Originally Posted by JoAnne
Statement of Pope Francis : It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church and give money - for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history did not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in His name.
This appears to be a false quote.
I will comment on the IDEAS in the quote, while noting that the source is not the Pope.
It is well-established in Catholic salvation theology that a non-Christian and even an atheist might enter the state of grace by an implicit baptism of desire. Indeed, Fr. Feeney was excommunicated partly for his rejection of baptism of desire, which the Holy Office clearly asserted could be implicit. And everyone who is in a state of grace is in some sense a good person.
An atheist might be confused by the diversity of opinions on religion in modern society, and by the sinfulness of believers, such that he has a sincerely mistaken conscience in rejecting belief in God. So an atheist can be saved.
Yes, some good persons are atheists and some sinful persons are believers.
The rest of the quote just seems silly, so I won't comment.