the gift of free will, must choose to participate in these gifts/rituals. God will not force nor should we because that is not true love, which is God.
    So what is the status of one who does not believe in God and does not want to enter His Church? Can they be saved from sin? Yes, it’s possible. Will they? We don’t know. That’s for God to decide. He can do miracles, i.e., extraordinary things. We can pray for these people and hope for them, that sin does not divide them eternally from their Creator; that they are not knowingly, freely, willfully rejecting God in hostility (and we need to make sure we aren’t rejecting God either!). We need to: 1) share with them the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit and invite them to become part of the Church and partakers of the Sacraments that God established for our salvation, which is the #1 tried and tested and best remedy for the misery – both on earth and eternally – that sin causes; and 2) we must also be living examples of God’s love to them. Maybe if we did a better job of both endeavors, there would not be so many atheists. - Mike Haigerty, 5/26/2013

  16. As a French woman (a catholic country… well not so any more these days) and as a Latter-Day Saint (mormon FYI), I follow Pope Francis’ path with great interest. He seems a man of sincere conviction, faithful to the Lord’s gospel, and with a brave wisdom. No desire of being famous for his power, but full of hope for every human beings.
    In his speech, he was teaching the listeners about the Redemption we could all be bless with. The Atonement and, after, the Resurrection were essential for us to have the opportunity to rise again at the resurrection of the Deaths (we will all have a glorified body) and to go near God (Salvation) or be sent to the desolation of Satan’s darkness (Hell if you prefer). Yes, even the atheists are redeemed in the light of Jesus’ sacrifice..But they have to make the choice of choosing if they want to be save or not by it. God love knows no boundaries.
    The fact that Pope Francis talks about it and that he wants for the Catholic Church to be more prozelyte and true to Jesus’ will of Charity (the pure love of Christ) sounds like a warning bell. The Believers (and I am sure he also thinks about all the religious persons in the world) have to open their hearts and be willing to follow more thoroughfully the Path. The world is going in the way of the Devil (he said the “savage capitalism” and the riches…) and he thinks it’s time to stand his ground.
    May God bless him in his efforts of returning to the basics of the doctrine, against all the trials the proud and falling men tend to put on his way..

  17. Graham-Michoel

    ‘eye-catching headlines’ – At the end of the day, isn’t that all they were. The media has simply latched on to another arena of ‘gotcha’ type news gathering, except it isn’t really news, it’s 2000 years old, it’s as old as time. Surely the real message of Pope Francis – following in the footsteps of his illustrious name sake – is that no one is beyond redemption. That’s God at work, that’s pure Gospel, that’s Catholicism.
    As was pointed out to me recently, Jesus didn’t turn to the ‘bad thief’ and say, “Today you will not be with me in paradise.”

  18. I’d like to quote Father Max Zerwick, S.J., who addressed the difficulty with using a literal translation of “pro multis” back in 1970:

    “…why in our liturgical translations is the venerable pro multis replaced by pro omnibus? Here is my answer. This is appropriate because of an inconvenient fact, accidental but true. The phrase “for many” (it is said) in our minds today is understood without reflection to exclude the universality of Christ’s redemptive work. The Semitic mind of the Bible could see that universality connoted in the phrase “for many.” In fact that connotation was certainly there, because of the theological context. However eloquent it was for ancient peoples, today that allusion to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah is clear only to experts.”

    The full article is archived at http://www.americancatholicpress.org/Father_Zerwick_Pro_Multis.html and is excellent reading. (As are his books; essential to any Bibical scholar, imnsho.)

    • Sharbel Ferro

      Catechism of the Council of Trent

      The two Gospel accounts (Matthew 26:28; and Mark 14:24) which indicate for whom the Blood of Christ will be shed (beyond the “for you” — the apostles at the Last Supper — of Luke and First Corinthians) say it will be shed “for many.” No account says “for all.” Beyond not being found in Sacred Scripture or Tradition, the Catechism of the Council of Trent explains that the words “for all” are not used in the consecration:

      The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race….

      With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine (Hebrews ix:28; John xvii: 9).1

      The idea that all men will eventually be saved is known as apokatastasis,2 and was condemned by Pope Vigilius (537)3

      If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at sometime, that is to say that there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema.

  19. Christ did ransom his life for that of the world. BUT, when the great tribulation comes, those not having come to know God will not escape. If a person dies BEFORE armageddon, THEN that person will be given a second chance in the resurrection. After satan is let loose again, those being mislead will face everlasting destruction. That is the second death.

  20. David Gibson

    David Gibson

    Article author

    Dr. Brown (inter alia), thanks for the comments and links (Chris, the Zerwick article was very interesting). Again, I think literal translations are not as literal as some would like, and of course Jesus wasn’t speaking Latin (or even Greek).

    The “for the multitude” option is a very intriguing debate out there as well.

    Maybe worth a follow up story.

  21. It is truly amazing how stingy some Christians would like to be with everyone else. Yes .. Jesus did say preach the gospel and those who believe are saved. He did not say they have to publish their faith in the Wall Street Journal and he did not say ONLY IF a majority approves. Each ONE is accountable for his own being. The REDEMPTION applies to everyone. Not everyone wants in. But they do not need the OK NOD of a few self righteous ones. Each ONE is accountable for his own being

  22. The Pope cited the gospel of Mark 9 38-40 to support his view that atheists and catholics should meet on common ground ‘doing good’. hogwash !!! Atheists who die in this state, automatically condemn themselves. Fancy twisting the truth of Christ’s meaning holy scripture ! St John had advised Jesus that he had tried to stop a man casting-out demons ‘in His NAME’ …and Christ replied that he should not stop the man because “no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me”. The pope not only twisted the truth here but he also used scripture ‘out of context’. Surely this is heresy !! Jesus was NOT saying that it is ok to be an atheist and that they are saved, regardless.

  23. If you actually read the Holy Bible, Jesus doesn’t say everyone will be saved regardless of belief or deeds.

    “This is my body. [27] And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. [28] For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for MANY unto remission of sins.

    ‘Many’ and ‘All’ are two different things.

    [5] Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? [6] Jesus saith to him: I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO MAN COMETH TO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME.

    Not atheism, Bhuddism, Oprah Winfrey New Age – only through Jesus can we achieve salvation.

  24. But the Pope also said: ” ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.” I think this statement made people think that he meant “there” was heaven. Frankly, I found the whole thing oddly deceptive, and I even like a lot of what this Pope says.

  25. the pope is a heretic and obviousy does not believe the word of God. Everyone is banking on something. The atheist is banking there is no God. The Budhist is banking there’s a Budha. Well, I’m banking the Jesus told the truth. In John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, the life, and no man cometh unto the Father except by me.

  26. Better Informed

    Rev. Thomas Rosica would do better to read Unam Sanctam before filling the web with his erroneous blather…if you reject Christ or His Church, knowing what He is and what She is, you cannot be saved…this is the constant infallible teaching of the Church….

  27. Tibor Spagina

    I agree with you, the Church should stick to her 2,000 year teachings, doctrines, including who can be saved according to the Bible. Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, nobody can go to the Father, except by me”; other, ” call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be saved” – that is not saying, talk against the Lord, reject him, like most people in the world. “Many will be called, but few will be chosen”, “go through the narrow gate”, etc. The Bible calls all to salvation, but it also says, it is impossible without Christ the Lord. – A faithful Catholic.

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