During a morning Mass on Wednesday, Pope Francis reached out to atheists (video below).
Pope Francis told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.
"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 are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all," said Pope Francis, per Vatican Radio.
"And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, 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. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
Back in April, Pope Francis made a similar statement, reported the NC Register: "In this, we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however, the need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God," he said. They are "our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation."