”You Don’t Have To Believe In God To Go To Heaven” – Pope Francis

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 Mr 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, Mr Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all”.
In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?

 

50 Comments

    • believe me you are so wrong with that notion. That you aren’t a catholic shouldn’t make you believe the pope speaks fallacy. A non-believer who is true to his conscience is better off a believer who lives his life as he pleases and claim to know him(GOD).
      Being true to your conscience means you deviating from everything you believe would contradict laws of life, laws of nature and the likes of it.
      What you have up there is not detailed so you might not understand it that way but it was well read in last Sundays gospel. It goes thus…..those who do not know God through no fault of theirs(i.e those ancient people living in the mountains discovered in recent times who probably have not heard about God before) but have natural belief to do that which is right are equally guaranteed heaven just like the true believers!

    • believe me you are so wrong with that notion. That you aren’t a catholic shouldn’t make you believe the pope speaks fallacy. A non-believer who is true to his conscience is better off a believer who lives his life as he pleases and claim to know him(GOD).
      Being true to your conscience means you deviating from everything you believe would contradict laws of life, laws of nature and the likes of it.
      What you have up there is not detailed so you might not understand it that way but it was well read in last Sundays gospel. It goes thus…..those who do not know God through no fault of theirs(i.e those ancient people living in the mountains discovered in recent times who probably have not heard about God before) but have natural belief to do that which is right are equally guaranteed heaven just like the true believers!

  • its not every famous minister of God understand the bible, John 3:16 can not be compromise, you cannot make heaven without believing in Jesus. If you believe in Jesus who was sent be God, you believe in GOD.

    • believe me you are so wrong with that notion. That you aren’t a catholic shouldn’t make you believe the pope speaks fallacy. A non-believer who is true to his conscience is better off a believer who lives his life as he pleases and claim to know him(GOD).
      Being true to your conscience means you deviating from everything you believe would contradict laws of life, laws of nature and the likes of it.
      What you have up there is not detailed so you might not understand it that way but it was well read in last Sundays gospel. It goes thus…..those who do not know God through no fault of theirs(i.e those ancient people living in the mountains discovered in recent times who probably have not heard about God before) but have natural belief to do that which is right are equally guaranteed heaven just like the true believers!

  • If you condemn the pope then you may as well say that all muslims have their way in hell for not accepting christ..in fact muslims do not believe in jesus..what the pope means is that conscience would judge those who fail to believe in christ…do you know that some People do not attend church but they Haue a good heart., understand the pope you morons

    • we muslim do believed in him but not as GOD or son of GOD, we believed he was sent by God to the lostship of isreal as jesus he himself said it, so don’t misunderstand our religion k.

    • Mr read and do researches well b4 coming up here to type, who told u Muslims don’t bliv in jesus (pbuh)-prophet isa (AS) in the quran born of the virgin Mary……….but we don’t just see him d way some of u trinitarian xtians sees him to be a god of the godheads in heaven (father, d son and holy spirit) ,but to some few percent of u xtians who are Unitarian and believe he jesus (pbuh) is a prophet and messanger of God Almigthy and a mere human being like u are but he is highly favoured than u are by the Almigthy Creator (God)………And no muslim is a muslim if he don’t bliv in jesus the Messiah as he is fondly refered to in the quran……..so seek knowlegde and worship the Creator and not the Creation…….I cld imagine someone that call himself a man of God giving confidence to unbelievers that they will go to heaven if they don’t bliv their is God but have a clear conscience (lol) ridiculous indeed and can u fools supporting his claim show me where all this underrated statements are in ur Holy book (bible)…waiting for responce

  • dis is fulfilment of prophecy. For doz of u still believing in dis antichrist called “pope”, I pray God gives u eyesalve so u can see clearly and discern d tinz of d spirit.(read Rev. 14:6-12)

  • d Gospel pf d kingdom must get to all nations, tribe tongue and kindred b4 d end comes(matt. 24:14). All who hear God’s voice and refuse to obey(including muslims) will b destroyed(Acts 17:30)

  • In Nigeria, our forefathers died a hundred years before the advent of jesus or at lest the teachings of jesus. Would they go to hell for not knowin jesus? Won’t they be save if they lived a good life?

    • THOSE PEOPLE THAT NEVER HEARD OF THE TEACHING, THEIR FREE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT HEARD, WILL TELL GOD THAT UR NOT AWARE OF THE TEACHING?

    • Am a muslim and I wld educate u on this, for every nation were sent to them prophet among themself, and whoever believe in them believe God Almighty and he or she is save from the torment of Hell on judgement day,,,,,that’s it, b4 jesus (pbuh) there came a lot and numbers of prophets Almighty God sent to this world and after him, one only was sent to the entire mankind {prophet muhammad} (pbuh) and during his stay on earth he also told and deliver the same messge to all that believe in me as the messanger and prophet of God so that u will gain paradise and which all prophets starting from prophet adam(pbuh) to prophet muhammed (pbuh) says to their people during their time……simple”””that means bliv in me that am from God and that the message convey to u is from God also………..

