I'm an atheist and of course, I don't think that paradise and hell exist. I don't believe in god. But I think these words are good. Catholicism is very widespread in all the world. Many developing countries are Catholic. In the past, majority of the population was very aggressive in these countries and the victims of this aggression were atheists who had "no chance" to be "welcome" in paradise. Probably, these words of Pope Francis have improved their life. Pope Francis isn't always progressive, but these words were courageous and very useful. The atheists can be more rarely prosecuted after this speech. And I think this is really very good.
Pope Francis said:
"You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” (Source: La Repubblica, 11 September, 2013)
Pope Francis. Image via YOU TUBE