Pope Francis: ‘Jesus Broadens the Horizon’ to Embrace Atheists Who ‘Do Good’

Pope_FrancisRome, Italy — Controversy is stirring over statements made by Pope Francis on Wednesday during a homily delivered at the Vatican, where he commented on the ability of all men to do good, including atheists.

According to Vatican Radio, in speaking to his audience about his desire for unity, Francis discussed a passage from Mark 9:38-40 where Jesus’ disciples were concerned about a man who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus, but was not one of the twelve.

“Jesus said, ‘Forbid him not, for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name that can lightly speak evil of Me,'” the Scripture reads. “For he that is not against us is on our part.”

“They complain,” Francis stated of today’s followers of Christ, “if he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.”

But he asserted that Jesus corrected his disciples.

“Do not hinder him, He says, let him do good,” Francis said.

He stated that the disciples “were a little intolerant” of others, and believed that “those who do not have the truth cannot do good.”

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“This was wrong …  Jesus broadens the horizon,” Pope Francis contended. “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation. ”

“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us,” he continued. “‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can — must! Because he has this commandment within him.”

Francis opined that the mindset that those of different belief systems cannot do good leads to disharmony in the world.

“Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God,” he said. “And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

The Pope specifically cited atheists as he began to discuss that redemption is available is for all mankind.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ. All of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!” he declared. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. 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!”

“And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace,” Francis continued. “If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter. We need that so much.”

He repeated that unity must be found with atheists on the basis of good works.

“We must meet one another doing good,” the Pope asserted. “‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good. We will meet one another there.”

Francis delivered his address on the Catholic Feast of Santa Rita, the patron saint of “impossible things.”

Reaction to the Pope’s homily has been mixed.

“Thanks,” wrote one commenter. “Now I can stop worrying and wondering if God loves me.”

“Good for him. I don’t believe in the supernatural at all. I do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do–not because I’m ‘God fearing,” stated another. “It’s nice that the new pope thinks that his God would be accepting of me and people like me. It doesn’t change me, but it’s nice.”

However, others were troubled by Francis’ statements.

“[H]as he not read the Bible? He missed the whole meaning!” wrote one commenter. “Those people that the disciples were asking about were promoting Jesus but weren’t part of their group. They weren’t just ‘doing good.’ The Pope has seriously watered the message down.”

“Hell is full and will be full of a ton of ‘good people,'” another stated. “Good does not equal saved.”

Some assert that the Pope’s comments did not pertain to eternal salvation, but were rather a contention that Catholics should welcome and unite with those of different faiths — or no faith — who do good.

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  • Mark Moore

    Jesus said “Lest you believe in me.” The pope doesn’t have admin rights to change the word of the imaginary god.

    Atheists aren’t going to heaven any more than Christians – heaven is make believe.

  • joann Diminic

    Some people forget that Christianity is all about; What Jesus said, and he said “Do not hinder him, let him do good.”
    Pope Francis knows what he is doing and saying at all times because he is repeating what Jesus said.

    • Contendia

      Here’s something Jesus said:

      “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

      The strait, or narrow gate is repentence of our sins toward God and faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. We enter in by believing and putting all our trust in Him alone. Further, and even more importantly, we have received our faith as a gift of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

      This saving work of God in Christ will produce good works in the person who has been reborn by the Holy Spirit, repented of sin and trusted in Christ alone. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) The good works are our fruit not the cause of our salvation. Only faith alone in the works of Christ alone can save anyone. Our works “and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) God will judge each of us for our sins and iniquities. There is no escape. If you’ve sinned even once, apart from faith in Christ alone you will be cast to Hell. Hide yourself in Christ alone (not in popes, or churches, or sacraments, or “good works”) through repentence (change your mind about sin; turn away from your old life and turn to God) and faith in Him.

