Faithful Roman Catholics should be appalled at what Pope Francis has said. In a letter to an Italian newspaper, the Pope wrote God will forgive atheists and agnostics as long as they behave morally and live according to their consciences.
Why, then, did Jesus have to come to this world, suffer and die on a cross? If one can be saved without Him, Jesus wasted his time and did not need to die. He could have remained with the Father.
Scriptures teach our righteousness is filthy rags compared to God's holiness. Jesus said no one comes to the Father but by Him. If atheists and agnostics don't come to Jesus, they can't get to the Father. If one doesn't repent of sin and receive God's payment for it, then one cannot be saved, for there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved.
I know many saved Catholics who love Jesus. This comment by the Pope will shock them. It will cause confusion not only in the Catholic Church, but throughout the world. How many people will end up in hell because they think the Pope has given them a ticket to heaven that is in fact a counterfeit ticket?
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Publication date: September 13, 2013