Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heavenOf course, what this really says is, "Go to him" sincerely and contritely; that is the condition for receiving God's Mercy. And that is not Atheism any more, is it?
“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.”
[A: no it is not].
Further, to obey one's conscience is another way of saying, listen to the God inside you - the Holy Spirit. Atheists listen to their appetites and proclivities, then declare that to be "rational". And most have long since declared their superiority, intellectually and morally, not only to believers, but to God and certainly the Pope.
The false belief that the Pope says they need not believe in order to receive access to heaven will only serve to confirm their "specialness" in their already elitist minds.
Most actual Atheists have no chance of meeting the Pope's criteria. That's because these critieria are defining a believer, not an Atheist.