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Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate
Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of his weekly audience April 10 at the Vatican.
May 23rd, 2013
03:59 PM ET

Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) -– American atheists welcomed Pope Francis’ comments that God redeems nonbelievers, saying that the new pontiff's historic outreach is helping to topple longstanding barriers.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” the pope told worshipers at morning Mass on Wednesday. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Francis continued, “We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that although he has been skeptical of Francis' outreach to the nonreligious, he welcomed Wednesday’s comments.

“I gather from this statement that his view of the world's religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” Speckhardt said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening."

He continued, “If other religious leaders join him, it could do much to reduce the automatic distrust and discrimination that atheists, humanists, and other nontheists so regularly face. “

Francis’ comments received a great deal of attention on social media, with a number of people asking whether the Catholic leader believes that atheists and agnostics go to heaven, too.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued an “explanatory note on the meaning to ‘salvation.'"

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who aware of the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.”

At the same time, Rosica writes, “every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin.”

Rosica also said that Francis had “no intention of provoking a theological debate on the nature of salvation,” during his homily on Wednesday.

Although the pope's comments about salvation surprised some, bishops and experts in Catholicism say Francis was expressing a core tenet of the faith.

"Francis was clear that whatever graces are offered to atheists (such that they may be saved) are from Christ," the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a conservative Catholic priest, wrote on his blog.

"He was clear that salvation is only through Christ’s Sacrifice.  In other words, he is not suggesting – and I think some are taking it this way – that you can be saved, get to heaven, without Christ."

Chad Pecknold, an assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, agreed with Zuhlsdorf, pointing out that the pope’s comments came on the Feast of Saint Rita, the Catholic patron saint of impossible things.

“The remarks about atheists show that there is even a saint for atheists,” Pecknold said. “Including all of humanity, on this day especially, remarks like that are almost called for.”

“To stress that the gospel redeems all people, including atheists, is the teaching of the church,” he added. “This is an objective fact that the church believes.”

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, said Francis' comments reflect “the interfaith and inter-community work many of us nontheists are dedicated to.”

That said, Epstein hopes that lay Catholics are listening.

“I hope Catholics, and all people hearing the pope's statement, will recognize that his words about atheists need to symbolize much more than just a curiosity or an exception to the rule,” Epstein said. “If someone thinks there are only a few atheists out there doing good just like Catholics do, that's a major misunderstanding that can lead to prejudice and discrimination.”

The pope’s comments come a few months after he told worshipers that Catholics should be close to all men and women, including those who don’t belong to any religious tradition.

"In this we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however the need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation,” Francis said shortly after his election as pope in March.

Even atheists like David Silverman, president of American Atheists, who has had an antagonistic relationship with the Catholic church, welcomed the pope’s remarks.

“While the concept of Jesus dying for atheists is wrong on many levels (especially given that Jesus himself promised hell for blasphemers), I can appreciate the pope's `good faith' effort to include atheists in the moral discussion,” Silverman said.

“Atheists on the whole want no part in Catholicism, of course, but we are all interested in basic human rights.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,731 Responses)
  1. plasj

    There is no human difference between Atheists and people who believe in God. Both are born the same way and both die the same way. The real difference between the two is how they choose to live their lives.

    From an early age, both seek to survive, to be nurtured and and to be loved. If these needs are met, both will seek to find meaning in life in a healthy and balanced way. One of those ways of finding meaning in life is to love another person and a good way to do that is to do good to that other person. Doing good means caring for the other person. If Atheists do this and believers do this, what is the difference between the two of them? That one believes in God and the other doesn't. But what if they actually live a life of authentic love (especially forgiving) for the other person (stranger, siblings, parents, friend, spouse, etc.), would the God of the Jewish/Christian faith despise one and love the other? I don't think so because the Bible says the following:

    "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God." (1 John 4:7) So does the atheist really not no God who reveals himself as Love? I think he knows him implicitly on account of loving others who are made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:27).

