Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they "do good"

Yesterday's Papal homily, delivered by the Pope without notes after conducting Mass in his residence, included a story about a priest who told an atheist that he was redeemed by Jesus just as a Catholic would be, so long as the atheist "did good."

"Just do good, and we'll find a meeting point," the pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: "But I don't believe. I'm an atheist."

Francis's reaching out to atheists and people who belong to no religion is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.

Atheists are good if they do good, Pope Francis says [Philip Pullella/Reuters/MSN] (via Reddit)

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  1. Usually I find that to be true. Atheists tend to do good because they want to, not because they are commanded or obliged.

  2. angusm says:

    That's cute. I feel the same way about Jesus.

  3. I doubt the atheists were all that concerned about the Pope's approval.

    Still, the new pope, on the jackass meter, measures significantly lower than the last.

  4. Man, I know the fundamentalist Baptists say this about all the popes, but they have got to be freaking out right now, totally convinced that this guy is the Antichrist. Bob Jones University is probably full of amusing rhetoric these days.

  5. I actually go to an un-church and sing songs, but most people just call it a "bar."

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