An Italian journalist and founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, had asked Pope Francis in a
letter if God forgives atheists/non-believers.
Responding to him, Pope Franics said the key issue for non-believers is that of “obeying their consciences” when faced with choices of good or evil.
Pope Francis wrote:
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.”