To have a crying boy ask that question is certainly a hard situation.
However, the entire New Testament is completely clear that without faith in Christ, proven by the way a person chooses to live their lives (repentance and good works based on faith in Jesus), it is impossible to please God.
I discern that the pope gave the boy, and everyone who heard, false hope. Many people baptize their children in the Catholic church "just in case", but neither believe nor live it themselves.
I have many family members who died without faith and repentance. It was hard to accept, but the Bible is clear they will not be in Heaven.
Lies never give God the glory.
*Someone pointed out I should at least give a few verses. They're right. Here you go:
- Revelation 21:7-8 "He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Comment: the context of "he that overcomes" refers to those who keep their faith in Christ till they die, no matter how hard things get.
- John 3:18 "He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
- John 3:36 "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
- John 12:48 "He that rejects me, and receives not my words,3 has one that judges him: the word4 that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
- Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Greek here means everyone else besides Jews).