Home Forums All Things Catholic If I’m not Catholic, am I going to hell? Reply To: If I’m not Catholic, am I going to hell?


A valid baptism is a valid baptism, be it by a Lutheran minister or anyone else. The fact is there is only one baptism, it makes one a member of the Catholic Church, even though moments later one may adhere to the errors of other Christian sects and become a follower of that sect. That you remedied when you became a Catholic and abjured (rejected publicly) the errors of Luther, and embraced the Catholic Faith. [u:185wnr7w][b:185wnr7w]A belated and hearty welcome. [/b:185wnr7w][/u:185wnr7w]
Baptism does remit sin, original and actual, but only those sins already committed. It predisposes us to recieve grace in order to avoid sin, and to have contrition in order to repent any we commit after we are baptised. In the early Church the penances for sins sins commited after baptism where so severe (compaired to the penances of our day) that some people postponed baptism until their deathbeds, (Emperor Constantine being one example)

Fr. Feeney was not simply an old timer, but he was excommunicated by the Holy Office, (directed to do so by Pope Pius XII) for his denial of Invincible Ignorance. Invincible Ignorance is the position that those people who have not had the chance to hear the Good News of Christ Jesus, (Pagans in Africa as an example) would be either judged on Natural Law, or be given knowledge of Christ Jesus and the opportunity to make a choice for the truth or to reject the truth. It also extended to those baptized Christians who had been raised with a predjudice against the Roman Catholic Church and the teachings of the Church that made it impossible for them to hear the truth. They too would be judged by God according to what they knew and how they had conducted their lives, as they where unable to openly and honestly hear the Truth. This also brings up the theological opinion of Limbo, ie. a state of perfect natural happiness in which all who had not been baptized would exist for all eternity if they chose the truth.

Fr. Feeney also denied the Baptism of Blood, and the Baptism of Desire. Two other forms of Baptism that the Early Church recognized. In B. of Blood, a person who had not yet been baptized with water, (remember the process that adults went through in the early Church leading to baptism could take a year or more.) If someone was identified as being a catechumen or to hold Christian belief, and was martyred before he or she could be baptized, the Church accepted the martyrdom as a form of baptism. If someone died without baptism (aside from martyrdom) but had the desire to be baptized they too where considered as having been baptized because of their desire. It must be stressed though that to postpone a baptism without just cause can endanger ones soul, and may not suffice for B of Desire, in which case we do have to defer to God’s Mercy, and reserve judgement to God.

Now the Church has never officially proclaimed that anyone in particular is in Hell. Fr. Feeney stated anyone who was not a Catholic would surely be in Hell. For his disobedience to his superiors on other matters and his rejection that Invincible Ignorance, and the Baptisms of Desire and Blood.

There are still followers of Fr. Feeney around today who deny that his excommunication was valid, and for one group that was recieved back into the Church in (I believe) the late 1970’s, still claim he got in trouble for his disobedience to his superiors, and not for the postion he held.