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Pope Francis' Message To Atheists and Agnostics: Live A Moral Life and listen To Your Conscience

The Pope has struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone towards atheists and agnostics, saying that God will "forgive" them as long as they behave morally and live according to their consciences.

By Nick Squires, Rome | 11 Sep 2013 | The Telegraph

The unprecedented gesture came as his incoming number two, the Vatican's newly-nominated secretary of state, said that the rule that priests should be celibate was not "a dogma of the Church" and could be open for discussion.

Francis, who has won praise for spontaneous and unusual moves during his six month papacy, wrote a lengthy letter to a newspaper, La Repubblica, which the Italian daily printed over four pages, including page one, under the simple byline "Francesco".

"God forgives those who obey their conscience," he wrote in the unprecedented letter, the latest example of the markedly different tone and style from his predecessors that he has set since being elected in March.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10302850/P...

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"Faith and nobility of the

"Faith and nobility of the human spirit" is not a state of sublimation. It is a homily, a manual, for every day people, all of us, to live our lives with.

Are you saying

Are you saying you're a religious person? You seem to include faith in the column of what is good, perhaps even ultimately good.

See my reply above...I put it

See my reply above...I put it in the "wrong" place.

You are philosophizing on

You are philosophizing on behalf of One World Order it seems. I personally prefer the differences in cultures and norms and respect their "right" to exist as their own community/nation.

No idea

No idea what you're talking about at this point. Simply stating philosophical facts. Ethics CAN exist with a God who gives us revealed and natural law, and it can not exist if no God exists. Simple.

I can't tell if this is

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. Of course if you think like a lion...then we all need to kill our prey before we eat it... oops we already do.

Thanks Pope

Thanks for clearing that up Pope dude! Geez, I thought the Bible spelled it out pretty clear already.

John 3:18
18 Whoever believes in him (jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

I guess Jesus just had it wrong. Silly God man.

A wise man

I have contended for years that God, if there is one, will not punish my non-belief because I am being true to my deepest inner beliefs. My only alternative would be to fake a belief I don't have (by chanting prayers, attending services, wearing my 'religion' on my sleeve, etc.) and live life as a hypocrite and imposter. Surely God would punish that misuse of the life He gave me.

Pope Francis has stated the obvious: if God made everyone, then he made Atheists as well as Theists. He would not forsaken His own creation.

The Italian atheists who responded with dismissal of the Pope's message were ungracious. Instead of looking at the Pope's letter as official ratification of atheism for atheists, they should have looked at it as instruction to Believers: don't look down on atheists for they are God's creation, too.

I think I'm going to like this Pope.

Wisdom! Are you sure?

If someone truly is an atheist and have no desire to know God, then why would they expect to be elected by God?
Isn't it a little hypocritical. Have they not made their choice to reject.
Surely you cannot follow someone, by heading another way.
I am not stating that God will not acknowledge your good works, He is certainly sovereign, but surely you don't "expect" to be elected if you reject becoming or do not present yourself as a candidate.
Yes, God made everyone, but He did not predestine one set to be atheists and another set to be theists, He did not make one set to be followers and another set to go another way. He made everyone with the ability to choose and He made everyone with the ability to change their way; it's called repenting.
As for the Pope teaching atheists and agnostics that it is good for them to be moral, I have to agree, it is good, but likewise it is good for a consumer to have the insight to identify products on the market that are good for their health; they will benefit from their use, as will the company, but certainly if that person doesn't promote the company, from which the product originates, by work for or investing in that company, then they certainly cannot expect to participate in the profits.

Man is volitional

Man is volitional, we can choose. And we always choose evil because of the fall. God changes the heart, that is his election. Elect means chosen. Period. If man has a heart bent toward evil (Jeremiah 17:9 Man's heart is desperately wicked, who can understand it? Or Romans 1 NO ONE SEEKS GOD.) then how could we ever make what is the most ultimately good choice, turning to Jesus Christ for salvation. I know we're both Christians, but election is real and I hope you see that. Jesus said "he knew what was in man" and so he wouldn't entrust himself to man. What do you think that was? It was a heart of evil, of rebellion. Yes we can choose, but we can only choose what we want, that is simple logic, and what we want, what we desire is rebellion and evil. Think of Jacob and Esau, Pharaoh's hard heart. If God didn't choose, we would all choose Hell as sure as Atheists do now. He mercifully chooses some and brings them back to life.

Fully agree with you.

My Brother keeps wanting me to come back to the church. I tell him, how can I? Pretend? I believe in a higher power, but not the stories & writings created by man.

He argued that you need to follow the rules, put forth effort, invest time in praying & worshiping in order to get the benefits and get to heaven. I told him that since devout Muslims pray more, then they must be first in line to heaven, right? (crickets)

I like this pope too !

Most of the churches of today

are pretty much Pagan watering holes. The Bible calls the Catholic Church the Mother of ALL harlots. You don't have to go to church, for wherever 2 or 3 are gathered it states Jesus is with them. I don't go to church, but prefer Bible studies with a Concordance with fellow Christians. I recommend a Strong's Concordance alongside your Bible, it will blow you away.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!


It may be that your unbelief is a sign of God's judgement on you already. The Bible speaks many times of predestination. God says he will have mercy on those he will have mercy. Exodus 33:19. God is no respecter of your deeds, according to Scripture he does not saved based on your goodness or lack of goodness, but upon his sovereign choice. Our deeds play no role or else none of us would ever reach Heaven.

Galatians 3:16
yet we know that a person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law NO ONE will be justified. (emphasis mine)


James 2:19

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

As a former Catholic I'll

As a former Catholic I'll predict that this guy will not last. He's making too much sense and in reaching out to non believers he's showing that he honestly believes in the Golden Rule. The Catholic hierarchy will never stand for this.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

I know right

Some of them might also believe in the Gospel and want him out. Ha.

Thanks pope

Much better than Ratzinger, who compared atheists to the Nazis.

Sounds like a wise and good man.

Letting priests marry would be a very smart move and probably revitalize the clergy.

And cleanse the priesthood

of the gay cabal

Then you missed Frank's announcement about homosexuals?

He made a similar statement about about gays.

Perhaps he knows that homosexuality is a birth defect from nutritional deficiencies in the mother and or father.

To blame a gay for being gay is like blaming an eunuch for his castration.

Free includes debt-free!


Priests should have two spouses - the Church, and a woman? Which gets top priority? Spiritual father to many, or material (and spiritual) to biological children? There are very practical reasons why priests don't marry. Of course, most important is the priest's spiritual husbandry of his bride, the Church.

And yes, let's get rid of the homosexual cabal. Let's be clear, though, it comes from abuse. Abuse begets more abusers. Many abusive priests were themselves abused and then "shepherded" into the priesthood themselves, and moved up in the ranks while the straight priests were/are marginalized. This problem is not caused by not being free to marry women.

Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Mary, Our Mother, protect us under your mantle.

I forget now, which pope imposed celibacy and banned marriage.

The abuse hypothesis suggests that being abused motivates abusive behavior. Sometimes, perhaps.

When the Church realized that pedophilia was a disease and not a mere matter of willpower, steps were taken to remove the temptation.

Instead of just accepting contrition. The church heeded their prayer: "lead me not into temptation".

The church failed to protect the innocent for too long. Too many misunderstood the nature of the problem.

It's Sickness(aka demons) not willpower. Cure what demonizes and overrides the will.

Free includes debt-free!


Shouldn't a Christian be FREE to marry?!?! Or stay celibate? What did Paul say again??