    Furthermore, the Lord equated loving others to loving him: "Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." The Lord calls persons who do such acts of love "righteous" but calls those who don't "accursed" (Matthew 25:37; 25:41) ""For I was hungry, and you fed me," "I was naked, and you clothed me," "I was imprisoned, and you visited me"...This is taken from the end of chapter 25 in the Gospel of Matthew during the time of the final judgement, when the Lord looked at the heart of those who had an opportunity to show love to others.

    So Could Atheists go to Heaven at the invitation of the God who "is Love." (1 John 4:8)? I don't see why not and the Bible does not object to this as we have seen.

    At this point we could say that some believe and don't love. Others believe and love. Moreover, others don't believe and don't love and still others don't believe and do love. Those who love, whether believer or not, are actually the ones who point to having faith in God who is love. The book of James says the following about faith and doing good to others, i.e., loving others:

    "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works." (James 2:14-18)

    Believing in God is not only professing you believe but acting on that belief and the greatest of these acts is love: "If I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:2)

    June 13, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Science

      No fairy in the sky needed

      une 12, 2013 — To World War II soldiers, "The White Cliffs of Dover" was a morale-boosting song that lifted spirits in dark times. To geographers,

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612133050.htm

      June 13, 2013 at 5:04 am |
    • debra

      Love is a great thing, but it's the talk of god that turns people off, makes the word "love" sounds an agenda, makes your relationships with others sound fake.

      Human possess love, with and without god. We don't love each other because of "god"; we love each other because we do.

      June 13, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • plasj

      In Reply to Debra on June 13, 2013 at 10:14 am....

      I agree, Love is a great thing and you're right the talk of god does turn people off when they hear that god is the source of love. But why? Because many people say god is the source of love and that they believe in god but their actions don't show the love that they profess to believe in.

      However, if people believe in that source, i.e. god, and really do love authentically and not by words alone, does that "make the word love sound like an agenda"? If you believe that love has its source in humans, what happens when they don't "possess love"? What happens when they verbally and physically assault one another, forget about the poor living in slums, despise, hate, take revenge and kill one another? How can they recover the love they have thrown away, especially when others don't want to love them because of the evil they have done? There are many authentic experiences of people who have discovered the love of god when no one else would love them. They acknowledge the evil they have done, repent, and live a life of authentic human love. Because they have experienced the love of god, does that automatically mean that they have an "agenda" behind their new way of living? If they establish relationships with others based on their new found love of god, does that automatically make it "sound fake"?

      Many people say there is no god and many people say there is a God. Both base their convictions on logic and experience. Both atheists and believers have excellent logical (e.g. philosophical) arguments regarding the existence of g(G)od but it is the experience of the same which is the deciding factor of whether we choose to believe or not. Should we dismiss the idea of god just because others give it a bad meaning through their actions? Should we dismiss beauty, truth, goodness, unity for the same reasons? I think not.

      June 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • debra

      You can find beauty, truth, goodness, unity, love, confidence, hope, trust, morality, decency in people who don't believe in god. Believe or not to believe is a personal choice.

      June 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Kevin

      FANTASTIC POST. Thank you for that.

      June 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • plasj

      @ debra....I agree with you 100% that "you can find beauty, truth, goodness, unity, love, confidence, hope, trust, morality, decency in people who don't believe in god." I'm just wondering why you had previously stated that if god, or the notion of god, is associated with love that somehow that makes the relationships one establishes with others "fake." I agreed that love and god has not turned out well many a times but I also cited how that is not always the case.

      And yes to believe or not is a persnal choice but I'm just throwing it out there that sometimes negative experiences of something, of someone or of some idea can persuade us into not believing in that which we thought was authentic. This happens to be the case many a times with the idea of god. I say this from experience since I too questioned the idea of god after having encountered my own share of pain and sorrow, some of which was caused by believers. It got to the point where life had no meaning for me. It was painful but I encountered a love which came to my rescue. What no other person could restore in me, the love I received from this "god" healed the wounds which no one else could. That was 20 years ago and that was real. This is why I believe and I hope others will also come to believe by at least being open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, god may not just be an idea but a reality.

