Sept 12, 2013
Responding to a list of questions published by the atheist founder of La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, the Pope penned an open letter in which he said that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.
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.
According to this report, Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church’s fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI.