Pope Francis Did NOT Teach All Are Saved

The heresy of universalism, that all are saved, and the heresy of mitigated universalism (that we may reasonably hope that perhaps all are saved) are contrary to the teaching of 8 Ecumenical Councils: Constantinople II, Lateran II, IV, and V, Florence, Trent, Vatican II and II as well as the clear and definitive teaching of Sacred Scripture. As concerns heresy, obstinate denial and obstinate doubt are both types of formal heresy. So changing “all are saved” into “reasonably hope…perhaps all are saved” does not change the heresy of universalism into anything other than a different version of the same heresy.

Many human souls are already in Hell. Many more souls will be added to Hell before the general Resurrection. All the devils will be punished forever in Hell with all the human souls condemned to Hell. At the general Resurrection, which is of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15), the unjust souls in Hell will be resurrected and given bodies united to their souls; and next they will be sent to Hell, to be punished forever with body and soul united in each human person. The just resurrected souls are given glorified bodies. The bodies of the resurrected unjust are befitting of their sins, and in the worst cases may be horrifically disfigured forever. Jesus: “fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.” (Mt 10:28).

Taylor Marshall is accusing Pope Francis of heresy, in his video titled by him as: “Pope Francis says EVERYONE IS SAVED: More Heresy – Dr. Taylor Marshall Podcast” (Sept 27, 2021).

Here is the full text of the comments by Pope Francis to the press (in flight) [Catholic News Agency, 15 Sept 2021].

Pope Francis was speaking on marriage, and happened to mention salvation in a single sentence:

“I have spoken clearly about this: marriage is a sacrament, marriage is a sacrament. And the Church does not have the power to change the sacraments. They are thus, as the Lord has instituted [for] us.”
“But marriage is marriage. This is not to condemn people who are like that, no, please, they are our brothers and sisters and we must accompany them. But marriage as a sacrament is clear, it is clear.”
“The French PACS, this law […] has nothing to do with homosexual couples — homosexual people can use it, they cannot use it, but marriage as a sacrament is man and woman. Sometimes what I have said is confusing. All the same, respect everyone. The good Lord will save everyone — do not say this aloud [laughs] — but the Lord wants to save everyone. Please do not make the Church deny her truth. Many, many people of homosexual orientation approach the Sacrament of Penance, they approach to ask priests for advice, the Church helps them to move forward in their lives.”

“PACS stands for ‘pacte civil de solidarite,’ and represents a legal union between two people of either sex in France. It states that these two people live together and can declare French taxes together, as well as legally split possessions.” [Source]

Note that, not long after this French civil union law was established, it was found that in some places (incl. Paris), more heterosexual couples were obtaining civil unions that homosexual couples. Thus, Pope Francis is correct that it is not only for gay couples.

The supposedly controversial statement above is “The good Lord will save everyone — do not say this aloud [laughs] — but the Lord wants to save everyone.” Notice the full statement corrects the initial off-the-cuff phrasing, by specifying that this is the will of the Lord to save all. Faithful Catholics should know the dogma of the universal salvific will of God, from Sacred Scripture:

[1 Timothy 2]
{2:1} And so I beg you, first of all, to make supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings for all men,
{2:2} for kings, and for all who are in high places, so that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all piety and chastity.
{2:3} For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
{2:4} who wants all men to be saved and to arrive at an acknowledgment of the truth.
{2:5} For there is one God, and one mediator of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus,
{2:6} who gave himself as a redemption for all, as a testimony in its proper time.

Jesus sacrificed himself as “a redemption for all”. This means that God our Savior wants all human persons to be saved, especially by truth. But it does not imply that all persons will be saved. The offer is universal. The sacrifice itself contains a superabundance of grace, far exceeding that needed to save all, even though not all are saved.

Pope Saint John Paul II: However, as I wrote in the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, the gift of salvation cannot be limited “to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all.”
“It is a mysterious relationship. It is mysterious for those who receive the grace, because they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her. It is also mysterious in itself, because it is linked to the saving mystery of grace, which includes an essential reference to the Church the Savior founded.”
Full Text

Pope Saint John Paul II: “The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all.” Redemptoris Missio 10

Pope Francis: “The good Lord will save everyone — do not say this aloud [laughs] — but the Lord wants to save everyone.”

First of all, an off-the-cuff statement cannot be heresy, as heresy must be obstinate. But notice that Francis immediately corrects the first part of the assertion. “The good Lord will save everyone” is corrected by Francis to assert that his is the Lord’s will. He wants to save all. But some persons refuse to be saved. (Their refusal consists in refusing to repent from actual mortal sin through the end of their life.)