      June 15, 2013 at 1:36 am |
  2. Seek the Giver of life before you face the reality of death

    It's ironic that scientist, atheist, nor anyone else can provide that smallest piece of evidence PROVING the non-existence of an intelligent Creator. By definition making them people of great faith. Yet they boast around blinded by the pride of their foolishness thinking themselves wise. They say Christians believe in an imaginary fairytale, yet all of their changing theories came from the thoughts and imagination of limited minds. On the contrary Christians embrace the evidence of creation which shows intelligent design. Proving its origin being from a mere coincidence impossible, and clearly pointing to the incomprehensible genius of an Immortal Creator. Q:If life was not created by an intelligent Creator, why are the smartest among the geniuses of the world finding it impossible to figure out the origin of life? If you are open minded to learning visit www . theeternalwisdom . com Trusting in finite minds to figure out infinite things is more senseless than a blind mind chasing the wind. P.S. I'm speaking of a Creator not a specific God.,;

    June 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Yawn

      How many times are you going to post this garbage. This has been disputed, and you've been proven wrong. Stop posting this crap.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • alex

      Pubic schools ban books of intelligent design because those books corrupted young mind.

      June 13, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • alex

      Must watch video – Google search "PBS intelligent design" and click the link with the video.

      June 13, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      "I don't know" is not proof of god. Ignorance is not proof of god. You are either too impatient to wait for honest answers, or you simply don't want honest answers.

      So far, there is nothing at all in the universe that requires the presence of a god., Why should people take seriously your attempts to shoehorn one in where it is not needed?

      June 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Robyn

      To all the non believers – I just have one question? What if you're wrong and there really is a God. Are you willing to spend the rest of eternity in hell? I don't want any sarcastic remarks, I want a serious answer. Let us discuss this as if we are all adults.

      June 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Lawrence

      OK Robyn, here's a serious answer:

      What if you're wrong, and there really is an Allah? What if you're wrong, and there really is a Krishna, What if you're wrong, and there really is an Ahura Mazda? What if you're wrong, and there really is a ....

      See the point? Pascal's wager incorrectly assumes only two possibilities, but there are really thousands of them, many with their own penalties for not believing. You likely have not investigated any of the other possibilities and are simply practicing the religion you were born into.

      June 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Alexander

      Seek the Giver...

      Where's your proof that Zeus does not exist? Don't have any? Then why don't you believe in him?

      June 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Hello again, Robyn. Just checking in to see if you'd responded to my answer, which you said you were looking for. Any thoughts?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Robyn

      Lawrence – Allah, Krishna etc....The muslims believe in Allah, a God. Their beliefs of the God Allah is different than the God of the Bible, though they claim him to be the same. It's not that they don't believe in a God, they do...Therefore, if there is an Allah, then there is a God.Jesus is the sole incarnation of God the Son, Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Jesus incarnated in a physical, flesh-and-blood body.Krishna incarnated in a purely spiritual body.
      Jesus rose from the dead after being crucifed. Krishna did not rise again, but he was cremated and his ashes are now venerated at the Jagannatha temple complex in Orissa.
      So as you can see, there is a living God compared to one who is dead...And that's the point.
      You still didn't answer my questions, What if You're Wrong?
      You can't answer a question with a question, that's not an answer.
      And don't get confused about something, it's not about religion, it's about faith. There is a differnce.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Robyn – I'm afraid I'm really not understanding your response. The penalty I get if I'm wrong, and one or more of the possible gods actually exists, is the same penalty you get if you're wrong, but the penalty will depend on which of them actually exist and what their resulting penalty for non-belief is. But since the various gods have various penalties for non-belief, there's no real answer to your question.

      June 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  3. light

    Grant
    you can read it as 0 or O but you cant read it as 9 ???

    Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down

    June 12, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  4. Penny Lane

    And for people who pride themselves in being logically-minded, atheists and their ilk seem to think that calling someone an idiot in a hostile manner automatically increases their intelligence quotient by a hundred points, which it does not, and could not, and never will, and this can be scientifically proven :)

    June 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Science

      Martian Clay Contains Chemical Implicated in the Origin of Life, ...........Chad..........share with the ICR.and the RCC

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610220132.htm

      Meteorites and water. made us aye.

