(WASHINGTON TIMES) The Vatican has issued a new statement running counter to Pope Francis‘ recent suggestion that good deeds can earn atheists entrance to heaven.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said in what was described as an “explanatory note” that those who know about the Catholic Church “cannot be saved [if they] refuse to enter her or remain in her,” United Press International reported.

Father Rosica also added, UPI reported: Those “who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ and His church, but sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, try to do his will as it is known through the dictates of conscience, can attain eternal salvation.”

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