The “do not say this aloud” is a reference to those persons who often distort what the Roman Pontiff says, in order to accuse him of heresy. In “Human Fraternity”, the Pope asserted that the diversity of religions is the will of God. His conservative critics presumed to correct him, saying, it must be only the permissive will of God. Pope Francis agreed publicly in a General Audience, privately in a conversation with one of his worst critics, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and again in a letter to Schneider, all asserting that this is the permissive will of God. So Pope Francis asserted agreement with his critics, and they nevertheless subsequently accused him of heresy for that same statement in Human Fraternity. Such a blatant false accusation, after Pope Francis made himself very clear — I just don’t see how this can be anything but a fully culpable grave false accusation. They accuse him, it seems clear after so many years of false accusations, with open malice and with severe disregard for justice and truth. What other conclusion can a reasonable and faithful Catholic draw? I wish they were not guilty by reason of invincible ignorance or some type of misunderstanding. But their desire to condemn him without regard for truth or justice is palpable.

So the Pope says “do not say this aloud”, realizing it could be the subject of yet another false accusation. He then clarifies immediately that he means the universal salvific will of God, simply and correctly stated as: “the Lord wants to save everyone.” What kind of person would then accuse the Roman Pontiff of heresy for such a claim? Taylor Marshall, author of “Infiltration”, a book filled to the brim with false accusations against Popes, Councils, and the Church Herself, that is who.

Note that in this informal talk, Pope Francis admits “Sometimes what I have said is confusing. All the same, respect everyone.” Is he admitting a fault. Maybe. But maybe not. What Jesus said in John 6 was so confusing and obscure to His listeners that some walked away from Him. And Jesus did not say, “Come back! Let me explain!” Jesus demands FAITH above reason. And so if the Holy Spirit does NOT always inspire the Church to explain every teaching in great detail, to the satisfaction of fallen sinners, in their excessive and sinful over-reliance on reason and negligence of faith, that is not an error. The Apostles believed the teaching of Jesus in John 6 without much understanding of it. They exercised the virtue of faith, while those who walked away wanted reason without faith. That is still the error today. “Don’t make us believe by faith. Satisfy our pride and explain it to our fallen reason, in accord with our many errors and misunderstandings.”

Taylor Marshall

Taylor Marshall is accusing Pope Francis of heresy, in his video titled by him as: “Pope Francis says EVERYONE IS SAVED: More Heresy – Dr. Taylor Marshall Podcast” (Sept 27, 2021).

Dr. Marshall: “He really does believe that everyone is going to Heaven.” Such a statement is clearly contradicted by the very text of the Pope’s remark, as correctly quoted in context by Taylor Marshall. He quotes the part that says the Lord “wants” everyone to be saved. Then he ignores it and accuses the Roman Pontiff of “more heresy”.

Since the ancient Church fathers unanimously believed that manifest heretics lose all jurisdiction, how is it that so many of those who accuse Pope Francis of manifest heresy still claim that he is the valid Roman Pontiff? The Council of Trent forbid us to reject the unanimous teaching of the Church fathers. Those who reject Vatican II often cite Trent as if it were a far better Council. But they don’t really follow its teachings, nor any magisterial teachings contrary to their own minds or their chosen subculture.

The proof that Pope Francis does not believe in the heresy of universalism is found in the refutation of another false accusation against him, that he does not believe in Hell. Here is Dave Armstrong defending Pope Francis on Hell. And here is my post on the subject as well. It is manifest to anyone who would spend just a few minutes looking into the subject that Pope Francis believes that Hell exists and that some human souls are sent there by God. This is sufficient to refute the accusation of universalism as well. Not all human persons are saved. The offer is universal, but free will allows persons to choose the path to Hell. God have mercy on poor sinners who are on the wrong path!

As for Taylor Marshall, he has repeatedly made grave false accusations against Pope Francis, against various Popes and Councils, against the Church Herself. His obstinate repeated manifest assertions are contrary to the indefectibility of the Church and the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiffs and the unblemished Apostolic See.

Pope Saint Paul VI required the following of Marcel Lefebvre to return from schism to the unity of the Church (among other requirements), that he make a certain declaration:

“This declaration will therefore have to affirm that you sincerely adhere to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and to all its documents — sensu obvio — which were adopted by the Council fathers and approved and promulgated by Our authority. For such an adherence has always been the rule, in the Church, since the beginning, in the matter of ecumenical councils.

And the Lateran (local) Council of 649 speaks similarly about the five Ecumenical Councils that had been held to that date: “If anyone does not, following the holy Fathers, confess properly and truly, in word and mind, to the last point, all that has been handed down and proclaimed to the holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of God by the holy Fathers and by the five venerable ecumenical councils, let him be condemned.”

Those Catholics who reject any Ecumenical Council or any Roman Pontiff are schismatics, by the very nature of their own public obstinate words and deeds, contrary to the teaching of the Church, divine law, and Church law.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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2 Responses to Pope Francis Did NOT Teach All Are Saved

  1. Perelandra says:

    The way I understood it, as someone starting from the perspective of “the Pope is Catholic, duh,” was that he was speaking the way we might speak of any kind person: “Oh, he would help anyone.” Especially with the clarification, it was easy to know what he meant.

    It is really hard for me to fathom that Taylor Marshall and other critics might truly believe their own claims. Surely there’s a tiny bit of conscience that they are suppressing in order to keep up this pretense about the Pope. In any case, shame on them.

  2. Matt says:

    Thank you, Ron, for your defense of the Vicar of Christ!

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