Pope Francis in latest sermon on Wednesday acknowledged that atheists who do good work must be seen as good people. He emphasized on the fact that God will not only redeem the believers but also those who are non-believers. Vatican Radio reports:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘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.”
Pope Francis has also highlighted the peaceful co-existence of believers and non-believers earlier in March. He said, “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.”
The Vatican Church believes that this belief has long been part of the Catholic teaching but has never been expressed with such emotion by any other member of the clergy before.
In troubled times like these when the Vatican is surrounded by various scandals primarily including sexual assaults by priests, Pope Francis’ speech brings along a lot of positivity for the deteriorating reputation of the Church.