      Oops and that carbon – 14 + (U-Pb).............uranium lead dating Austin.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what-valedictorian-said-for-cheers/#comments

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/18/godless-mom-strikes-a-chord-with-parents/comment-page-147/#comment-2409354

      Check out that little blue box

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/03/fairway-to-heaven-gods-golfers/#comments

      It is between the ears Chad..................mind games.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Bob

      You're an idiot.

      June 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • seaann

      That is why it is important to KNOW your bible. Following the traditions of men is one of the reasons the Jewish nation was finally rejected by the True God.
      The bible is clear in order to gain salvation, these are the qualification."This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of the True God and the one He sent forth Jesus Christ." John 17:3. No one else is going to gain life without it. The bible is clear on this matter. The TRUE GOD"Jehovah (Psalms 83:18) & His son Jesus Christ.
      All the other comments is incorrect on atheist going to heaven( its a lie)

      June 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • alex

      What an idiot

      June 12, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • Science

      The MATRIX faith........................great mind game..............all between the ears.

      Hey bible thumpers it is all between your ears that red horn-y beast.........look what the little blue box has to offer .too !

      My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice

      Feb 09, 2013 · Hey all creationists ... No horn-y red beast needed ... bible thumpers ? Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought.

      http://www.bing.com/search?q=Hey+bible+thumpers+it+is+all+between+your+ears+that+red+horn-y+beast.&form=HPNTDF&pc=HPNTDF&src=IE-SearchBox

      Other links there too faith at Bing.

      June 12, 2013 at 5:32 am |
    • may40

      What is the popes definition of "good"? What is my opinion of "good"? How about yours? Jesus said none are good but God. Once again a pope that doesn't know the Word of God and therefore leading the people straight into hell. Very sad, but typical of the Catholic faith and many non Catholics too. Ignorance is bliss.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  5. Penny Lane

    It has been my observation and experience that:
    Atheists are more hostile to believers than vice versa.
    Believers are more tolerant of atheists than vice versa.
    Atheists are extremely intolerant.

    June 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Believers tolerant? Do you know how many conflicts have their origin in differing religious belief?

      June 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa We Trust
      It is man that is intolerant wanting his way at all cost. It is human nature to eliminate that which is an immediate threat. Christians were a threat to atheist Stalin so he attempted to eliminate them. Did Hitler hate the Jew or the God of Abraham?

      June 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Penny Lane

      That's a worn, hackneyed argument, and it's irrational to keep bringing it up.
      World Wars 1 & 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War were not religious wars.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Penny Lane

      I think the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could also be considered a conflict, the religiosity of which is nowhere to be seen.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Crusades, Inquisition, Conquistadores, Northern Ireland, Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq, Rwanda, Sudan, Congo, Cyprus, India, Kosovo, etc. etc.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheists are intolerant of religion because religion preaches intolerance. Intolerance of intolerance is... guess what... not intolerance, but VIRTUE. Besides, religion isn't due any special deference or respect simply by virtue of it being religion. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc – these are collections of ideas, and as such should be open to criticism in the public forum. If you single out any idea and say "this idea is immune to criticism," you are highly like to perpetuate an incorrect and archaic idea, and all religious ideas are prime examples of this. Yes, I am intolerant of religion, BECAUSE IT IS A POX ON HUMANITY. Any rational, sane, intelligent individual should be intolerant of religion. Oh, and just because you can name a few wars fought due to differing political ideologies, doesn't mean religion is therefore exculpated of moral responsibility for all of the wars it has started and continues to start (30 years war, french wars, nigerian civil war, sudanese civil war, crusades, lebanese civil war, etc)

      June 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • C.Higby

      Interesting that your experience is as you say. I have experienced the exact opposite; How do you explain the Westboro Baptist Church? they are not the only ones in the christian community that think the way they do; they just say it out loud (Very Loud) and publicly, when actually everything they claim ridiculous and crazy as it is; is exactly what other Christians think.

