Last Updated By Bill's Bible Basics :
February 16, 2017
Los Angeles Times
December 9, 2000
VATICAN CITY--Tempering a controversial Vatican declaration on salvation, Pope John Paul II said this week that all who live a just life will be saved, even if they do not believe in Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church.
The pontiff, addressing 30,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, strongly reasserted the Second Vatican Council's liberal interpretation of the Bible's teaching on salvation.
"The gospel teaches us that those who live in accordance with the Beatitudes--the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, those who bear lovingly the sufferings of life--will enter God's kingdom," John Paul said.
The pope appeared to take a far more inclusive approach to salvation than the declaration "Dominus Ieusus," issued Sept. 5 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy. The declaration caused dismay among non-Catholics involved in interfaith dialogue by asserting that their rituals, "insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors, constitute an obstacle to salvation.