Non- Catholics saved?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Andres Ortiz 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #581

    It is the official position of the church (despite what you may have heard) that non- Catholics (or even non-Christians) can, under some circumstances, be saved. In fact, to claim otherwise is a heresey- called feeneyism (spelling could be wrong).

    However, saying that it is [i:36jp1swo]possible[/i:36jp1swo] is one thing, saying that it is [i:36jp1swo]likely[/i:36jp1swo] is another. This is an issue I struggle with. I do not struggle with it as a moral matter because I have known dozens of non-Catholics FAR holier than me (not a tough feat actualy).

    However, it is difficult to digest as a practical matter.

    Here’s what I mean.
    In this depraved, violent, angry, reactive, sex saturated society, it seems like falling into serious sin, at some point or another, in your life, seems almost an inevitability.

    Without the wondeful graces of the sacraments, I do not know how someone can even hope to withstand the fury of the evil wind that blows against us, day after day, week after week, year after year.
    I know that WITH the sacraments, it off seems more than I can bear.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I do not deny, for one second, that God is capable of pulling it off. I am just at a loss to imagine how.

    Of course, there are a long list of things God does that I am unable to explain.

    #2248

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:1ybibwy0]Of course, there are a long list of things God does that I am unable to explain.[/quote:1ybibwy0]

    Yes, you are right, John. There are a lot of things that God can do that we can never understand.

    With this knowledge that God can do amazing things beyond on our comprehension, how can any Christian say that they know for sure that another person is going to hell? I mean, you do not know what was on that other person’s heart or what God knows about that person. I know this may sound ridiculous, but there [i:1ybibwy0]is[/i:1ybibwy0] the possibilty that Adolf Hitler is in heaven. I mean, it is probably a very, very small probability, but my point is that God is the one who is in charge and has much more power than us. I think for us to try and limit God’s saving power is ridiculous. We can’t make the rules about God, we can only try to understand him.

    That’s what I do not understand about people who subscribe to the Bible-alone beliefs. I mean, not only is it not biblical, but who are we to limit God to a set of books? God is not found only in the pages of Scripture, but in people and creation.

    God is limitless as is his power. God can choose to save anyone he wants as well as reveal himself in ways other than paper and ink.

    #2863

    Luke Fan
    Member

    Can you tell me where in the Catholic Catechism we can reference on this subject. On Friday I was challenged that Catholics all believe that you will not go to heaven if you are not Catholic. While I know this is not the church teaching I would like to reference the official writings for this person.

    #2865

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Hi Luke Fan, welcome to the website. <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    I know that during Vatican II the definition of “church” was expanded to mean everyone in the Christian body even those non-Catholic. So when we say the phrase “there is no salvation outside the Church” we mean there is no salvation without Jesus which other Christian groups do have in one way or another.

    Now there are exceptions of course because there are people on this earth who never will have a chance to know Jesus and therefore God will not hold that against them.

    The best I can find in the Catechism on a quick look is paragraph 161.

    I will look later as well, but I think the documents of Vatican II would be a better resource than the Catechism.

    #2938

    nordskoven
    Member

    If you know Jesus, thank Christ’s Church founded on Peter the Rock 2,000 years ago, which He Himself vested with all the divine power and authority He received from His Father. And Jesus said to reject His servants is to reject Jesus Christ and His Father. This is serious stuff.

    Invincible Ignorance is that cultural prejudice which blocks an embrace of the formal Church, but which may not block the living waters of salvific grace endued by Christ in His Church. Willing Disbelief is another matter, a purposeful rejection of Christ’s Church after having full knowledge of her role.

    #3369

    asimonelli
    Member

    nordskoven, I find what you write to be fascinating and very insightful though I have to read it more carefully than most of the posts.

    I think one part of our faith is the [b:2jy3ef66]Act of Perfect Contrition[/b:2jy3ef66] (not perfect act of contrition). This is where you are wholly sorry and repentant of your sin because you have offended God and because you love him above everything else (not just because you’re scared of hell). You admit your sin, your sorrow, your resolve to do penance and avoid sin.