      June 12, 2013 at 4:57 am |
  6. faith

    R U READY? PREPARE to meet thy dodo. all nazis r given last writes. write ur memoirs

    HURRY IT IS ALL OVER

    JUST LIKE WE SAID. RELIGITARDOES WAS PLOTTING TO RUIN EVERYBODY AND WE NEW THEY COULD. THEM RELIGITARDOES WAS WAY TOO SMART. THEM IDIOTS NEW WHAT IS IT IS.

    June 10, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • faith

      any body found praying 4 mercy will be shot on sight unless dodo says. check wit dodo b4 u do anything

      June 10, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Randy

      R U Idiots?

      June 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  7. faith

    hurry hurry they is here. they outsmarted near everybody een though they is retarded morons.

    June 10, 2013 at 6:47 am |
  8. faith

    b worried. xtards, aka delusional mental defectives, r takin over the world. blievers in fsm, sky daddy and 63,000 other gods is plotting world domination. b scared like nazis. b paranoid. according to rational, scientific logic end of all things is at hand. insane nothing knuckleheads loyal to invisible fairy tale creatures and comic book bullies from outer space and heaven will subdue all nazi god hating fascists and all others, especially g a y s on the face of the earth at any moment destroying all humanity while hallucinating. pay attention. NAZI GOD-HATERS AND FASCISTS ARE TRYING TO WARN ALL INTELLIGENT BRIGHT LOGICAL THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE WHO NOD THERE AIN'T NO FSM.

    June 10, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • Science

      From around the world faithy

      Catholic Church ‘in denial’ about vocations

      Disaster facing church unless it faces reality, says Fr Brendan Hoban

      http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/catholic-church-in-denial-about-vocations-1.1422378

      June 10, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • faith

      call lil fatso sambo

      truth prevails, cheesie, ross, marko. cheeseburgers, bill ni, dodo, i hate xtains, reason, no-religion, peekaboo, horse feathers, adolf's family, marshmellow, was up?, yo. xtains must die, k il l xtards, blob, samuel l stonehead, all prestigious leaders of hate a christian 2day clubs. warn em now is the hour of their doom. xtards is a comin

      June 10, 2013 at 6:40 am |
    • faith

      that's right bill ni. they is comin. take cover. the world is doomed. retarded morons, aka delusional xtards outsmarted us all. armegeddon be here. annihilation devastation incapacitation ruination wwiii right here read all about it b4 we all burn up. tards b fed up. they b comin from all over to wreak havoc on every body, specially g a y s

      June 10, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • sam stone

      one click, faith, you could be on your knees in front of the savior

      June 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Science

    The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

    Make sure to highlight above phrase..............then click on the little blue box and search with Bing.

    Think out side the box and have fun .

    The little blue box has new links today !

    9-18 of 27,000,000 results Any time

    My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...

    religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice

    Feb 09, 2013 · ... who have been made in God's likeness. ... are all over it. ... Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the hell out of the way......

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=The+e+word+wins+all+the+time+creationists+..........no+god(s)+made+US............get+over+IT&pc=HPNTDF&src=IE-SearchBox&first=9&FORM=PERE

    June 10, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • faith

      b worried. xtards, aka delusional mental defectives, r takin over the world. blievers in fsm, sky daddy and 63,000 other gods is plotting world domination. b scared like nazis. b paranoid. according to rational, scientific logic end of all things is at hand. insane nothing knuckleheads loyal to invisible fairy tale creatures and comic book bullies from outer space and heaven will subdue all nazi god hating fascists and all others, especially g a y s on the face of the earth at any moment destroying all humanity while hallucinating. pay attention. NAZI GOD-HATERS AND FASCISTS ARE TRYING TO WARN ALL INTELLIGENT BRIGHT LOGICAL THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE WHO NOD THERE AIN'T NO FSM.

      amen bill ni. preach it baby

      end is near. take cover. watch out. crazy tards b comin

      June 10, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • faith

      bill ni, is u ready? preach it girl. end is here. tards was too smart, just like u done said. them morons fooled em all. they rule. help. dodo what to dodo?

