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Some very insightful responses Benedict. I’m not sure why you are comfortable with leaving difficult cultural matters to the bishop for someone so actively engaged with Catholic theology <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” /> but I definately see the appeal and I enjoy it once in a while (obviously from an authority other than a bishop though I would not rule them out…)

Diconnection from the Catholic Church does not neccessarily mean disconnection with Christ. Unless however you mean to say that a previous Catholic intentionally left the Catholic Church, which you called the sin of schism. Still, many Catholic theologians, following Pope Pius IX are changing their mind (opting for accessibilism). For example, Pope Pius IX in his [i:2canu8xx]Singulari Quadem[/i:2canu8xx] in 1854 wrote:

[quote:2canu8xx]…the Church is the only ark of salvation… yet, on the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who are in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord.[/quote:2canu8xx]

[quote:2canu8xx]Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and natures of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.[/quote:2canu8xx]

I find this and new statements of this kind from Catholic theologians leaning closer and closer to a soteriology of salvation apart from Christ. What are your thoughts?

Your remark on apostasy in dead on. I fully agree.

I want to research further though on what the Catholic Church (the leaders) are saying about leaving the Catholic Church in favor of Protestantism. Obviously, for political reasons they would not condemn it but within their circle they may.

Forget the capitalization, I see what you intended. However, would you refer to Protestant churches as included in “The Church”?

Also, where did you study, and what is your background? Did you enter a seminary or were you ever involved with a Catholic ministry?