Pope Francis, in a recent homily said all people, “even the atheists,” are “redeemed” through “the Blood of Christ” — the Christian belief that the sins of humanity are wiped clean through the crucifixion of Jesus.
In an ecumenical description, Francis said that performing “good works” is not the exclusive domain of people of faith, but rather a place where they and atheists could and should meet. The pope made the remarks in a private homily. “If we do good to others,” he said, referring to non-Catholics and non-believers, “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. We must meet one another doing good.” He also said that good works are a “duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us,” not just Christians.
Doing social projects together has been a feature of the ecumenical movement designed to reduce and eliminate objections to Rome’s teachings and political involvement with the nation states of the world ever since the Second Vatican Council.
Atheists and other nonbelievers largely welcomed Pope Francis’ remarks. “Some say they see Francis’ remarks as a sign that nonbelief — atheism, humanism and other forms of freethought — is being normalized, while others see recognition of what they say they have known all along: Having no faith does not mean having no morality.”
Some people think that this kind of approach is quite different from Francis’ predecessors who were vocal opponents of secularism. But it is a mistake to think that Francis is changing papal positions. He is just making a statement to draw secularists closer to Rome.
“All the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3