      June 10, 2013 at 7:02 am |
  10. Seek the Giver of life before facing the reality of death

    If many who claim Jesus to be their Lord will not make it into the kingdom of God, what would possess one to believe those who deny the Son of God will make it in? Salvation is indeed offered through grace to all of mankind, but very few actually accept this free gift of love. God will not and cannot accept someone who with their freewill chooses to reject Him. He does not force anyone to love Him, nor will He grant eternal life to those who are in love with death. God is life and the Creator of it, the opposite of Him is death. God is a just God PERFECT in His judgments. YOU weep what YOU sow. www . theeternalwisdom . com visit this website if you truly desire to learn truth and who God is.

    June 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bob

      And you should go to heaven? You who claim to know more about god than the pope? What makes you so sure you (or the pope for that matter) know god's will? It's all hogwash to me, anyway, but I thought I'd point out the logical inconsistencies within your wholly illogical belief.

      June 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Robyn

      Bob- Study the bible...You'll get your answer.

      June 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  11. TheTruth

    Some believe they're better because of their religion.
    That is not just an opinion; it's a prejudice.

    Teach your children well. Teach them to be free of prejudice.

    June 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  12. Bob

    Where does the Pope get his authority for saying that atheist go to heaven? From his subjective brain! I wish all could go to heaven however you can not get there without Jesus Christ. (YOU MUST BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    June 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Science

      It is all between the ears ..........the red horn-y devil too = BULLSH_IT.

      topcat

      christianity is a cult of human sacrifice, just like all the false religions before it.
      christianity doesnt refutiate human sacrifice. it celebrates one sacrifice as though it were affective. john 3:16

      Science

      Agree the bible is BS !

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/biblical-marriage-iowa-scholars-op-ed_n_3397304.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/#comments

      June 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Science

      Martian Clay Contains Chemical Implicated in the Origin of Life, ...........Chad/Billy..........share with the ICR and the RCC.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610220132.htm

      Meteorites and water. made us aye.

      Oops and that carbon – 14 + (U-Pb).............uranium lead dating Austin.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what-valedictorian-said-for-cheers/#comments

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/18/godless-mom-strikes-a-chord-with-parents/comment-page-147/#comment-2409354

      Check out that little blue box

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/03/fairway-to-heaven-gods-golfers/#comments

      AND

      The DINOSAUR ?...............Chomp Chomp !...Evolution WINS hands down...time for the horn-y red devil to get the

      HELL out of the way.....................Stem Cell research !

      Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles

      May 21, 2013 — The mighty T. rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern-day falcon.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152638.htm

      PLUS

      COMEDY GOLD................it is THE PEARLY GATES !.............what a JOKE !

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-18/#respond

      Splat Chad

      June 11, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  13. Science

    The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.

    https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

    "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

    8,000,000 results Any time

    June 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Science

      About 52,800,000 results (0.25 seconds) .............from Google this time LL

      Showing results for science wins god loses

      With his speech, valedictorian brings God to graduation – CNN ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/hear-what...said.../comment-page-38/

      3 days ago – https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses ... Science likes war with its unlimited budgets and no rules and he who owns the gold rules.

      June 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Science

      But science does like wars lol??...................but does like the gold chondrites and comets create !

      June 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Science

      Oops NOT

      June 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • faith

      u go girl

      June 10, 2013 at 6:56 am |
  14. Randy

    Let there be light - not idiots.

    June 8, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • faith

      r ye prepared?

      idiots rule

      June 10, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Randy

      Idiots think they rule, and they call it "faith".

      June 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  15. LIGHT

    The world now is ruling by the antichrist but no one wants to believe.

    Especially US is completely under the antichrist control because he is ruling the world thru it.

    CNN is one of his official channels which through he can control the brains and concepts of people.

    He planned for the 9/11 attacks and they said Muslims did it, and as usual people believe whatever they are saying.

    See now how he can play with your brains and eyes using numbers,letters and words to know what is going on and what CNN is:

    Take a look on the CNN logo and read it upside and down you will get............. MD.......it means (M)onth and (D)ay.

    Read it from left to right you will get.............. 911.

    Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down.