  • Never you say or judge the pope,He narrated according to his own understanding, remember Bible is nt an ordinary version you memories so easily, let use our time to aid him out not procasting the effort of others, you are sue to the call….

    • Why wld he use his own knowledge and understanding instead of what he read and see in ur scripture.. Where in ur bible that if u don’t bliv in God u will go to heaven, well it is for sure heaven and in that heaven there we have paradise and hell…….think

  • For man lacks wisdom, evidence of our daily lifes. You need to be guided before you understand what this man meant. God of christain is Jesus. Where do sin come from, its the conscience ofcourse. When your heart is free from sin, isn’t that the beginning of ones salvation. ”Remember, its not all that comes me will enter the kingdom of God”. So be guided by the spirit my friends.

  • Most of u dat left ur coment atime i wonder if we really understand the context of words or simply follow the argument of the papacy? He was asked what was going to be the fate of those who do not believe in God and he gave his view saying that they can still make heaven if they work in line with their conscience which is still the spirit of God directing them .

  • The only way to be saved is to believe in ur heart nd confess the lord as ur personal saviour, anything other than is not from God, oga pope should get born again cos he need Jesus in his life.

  • Wisdom does not belongs to the elderly, it’s not an exclusive preserve of the old. The pope has erred! God cannot be compromised. He cannot afford another death of his son for John 3:16 to be repealed! We are waiting, soon it’ll come to “there’s no heaven and no God afterall” The pope can say whatever to appease the condemned (Rom. 8:1-2), to them whom God has given to believe, none of these will move them!

  • Majority of Christians nowadays don’t understand what Bible is, and, as result end up judging things in a wrong perspective!
    If you’ll follow the word of GOD tit for tat you’re automatically lost!! The word of GOD is a time-based and as well as a condition-based under the power of the holy spirit!
    Compare the following contexts of St JOHN 14:6 and 8:32, don’t they seem to be opposite to each other?
    John 14:6 is being addressed to the people that knew CHRIST but don’t believe him. And JOHN 8:32 is being addressed to the people that had come to know the truth by allowing their conscience judge them!
    Please be warned my brethren, the devil is out there to bring confusion between believers!!!

  • The bible declares that without d shelding of blood ther shall be no remission of sins.this was exactly why God in his wisdom gave jesus as a scrifice and atonement 4 sin.(for God so luv d world dat he gave his only begoten son 2 die 4 our sin)…if God wil judge some by their concience and others by their christain faith,why was it not indicated in d bible?..there is no other name by which man could be saved other than d name of jesus..jesus alone has d power to reconcile sinful men back 2 God..isiah 9:6 declares dat his mane shall be call prince of peace,wondaful councilor,4 he wil save the people frm their sins…the devil has a way of using the famous athorities to win diciples 4 him self..the pope’s asertion nagates d content of our manual(the bible) &therfore should be diregarded in strong terms…thank u all dat love d truth,for i speak d truth of God in love…

  • The bible say that there is no other name on earth by which one will be saved except by the name of Jesus. The bible also said that Christ is the truth, the way and life, that through Him all will have access to God. The bible also tesfied that Cornelius was a righteous man but did not know Jesus that was why God asked him to sent for Peter to recieve the word. One can’t see God without believing in God Himself

  • Kai!! Nigerians n illiteracy. Those of u commenting bullshit, hav u even stopped to undstand wat d pope is saying?!. Those guided by a clean conscience can still make heaven cos whether u like it or not pple like dat r better dan doz others dat go to church everyday but still perpetrate evil.. D Bible said it, not all that shout LORD LORD will enter d kingdom of heaven. D bible is so sweet n complete

    • So you are proudly in support of a man who claims to be a servant of God, but was not? some body whose comment does not contain any light as a christian. your pope is nothing more than anti Christ, leader of a world wide sect. he’s the leader of new world order. take it or leave it but time shall reveal more him and catholic in general.

  • Some of the comments I’ve read above are just sad. The painful truth is that these days “believers” are much more wicked than the “unbelievers”, and this applies to Muslims and Christians alike.

    Many ppl seem to believe that they and others who share the same sect with them are particularly favoured by God. This is simply false. If you believe we are all from God, then you must also believe that God loves us all. I refuse to believe that my kind Muslim friend will go to hell, simply because he was born into a Muslim home. In the same vein, I refuse to believe that my forefathers are all in hell now, simply because they never heard of Jesus. Everyone has a conscience, and your conscience is more important than your church!

