It seems that the Pope is a modern-day religious pluralist, who believes that there are many routes to heaven. Responding to a list of published questions, Francis wrote:
· “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.
· “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” http://www.truthandaction.org/pope-says-dont-believe-god-go-heaven/2/
However, the Pope’s words are at great variance to those of the One he is supposed to represent. Jesus’ teachings fail to extend the Pope’s glad tidings. Instead, Jesus insisted that salvation could only come through Him. When asked what deeds had to be performed in order to have eternal salvation, He answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent" (John 6:29), and not merely in their conscience. Even more to the point, He informed the leadership:
- I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8:24)
Not very politically correct, but consistent with everything Jesus had taught! He also informed His slow-to-learn disciples that salvation could only come through Him:
- "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
And how did Jesus regard those of other religions?
· Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:7-9)
In contrast, the Pope claims that salvation is on our own terms, according to our own heart: “God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart.” How reassuring but also misleading!