Pope Francis: The Vicar of Conscience (?)

In a statement that’s likely to thrill Bill Maher as well as atheists, agnostics, and nominal Catholics the world over, not to mention make life much more difficult for persecuted Christians, Pope Francis seems to have implied that heaven is reachable without the blood of Jesus Christ.

That’s right – according to a letter he wrote to Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica newspaper, the pontiff suggested that, contrary to Biblical Christianity, God forgives individuals who follow their consciences, even if those sin-addled consciences tell them He doesn’t exist.

In other words, if Francis literally means what he said, conscience has been promoted above the tenets of Christianity, and now supersedes anything the Scripture has maintained to be true for 5,000 years.

In response to a list of questions Mr. Scalfari posed to the Vicar of Conscience, er, I mean Christ, Pope Francis replied to questions about salvation in the following way: “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.”

Then the Pope said: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! … Even the atheists. Everyone!” What the Holy Father forgot to mention is that believers are “saved by grace through faith” in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice.

If Francis’s comments are taken at face value, for “those who do not believe in God,” Jesus’s edict that “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned,” no longer applies.

Regrettably, for the conscience-centered crowd there is also a bit of a glitch, because the Bible also says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”

Furthermore, Christianity teaches that it is the conscience that reveals the truth of who God is. Thus, the God-given conscience that the pope now claims ensures salvation, if the Word of God is true, actually condemns unbelievers who knowingly reject what Scripture says is inherent in every human being.

Likewise, the Apostle Paul, killjoy that he was, stressed that “the law,” which is influenced by conscience, “was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.”

Christianity teaches that belief in Christ supersedes the lesser law driven by what seemingly is the current pope’s personal code of principle.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis expounded further: “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

Could Francis actually be saying that people are now free to obey their own morally relativistic sense of right and wrong and still get to heaven?

Diametrically opposed to Biblical credo, what that statement suggests is that strict obedience to conscience assures redemption for both believer and unbeliever alike. The problem is that the Scripture warns that “The heart [mind] is deceitful above all things … desperately wicke[d]” and totally untrustworthy.

Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s remarks were an indication that the new pope is about the business of shaking off the Catholic Church’s antiquated image, an image that was established by Jesus Christ, reiterated in the Bible, and furthered by Francis’s extremely conservative predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

According to Mr. Mickens’ definition, which is clearly informed by his own personal interpretation, “Francis is still a conservative.” Indeed; and in the world of politics, liberal Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are also technically Republicans.

Mickens maintains that the issue here is that the pope is merely “seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world,” which evidently now includes modifying the Gospel of Christ.

Nevertheless, Mr. Scalfari, who is not Catholic and probably welcomed the newfangled, conscience-driven salvation message, said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all.”

For Christians at least, in the overall scheme of eternity, if what it takes to “overcome barriers in dialogue” is preaching a watered-down gospel, in the end, will the pope-induced “meaningful dialogue” have accomplished anything worthwhile?

Suffice it to say that if Pope Francis sincerely believes that obeying our human conscience is on par with Jesus’s sacrifice, then sorry, but the pontiff is close to personifying the description in the Bible which says there are those who the “god of this world has blinded …to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” – not to mention references to things like millstones, stumbling blocks, and apostasy.

Then again, although contrary to the basic tenets of Christianity, if what Papa Francisco said is true, someone should have informed Jesus, who was evidently mistaken when He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” After all, if eternal redemption could have been attained any other way than on Golgotha’s hill, Jesus shouldn’t have bothered; He could have spared Himself the agony of being be nailed to a tree for the sake of those who believe.

Jeannie hosts a blog at: www.jeannie-ology.com

Image: Flickr: Atheists at the Twin Cities Pride Parade 2011; author: Fibonacci Blue; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

About the author: Jeannie DeAngelis

Jeannie DeAngelis, born in Brooklyn, New York and raised on Long Island, is a wife, mother and grandmother to three grandsons. She has written for politically-themed articles for conservative websites like American Thinker and Breitbart, emphasizing current events as well as the full range of liberal hypocrisy in politics and Hollywood, and pro-life issues. Jeannie publishes a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com.

View all articles by Jeannie DeAngelis

  • Abby

    What do you do with Jesus’ words “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?

    • anarchyst

      Jesus IS the way, the truth and the life. . . however Jesus is not the only way . . .

  • Abby

    What do you do with Jesus’ words “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?

  • Abby

    What do you do with Jesus’ words “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?

  • RC in az

    This pope is the great DECEIVER! He will help rain in the ANTI-CHRIST! Very EVIL

    • Dominic De Falco

      LOL, The pope, the highest of all Christians alive is the great deceiver? You must also believe that Obama is a Christian!

      • RC in az

        Do some research on this pope peckerhead

        • Dominic De Falco

          Is the pope not God’s chosen one? If so, then you calling him a deceiver would be like stating that you are more knowledgeable and higher than God himself…. peckerhead!

          • bumpysquish

            you put the pope on the same level as GOD ? you will rot in HELLLL ,

          • Dominic De Falco

            Excuse me, where did I say the pope was at the same level as God? I only asked if the pope was not God’s chosen one.
            I am not worried about rotting in hell or whether I make it to heaven or not. I live and lead my life always with good intentions as much as possible so if I am to be judged in the afterlife, it will not be by you or anyone else currently living on this planet!

