Pope Francis Gives Message of Peace to the Atheists and Non-believers

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By Athena Yenko | May 24, 2013 3:45 PM EST

Atheists and non-believers were stirred as Pope Francis said that good deeds are acts not limited to the religious people, but rather it is in good deeds where everybody can work together harmoniously, USA Today reported.

 In an exclusive homily, Pope Francis said that "doing good is not a matter of faith, but of duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because he has made us in his image and likeness."

 He addressed non-believers and non-Catholics, "If we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter. We need that so much. We must meet one another doing good."

 Pope continued with his homily saying that "all people, even the atheists, are redeemed through the Blood of Christ."

 Non-believers were stirred and warmth by what Pope Francis said. This only goes to show that "having no faith does not mean having no morality" said USA Today.

 Harvard University Humanist chaplain and author of "Good Without God", Greg Epstein, said that "We are a community that is just trying to do good and live good lives, just like most communities rae. His statement is an acknowledgement of that. It is welcome and it is gratifying.

 Epstein remembered a Tuesday broadcast of CNN's Wolf Blitzer of an Oklahoma tornado victim. Mr. Blitzer asked a soft spoken mother if she wanted to thank God for her family's survival. The mother replied, "I am an Atheist."

 Epstein recalled being struck by what the woman said, "You have this small example of this soft-spoken young mother who is recovering from the tornado who by her presence, her quiet dignity, not only exemplified what the pope is saying, but overshadowed him. The quiet dignity of her just being a person and so clearly a good and loving person, it makes my reaction, and I would think a lot of people's reaction to Pope Francis."

 D.J. Grothe, president of the James Randi Education Foundation said that the Pope's statement is "refreshing". I don't see that disdain for non-believers that was so apparent before. He is really talking about what I would call humanism - the ethical approach to making the world a better place without recourse to supernatural beliefs."

 D.J. Grothe is known for attacking the Catholic Church's policies on promotion of miracles and opposition to contraception.

 Dale McGowan a member of the Foundation Beyond Belief acknowledges what Pope Francis said as something awe-inspiring. "Anything that decreases the mistrust and fear between people is a good thing. Some people might say it contradicts past statement of other popes, but I don't care about any of that. It is terrific when a position evolves to where we can put division behind us, and this is an example of that and I think it is great.

 The Foundation Beyond Belief is a group known for gathering donations from non-believers. These donations are then distributed to charities and other relief operations. The foundation had already raised over $35,000 for the Oklahoma tornado victims.

 Mr. McGowan was really moved by what Pope Francis said. "He was using his own language and speaking from his own beliefs. That is not the point. The point is he is saying I don't fear you, and I think that is a lovely thing."

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