      As far as Pope Francis, here’s what Jesus says about him:

      “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)

      All of the popes are corrupt and evil because they claim to stand in the place of Christ on earth but then they teach in contradiction to Him; they have borne and continue to bring forth evil fruit. They are the false prophets that Jesus warns of. They want to enslave by claiming that a Christian must be under his authority to go to heaven. The papal system is the Anti-Christ, Man of Sin and Son of Perdition written of in the New Testament:

      “that man of sin…the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God…whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” (2Thessalonians 2:3-4,9)

      I think its true that Pope Francis knows what he is doing and saying but he is not truthfully representing the teaching of Jesus. He is purposefully mis-representing Jesus so as to ensnare the world in his apostate system.

      God is calling you (and all people everywhere) to repent of your trust in this false teacher who will knowingly lead you out of the narrow way. Look to the Holy Scripture for what is true. The King James Bible is the only reliable English translation as it is based on the vast majority of sound Greek manuscripts. All of the other new translations are based on two corrupt texts: Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. The KJV will tell you the truth.

      Each of us must conform to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it is presented in the Bible. There is no other way. Your eternity is at stake.

  • David Odell

    True believers must see what’s coming upon the earth in the name of NOT ONLY religion, but in the name of Christianity.
    TRUE BELIEVERS “must” not be partakers of a “false gospel”… We MUST stand in direct opposition to the end times “false” Christian movement in whatever form we find it.
    The end times “false church” is fueled by a “humanistic” love which is NO LOVE AT ALL. For this “false humanistic sinful human nature birthed” love… fails to tell … THE TRUTH!
    There is only ONE WAY to heaven… by GRACE thru FAITH in the PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS of JESUS CHRIST alone without works of the sinful flesh, or good deeds.
    Works and good deeds done by “true believers” AFTER salvation are the LEAST they can do, but ARE NOT DONE to attain, nor to SUSTAIN the PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus Christ!
    The NUMBER ONE characteristic of a True Believer in the “REAL” Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God… is that they PUT NO CONFIDENCE in their OWN FLESH but lay ALL HOPE of redemption upon JESUS CHRIST ALONE… and will not even TOLERATE anyone telling them, that “THEY” have to, or CAN do anything WHATSOEVER to earn a “right” standing with our Holy God.

    To the TRUE believer in Jesus Christ… ON ONE SIDE… we have JESUS CHRIST!
    And on the other side of the line… IS EVERYONE ELSE! EVERYONE ELSE!

    And NO true believer would tell an ATHIEST or anyone else for that matter, to “BE GOOD” as a means of pleasing God or attaining salvation!

    For if this were so… then CHRIST DIED IN VAIN!
    In Jesus

  • Million


    I think what Father Francis saying has nothing to do what Jesus said.
    Jesus is talking about those who were casting out demons in His name who were not known by the disciples. Atheists do not cast out demons. They do not even believe the existence of God. We do not try to woe by distorting the very word of Jesus to promote our agenda. No one is above the Word whatever office we claim in this earth.
    If you see the Bible, the redeemed ones are the one who are willingly accepting the redeeming work of Christ not all humanity.

    Read John Chapter 3:3 and 16-20
    3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

    We need to pray for Father Francis so he will be brave enough to speak the Truth, the Truth but the Truth! The Gospel we received came to us with a lot of sacrifices. Those who try to get the Gospel from Catholic Church to our hands were burned at stake alive by Catholic Church officials even their skeleton were dug up and burn at stake just because they did the noble thing. We need to respect authority as far as the authority is governed by Highest Supreme Authority- God!

    Finally, this Word from Revelation 22 is binding to all humanity:-

    18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

    May God be merciful who received a lot and give none.

  • Asmayly Jones

    To all of these “Christians” who are having trouble with what the Pope said and think atheists (and every other non-Christian) need to go to Hell forever (because they’re not as “holy” as Christians”); you have left out the last verses from the parts quoted (Mark 9 40-41): 40 “For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will BY NO MEANS LOSE HIS REWARD.”
    Ulp!! Wow gee I wonder who Christ is talking about now?! Only people casting out demons in his name…uh I don’t think so. If anything he is talking about “tolerant” atheists (or other religious people) who are not “against” [Christianity]. Those people are “for us”!!
    I wish you “Christians” would read your own Bible–there would be much more tolerance in this world!