Pope Francis made some waves a week or two ago about some off the cuff comments about atheists having to follow their consciences. Much ballyhooing instantly went around the internet about the Pope being some relativist or was teaching some New Age goofiness or else is the liberal hero many in the American media desperately want him to be.
Yet, again, this news just in: The Pope is Catholic.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 847-848 clearly says:
"847-848: This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.
"Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelise all men."
For a full write up on Catholic teaching, the Catholic in the Ozarks blog does a fantastic analysis that I doubt I could top. Read up, if one is so inclined.