    Please tell those who are sleeping to awake before it is too late.

    June 8, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Salero21

      Atheism is stupidity in Full bloom, no doubt about it!

      June 8, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Randy

      Let there be light - not idiots.

      June 8, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Science

      Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters..............go to page 21 of comments Sally.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • light

      Grant
      you can read it as 0 or O but you cant read it as 9 ???

      Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down

      June 12, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  16. Science

    You know...............Chad.
    .
    Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival

    http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4044190/events/2110223

    June 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  17. Kay

    Atheists could care less about the Pope's opinion, they don't believe in heaven.

    June 7, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • grammar gestapo

      The prhase is "couldn't" care less. If they "could" care less it would imply there was room to care less about the subject.

      June 9, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  18. MomOf3

    I'll admit, I didn't read the 50 preceding ages of comments, so if I duplicate anyone's comments, I apologize...

    But, as an Atheist, I'm offended by the arrogance of the Pope and the Catholic Church. Telling me that they understand that I don't believe in their god, but if I live a good life, I'll be rewarded in heaven...by their god, unless now, there is a heaven without a god. It's almost like they are placating and condensing at the same time.

    Does the good that the Catholic church profess to do (missions, charity...etc) outweigh the negative that they cause in the world (religious politics, abuse of minors...etc)?

    My husband says that we should all be working for the same thing ~ a better world. But when you have someone that is looking down on you, while telling you they 'understand you' is difficult to overlook, or overcome!

    June 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Just Me

      The Pope is wrong, God rejectors will not be in heaven, all he needs to do is read the Bible. But I will tell you this, one day there will be no atheists in Heaven because these cowards will have a second chance to believe and there will be no doubt.

      June 7, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Grant

      Just me I think you missed something important. Jesus did say to Peter (The first pope) "What you keep true on earth I will keep true in Heaven" So I'm afraid your word makes no difference, the Popes does... according to the Bible anyway

      June 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Robin

      JustMe – How do you figure that atheists are cowards? To me the cowardly route is to go along with the flow without questioning.

      June 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Giggling

      Oh Robin...really? Go back and read your own post. But I guess where we define "conformity" makes a difference. Still you make me giggle.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Robin

      Giggling – Unsure of your point. Conformity, in this context, means sticking with the religion you were born into without ever investigating its validity or investigating alternatives.

      June 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  19. LIGHT

    The antichrist is playing with words,letters and numbers in a very high profissional way .

    I will send a small surprise for you all.

    Take a look on the CNN logo and concentrate very well,you can read it as.................. 911!!!

    June 6, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • Science

      Hey LIGHT.....the truth works...........so you know NO fairy in the sky NEEDED

      Life On Earth Shockingly Comes from out of This World

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605144326.htm

      June 6, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Science

      Hey LIGHT...............the truth.

      Oldest Primate Fossil Skeleton Found In China

      Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | Jun. 5, 2013, 2:14 PM

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/oldest-primate-fossil-skeleton-found-in-china-2013-6#ixzz2VS35T5QS

      June 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Science

      Hey GOOD NEWS...................LIGHT ..........you fail ...........there is no antichrist like you mention on the other thread.

      You know !

      No god(s) needed..........but physics is required.............and it works every time.

      Quantum Teleportation Between Atomic Systems Over Long Distances

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606140844.htm

      June 7, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Grant

      I'm... not sure why or how you get 911 out of CNN maybe OVN or 0VN or even 01111 but a capital C can't be made into a 9 no matter how hard you try... also 911 as no biblical significance so I have no idea why you are trying to tie a news organization to a terrorist attack

      June 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • light

      Grant
      you can read it as 0 or O but you cant read it as 9 ???

      Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down

      June 12, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  20. ~()~

    There are many surprises awaiting this perverse generation. Mockers, beware!

    June 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      "There are many surprises awaiting this perverse generation. Mockers, beware!" – said by each generation of their descendents

      Mock, mock, mock

      June 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Believer

      Great comment! 2Peter 3:1-18. For all of the scoffers, 2Peter 3:3 says it all.

      June 7, 2013 at 9:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.