Pope Francis & Atheists & Catholic Charities

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Francis’ recent talk about the how the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all – including atheists struck a chord with the world – and with me in a particular way.    People often have asked me if Catholic Charities helps “non-Catholics.” At first this bothered me because Catholic Charities for as long as I can remember and much beyond has always helped people regardless of their religion.  I was a little frustrated that after all these years people would still ask.  But then I realized we must not have been doing a good enough job in making sure people knew this fact.  So now in all material we put out about Catholic Charities, we always say: “Helping Non-Catholics and Catholics alike.”  Every person is made in the image of God.  And, in addition, we go out of our way to work with groups and organizations of all religions and no religions to further the common good and help those needing a helping hand.

Maybe Pope Francis was getting a little frustrated that some people didn’t realize that Jesus had come to save them – even if they weren’t Catholics or even Christians.   I have included a few excerpts below and the link to the Pope’s full message:

 “The Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”…
But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him….

“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 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.”

Read the Pope’s full message on 

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