Watch The Moment A Child Asks Pope Francis If His Atheist Dad Is In Heaven

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On a recent visit to the parish of St. Paul of the Cross on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis held a Q&A session with children. While most of the child asked questions such as “How did it feel to be elected Pope”, one child, named Emmanuel, holding back tears, asked the Pope a very personal question.

Emmanual approached the microphone to ask his question, paused, and said “I can’t…

After encouragement Papal aids, the little boy still couldn’t muster his question.

Finally, Pope Francis said “Come, come to me, Emanuele, come and whisper it in my ear.”

The child, who was crying sorrowfully at this point, was escorted to the platform where the Pope was sitting. The pope tenderly embraced the child, patted his head and spoke to him. The child finally whispered in his ear the question that was in his heart. After a few moments, the child still crying, went back to his seat.

Pope Francis had asked Emanuele if he could share the question and he agreed. Pope Francis repeated his question “‘A little while ago my father passed away. He was a nonbeliever, but he had all four of his children baptized. He was a good man. Is dad in heaven?”

Watch the emotional moment and Pope Francis’ response below:

“How beautiful to hear a son say of his father, ‘He was good,’” the pope started. “And what a beautiful witness of a son who inherited the strength of his father, who had the courage to cry in front of all of us. If that man was able to make his children like that, then it’s true, he was a good man. He was a good man.

“That man did not have the gift of faith, he wasn’t a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart,” the Pope said.

“God is the one who says who goes to heaven,” said Pope Francis

Comments

42 COMMENTS

    • Whether he did or not doesn’t matter at that point. The fact that he pointed out the good parts of the young man’s father. The child will remember his loving words and will treasure his father and Pope Francis and the Church all of his life.

    • The child’s name – Emmanuel – God with us. His father might not believe in God, but God Knows him (before he’s born) and IS with him. That’s why Francis told Emmanuel to talk to his dad, pray to his dad. The question is (borrowed from the movie The Accountant – Are you a good dad….? Is God a good dad? (A rhetorical question)

    • The ONLY way that anyone can be “saved” – meaning that they will be rescued from going to hell – is to believe on Jesus – the Son whom God sent. No Believe – No Heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever BELIEVES in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The Pope, in this instance, made the boy believe that because his father was a “good” man and had his children baptized, that he would ‘SURELY’ have gone to heaven and therefore comforted the child. This is a LIE! According to John 3:16 – ONLY the believer – and NOT the atheist or non-believer – is going to make it to heaven. God does not send anyone to hell – we each make a choice to BELIEVE in God and Jesus and therefore our choice is what sends us to heaven – UNBELIEF sends a person to hell. Its actually very simple!

      • Where exactly does it say that he told the boy ‘surely he was in heaven’? He said God determines it, not a man, not even a Pope can say. It’s arrogant and ignorant that you have judged and determined it yourself, only God knows the human heart. What a Christian you are.

        • Just about the time when he asked for audience participation. That’s when he proclaimed that an atheist could enter into heaven. I don’t know the answer, but I’m going to side with Jesus on this one.

        • Just about the time when he asked for audience participation. That’s when he proclaimed that an atheist could enter into heaven. I don’t know the answer, but I’m going to side with Jesus on this one.

      • Mr. Renze Deeks, Please try to very carefully listen and read, the Pope didn’t told the child that his father will surely go to heaven. if you are a true believer and follower of our God Lord Jesus Christ, you are also a Christ like character, behavior both physically and spiritually. One of God’s character is he is a very forgiving God. So we cannot judge where the child’s father soul went. Only God knows. The pope DiD NOT LIE in order to pacify the child, the pope is teaching the child how merciful is our God. As Jesus forgave the sinner at the Calvary on that day he was crucified the sinner went with him to heaven. For me, as a human being, We cannot Judge.

        • We don’t have to “judge” as you call it. Jesus explained the way to heaven, and atheism was not on the list. The pope just sent the message that anyone who does good deeds gets into heaven, which contradicts the Bible.

      • He did not say the boy’s father was in heaven, he said God decides who goes to heaven, which is the truth. True, the little boy probably thinks that means that his father is in heaven, but what do you think the Pope should have said, “Since your father refused to believe, he now burning in hell and will burn forever”? How do you think that would have made that little kid feel? Learn to have a heart or shut the hell up.

