I think it was a message to Catholics as well.
Also, I actually understand what Gloria means by "the easy way out". I have this conversation with my husband a lot. He believes that in order to go to Heaven, you have to accept Christ as your savior. He believes it with all his heart, although he thinks that practicing Jews also get a "free pass" as he calls it. But he would also use the expression "easy way out", not for people of other religions, but for people who just go to church because they're supposed to but don't dig any deeper, for people who are just nice people but don't accept Christ, etc.
Early on I asked him if this was a problem for him in terms of me, since I don't accept Christ, and he said that (a) there's always time (ha!) and (b) it's God's job to tap you on the shoulder.
Now while I don't share his beliefs, we talk about it often and he explains it like that to me.
And he also believes in letting our kids come to religion themselves. Nathaniel has recently started going to church with him and told me today that he's the only kid he knows who WANTS to go to church. "That's because you never HAVE to," I told him, and he agreed.
Anyway I don't think the messages were for atheists. I don't find anything the Pope says relevant to me in any way, except that he is preaching more tolerance and I have to agree with that!