          • bumpysquish

            you put the pope on the same level as GOD ? you will rot in HELLLL ,

          • bumpysquish

            you put the pope on the same level as GOD ? you will rot in HELLLL ,

        • Dominic De Falco

          Is the pope not God’s chosen one? If so, then you calling him a deceiver would be like stating that you are more knowledgeable and higher than God himself…. peckerhead!

      • RC in az

        Do some research on this pope peckerhead

      • RC in az

        Do some research on this pope peckerhead

      • Wendy

        He is the false prophet prophesied in Revelations, (13:11-18, 16:13, 19:20, 20:10), as well as in the messages being received by the final prophet, MDM.

        • Dominic De Falco

          In your mind and opinion only!…. Are you referring to the pope or Obama? We are discussing the pope here. Your revelations seem to be referring to Obama!

        • Dominic De Falco

          In your mind and opinion only!…. Are you referring to the pope or Obama? We are discussing the pope here. Your revelations seem to be referring to Obama!

      • Wendy

        He is the false prophet prophesied in Revelations, (13:11-18, 16:13, 19:20, 20:10), as well as in the messages being received by the final prophet, MDM.

    • Steve

      The Pope is the anti-Christ, that man of sin. There is no future anti-Christ to come.

    • Steve

      The Pope is the anti-Christ, that man of sin. There is no future anti-Christ to come.

  • RC in az

    This pope is the great DECEIVER! He will help rain in the ANTI-CHRIST! Very EVIL

  • RC in az

    This pope is the great DECEIVER! He will help rain in the ANTI-CHRIST! Very EVIL

  • Deirdre Marina

    If we believe St Malachy, he’s to be the last Pope. And with comments like this, I certainly hope so.

  • christopher richmond

    i used to believe in santa claus, the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny too.. then i grew up, got an education, and some real world experiences. now i am no longer satisfied to list to the jesus fairy tale. wake up. the bible is bullsh#t! period.

    • Somekindofpatriot

      I feel so very sad for you Christopher and all the others like you who still choose to delude themselves with evolutionary theory. Theory being the operative word here, I used to be one of you until the day came when I was willing to do the home work. I wonder when you say “jesus fairy tale” are you referring to His deity or do you dismiss Jesus all together and believe He is just a fictional character? If it’s the latter then your definitely beyond any help I would be willing to give you but if you do believe Jesus did exist and was just a moral mortal man than I can show you all the proof anyone could ask for. If you are interested in the information I have about Jesus, why I believe the way I do, and proof of how you’ve been lied too then it would be my pleasure to share. First I would need to know what it is you do believe, is it the big bang theory that claims there was an enormous explosion of nothing and it filled the universe full of matter? The way I look at the big bang theory, and even if I was starting from scratch, it would take much more faith to believe in that than to believe in a creator. Or maybe you believe our planet was seeded by an ancient alien race? Of course I have no idea at all what you believe but if you would like to give me a starting point I will get started. First I will ask you where we as a people we should/could start with a moral code, or should we even have one. My point being, if Darwin’s theory of evolution is true there can be no set moral codes. How could there be?
      In reality our gene pool is degrading, everything in nature is degrading. Let me give you an example, not a week goes by that we don’t hear of some plant or animal threatened with extinction. Is such a rapid rate of extinction natural, or is it caused by the activities of modern technological man? It
      is popularly thought that the extinctions of various species on the Hawaiian
      Islands resulted when Western civilization began to move there. However, studies of bird fossils on the islands show that many more species became extinct before we arrived. In the last 1,500 years, one-third of all the species on the islands have become extinct. Unquestionably, creatures are becoming extinct while no new creatures are evolving. Nor can there be any question that these extinctions are natural and have little to do with the growth of modern, technological man on islands or anywhere else. This shows that we could not have gotten the millions of different life forms we know on Earth today from evolution, since creatures naturally become extinct faster than they are supposed to have evolved. This is a warning to us that the creation is moving in one direction only. That direction is downward toward death.
      Realizing this inescapable fact, we need to see another one-way sign.
      Christopher, this sign is found in the Bible right where Peter tells us that
      there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. That Name is Jesus Christ. Only He has conquered death and He has done so on our behalf, He rose back to life to prove His power to forgive sin. If any of this is peaking your interest I would be happy to go on and show you all the proofs I have that Jesus is God and He is the only hope any of us can have. I will show you proof the bible is God’s word and I will show you how you’ve been deluded. Let me know, and may God lead you to the truth. Amen

    • Wendy

      That is also spoken of in the Bible. It is called human pride; pride of the intellect. It will be the downfall of many men, as it was the downfall of Adam and Eve. What good is your world experience when your existence in this world is but a blink of the eye. What do you know of eternity?

  • Dr_Falken

    Isn’t this the Original Sin? The Devil told Eve that if she and Adam were to eat of the forbidden fruit, they would be “as G-ds”? If G-d’s word, and belief in Jesus is not necessary anymore, and we can get into heaven without it, isn’t that the same thing?

    The Bible does speak of a Great Deceiver whose deception is so complete as to be able to run the Church — I’m surprised he didn’t call himself Pope Peter the Second when he chose his name.

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