Just days after laying out a simple but provocative plan to offer salvation for Atheists, the Vatican is backtracking on the now famous remarks made by the Pope. On May 22nd, Pope Francis publicly decreed that “even the atheists,” have been redeemed “with the Blood of Christ,” statements that resonated deeply with Atheists around the world. David Greenwall, head of Atheists United based in New York responded, “This was great news from the Vatican. Many of our members are often worried, even terrified that they should have blindly followed the teachings of the church just-in-case, and this really offered a clear Plan B for us, you know, just-in-case.”
By early Tuesday, thousands of Atheists from all over the world had begun lining up outside of the gates of Vatican City awaiting the possibility of a quick salvation, with many carrying extensive documentation of the good they had done throughout their lives. “We were just so moved by the Pope’s change in policy,” said one Atheist who had come down from Germany. But by midday, with an untold number of heathens amassing in the streets, security forces were called to disperse the crowds. “No one knew why we were being told to leave, it got really chaotic,” said Emma Grig, a salvation seeking Atheist from Norway. By late afternoon it was clear why the crowds were moved. The offer of salvation to Atheists had been cancelled.
In an amendment to the Pope’s earlier statements, Vatican spokesperson Rev. Thomas Rosica provided written public comments. “All salvation comes from Christ, the Head, through the Church which is his body. Hence they cannot be saved who, knowing the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her.”
The retraction came as a shock to most Atheists, many of whom closely follow the Pope on social media and keep up with changes to Catholic policies. When reached by phone late last night David Greenwall reacted, “The lord really does give and take away. Our organization is going to carry on despite this, focusing on our core teachings and beliefs in non-belief. Something tells me it’s for the best.”
Having caused such a raucous with his words, the Pope is expected to remain quiet in the coming weeks before summer to relax and mend the damage to his infallibility.