        • Thanks so much! The likes of Renz Dick actually think they have the right to play God. Could not even comprehend such a straight forward and simple narration, all because he is closed up in his mind. What a pity. May God help us

      • Read 1 Corinthians vs12-14 —-“To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

  1. So loving this father so caring to have his children baptized.Heknew that the children were innocent and worthy but the father may have felt unworthy but loved his children so much he gave them Jesus gift of grace and new life. as far as never being baptized I truly believe that his love for his children saved him amen

    • No, you can’t truly believe that this man is saved against the words of Christ Himself. Jesus said “whoever believes in Me has Eternal Life” and a condition of that is also Baptism in order to be re-born in Christ as a new creation. My husband is like this man; he is good and loving and he had his children baptised. In actual fact he had to, because you can’t marry a Catholic without signing an agreement to say that any children will be raised in the Faith. He provides for us all (we have a large family)in many ways but he does embrace Faith. He cannot bring himself to believe or to attend Church etc. I cannot say he is saved. Neither can you or the Church, not even the pope. No-one can know that except God Himself; and maybe the person himself in his last moments if He turns to God then.

    • I lovingly disagree. The Bible gives us instructions on how to enter heaven. Good deeds don’t fulfill the requirements. If you can be an atheist and still get into heaven, why do all the other believers tithe, go to church, live lives based on the teachings of Jesus, etc.

  2. AS young girl of 5 years old I watched my father get verbally abused by a pastor because he wanted my sister, mother and myself to get baptized. After being escorted out of the room. I later found out that the pastor allowed my sister and myself to be but not my mother. My parents never went to church with us because the pastor never explained in detail anything about an annulment process but only acted in anger. I later grew up in the faith and as an adult became a Director of Religious Education. Learned about Annulments and brought my mother and father back to the church by giving them an annulment with the help of a local parish Pastor who was much more compassionate and understanding. Both my parents cried on that day at 80 and 86 years old. Instead of focusing on the negative part I just felt so loved by God to know I was given the graces to help my parents come back to where they had wanted to be all along. I see Pope Francis giving that Boy a wonderful gift of Faith. When we are loved by God we can achieve anything. Perhaps the man loved God but might have had a bad encounter with someone from the church but was too much of a gentleman to reveal that. Instead He might have laid the blame on himself and told everyone he was an atheist. Who knows Yep God does and God will decide but this young mans father left a deep love in his heart and the young man knew his father was the reason for his baptism. That is enough.

  3. The Pope gave the right answer. We can not say anything further. We don’t know anything else about the father other than what the child said.
    God knows everything so no argument is needed.
    The mans soul is in God’s hands. I dare say for us who believe, will find people there we didn’t expect.

  4. We profess to be catholic or Christian do not judge that’s not our place to do so. Only God who knows the heart of the child’s father. What the father did was of great revelation to all of us, that God truly planted and wrote His laws in our hearts and mind. Even a non believer father, knows what’s the right thing to do. This unbeliever father did not know God but why did he allow his children be baptized? He saved 4-SOULS before he died! Did you? Pope Francis answer to this child was amazing, Praise the Lord. He comforted and gave this child peace in his heart and mind (he cried and braved enough to ask Pope Francis). Do you think this encounter w/ Pope Francis the more strengthened this child faith? Re-read Pope Francis excerpts: “How beautiful to hear a son say of his father, ‘He was good,’” the pope started. “And what a beautiful witness of a son who inherited the strength of his father, who had the courage to cry in front of all of us. If that man was able to make his children like that, then it’s true, he was a good man. He was a good man”. Pope Francis did not say that the child father will be in heaven, he said “He was good man” and he was a good father. “God is the one who says who goes to heaven,” said Pope Francis. Blessing to all!

  5. The child’s name – Emmanuel – God with Us. Wherever we are, God is. His father might not believe in God, but God Knows him (before he was born) and IS with him. That’s why Francis told Emmanuel to talk TO his dad, pray TO his dad (instead of FOR his dad). The question is (borrowed from the movie The Accountant – Are you a good dad….?) Is God a good dad? (A rhetorical question).

  6. The Pope didn’t lie…did you not read it? He said only God decides who goes to heaven. so are saying you know more than Pope Francis? judge not….God Bless..

  7. The pope handled this question very well. Very compassionate and loving, but an honest response. Only God can see the heart, we see the appearance. I am glad I am not God!! Good job Pope Francis.

  8. Only God can judge you! We all need to remember that! Pope Francis is bringing the Catholic Church back to that. How dare anyone say that that is wrong! But everyone has a right to their opinion. Instead of quoting the bible start practicing what Jesus wants us to do! Look at yourself in the mirror!
    God bless Pope Francis!

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