    Btw, less than half the world’s population are Christians. Also, I’m pretty sure that those of you condemning others would not even be Christians if you were born in some parts of India or Japan. Go figure.

  • I wonder what some people are becoming. You are only interested because is pope, do have a conscience? Paga Pagans of old are holiar than today double faced Christians who hate simple truth. God warn in the same Bible you are claiming to know against judging others wrongly. At the theend time people will love what suit their life, so those commenting such insultive comment should havea second thought. Your general over can not be heard in world issues. Thanks

  • Hmm, am just short of words. God u re d greatest judge of all times, if dis comment is true, it can’t change my faith in catholic church cos am aware its better dan all these parading churches. Peeps, do ur best nd leave d rest for God cos sin has been in existence before we were but God’s grace covers all. Thanks!!!

  • It reminds me of when Jesus was with de sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors and de scribes and tax collectors who tôt themselves to be “righteous” were complaining. And also yet another place where sons of Abraham (de isrealites) tôt that de messiah is for them and the “promise land” is for them. That they separated themselves from the gentiles and samaritans. Let us continue wallowing in sin and thinking that we will be saved while others live good lives following the dictates of their consciences.

  • End time prophecy, the beginning of the new world order. brethren, please do not relent in prayer and trust in Christ Jesus for the days are evil.

  • well…let’s take a look at this very well.The bible makes us know that those who died without the law shall also be judged without the law.But as for those who have heard God’s word & still don’t believe,hell is waiting for them.Now,as for muslims,any one who does not believe in Jesus “as the Son of God”shall end up in hell.Jesus said it clearly-“I am the way,the truth and the life.No man cometh unto the father but by me”.Therefore,u better warn any of ur muslim friends or relatives,bc they are treading in the path of hell.May God open ur eyes,u who say u can get to heaven by living a good life,clear conscience…any one who does not accept Jesus as his/her Lord n personal saviour will surely end up in hell.As for the statement that “one who does not believe in God but follows his conscience” will get to heaven is TOTALLY fallacious.The bible says ‘except a man be born again,he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God!!remember also that your conscience acts according to how it is informed…moralists beware!!!!

  • Reminder:
    “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.”

    The pope is only trying to disabuse minds of fanatics. You don’t force people to believe in God. Whether you are Al-queda, Boko Haram or any of the notoriously known faith-believing groups’ member/fanatic who go about hating/killing ‘unbelievers’ in the name of religion, the pope is only wants your hate (which naturally induces evil actions) to stop. I think he believes the world needs re-orientation for world peace to be achievable and he is doing great on it.

    Nevertheless, he isn’t denouncing the truth about his Christian faith when he said God’s forgiveness is obtainable if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart, adding that this is the FUNDAMENTAL thing. #Yes, heaven is thus achievable.

    #Please let the spirit guide you before commenting.

    • He could achieve peace through prayer instead of heresy. If we don,t know the answer to a question, we better keep quiet, instead of making a fool of ourselves.

  • Brethen all of us are quoting bible without knowing its rudimentries, who can boldly give ansa hw this bible we are holding comes bcos Jesus didn,t write it ?secondly do we really belief dat Jesus gave peter power amonge amonge other apostles cf matt 16:18-19 and also belief dat Jesus found a church which he handed to peter to be the head,thirdly do we really believe dat Jesus told peter to take care of his lamb dat is the entire human race john 15 v17 dat is why the papacy (pope) do not discriminate whether xtians muslims or judasim treate all with love last few yrs the late pope visited the muslim brodas pple were condemning him who are to condemn which authority do you have? Fourthy do we really belief dat JESUS also pray for peter and his successors not other apostles dat his faith will not fall, in luke 22vs 31-32 why must we not follow in lines with the teaching of the holy catholic church which comes dircetly from christ to apostles before in 300 AD when the scripts written by dis apostle were collected to form bible dis was done by catholic church alone and moreover the church has its teaching before bible which st john says not everything was written in the bible.as scholar nd spirit led i will like to give little instance,Jesus said that is easier for a carmel to pass through the eye os a needle than a rich man entering into heaven matt19 v 24 it looks foolish and impossible how a carmel to pass through the eye of a needlethan a rich man entering into heaven it means nobody is going there,the eye of a needle was a name give to a narrow gate in the wall of a town in jewish tradition through which a carmel pass when the main gate is close.is just large enough to let unloaded carmel to enter .you can notice dat an ordinary man will not get the full interpetation of dat verse likewise when pope speak he with authority handed over to him by Jesus christ.in sumary if we belief dat “God love us when we are yet sinners” what is wrong with what the papacy has said that the mercy of God is endless it means what the pope said and ours are still the same .God bless all of us in Jesus name

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