    According to the Church (and I may be wrong on this one) your mortal sins will not be held against you, provided that you seek reconciliation with the Church (a.k.a. Sacrament of Confession).

    I heard that if a person makes a [i:2jy3ef66]genuine[/i:2jy3ef66] Act of Perfect Contrition right before or near their death and isn’t baptized, their mortal sins will not be held against them.

    Of course this doesn’t allow for people to say a prayer every night while continuing to reject God’s saving Grace through the Sacraments either.

    Does anyone agree or does anyone have any corrections in what I think is true?

    #3373

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:1k3q3rnm](a.k.a. Sacrament of Confession)[/quote:1k3q3rnm]
    Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, actually. <img src=” title=”Wink” /> Confession is just a nickname and only a part of that sacrament.

    [quote:1k3q3rnm]I heard that if a person makes a genuine Act of Perfect Contrition right before or near their death and isn’t baptized, their mortal sins will not be held against them. [/quote:1k3q3rnm]
    Yep, I wholeheartedly agree.

    Also, if upon someone’s deathbed he or she desires to be baptized and no one is available to do so in oridnary means that person will be baptized by his or her desire.

    Obviously in extenuating circumstances God changes the method by which things normally occur.

    One thing that comes to mind is how non-Catholics bring up the theif on the cross when trying to defend their belief that baptism isn’t necessary to be saved. Well, since Jesus was right there in flesh and blood (albeit dying) I would have just asked too. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #3589

    Enoch
    Member

    I don’t think Any faith has it right yet… that includes Catholics!

    God wants our time. The biggest threat today is not having enough time for God and to practise his desire in man – meaning being faithfull, loving,caring, rightous, kind, forgiving etc. (2Peter). We put worldly desire above our faith. God wants us to spend time with him, and each other, for God is within man, and the Kingdom of God is within us all (luke).

    What does Baptism mean to catholics?
    To christians everywhere baptism means wholly giving your life to God. To me in my faith it means taking responsibilty for my own soul, when a child is baptised, it means the Parents take responsibilty for the child and the childs soul until the child can be responsible for himself.. and in baptising the child we ask that God grants His protection over that child.

    We are supposed to Serve him in spirit and in truth – I’ll quote the verse if you like – none of the earthly things matter to Him, not even this rediculous theory of contraception. If you beleive that there is a such a thing as a spirit, then surely you must all realise that if you do not posses the spiritual Truth in this life, you will search for it when you are dead.
    I’m not saying it’s ok to break the commandments, but there is more to the Bible than a natural story/history. The bible is infact mainly a spiritual guide as far as I’m concerned.

    Read the Book of John, 1John, and ephesians.
    It says exactly what GOD requires of us, not what man made rules in churches require from us.

    Think about it. All we can do is try our best. Don’t complicate Faith!!!!!!

    Many of you will disagree with me on all of this. This is my opinion.

    Are you all searching for Truth? OR are you content being lead by your noses not really knowing the truth?

    #3590

    Anonymous

    Hello Enoch


    I neglected to say Welcome in the introduction section.

    I too am on a faith journey, I was a Protestant, then a tepid belliever in Christianity, converted to Catholocism when a parent re-married, and years later comfortablly settled into the Catholic Faith. I say comfortable in the fact that I will not leave the faith.

    I appreciate your dialogue, but I do not feel I have been ‘led by the nose’ to or from the truth. I have been led by study- yes, by alot of prayer-yes, but mostly by this spirit we both call God.

    I am not comfortable in the Catholic faith from the standpoint that so many who profess this faith really have no clue what our God truly wants from us. We (myself included) just go along thinking that one day on the weekend for one hour is good enough time spent with God.

    I am makiing a guess that the way I differ from you is that I believe that it takes more than baptism to find my heaven after my earthly death. That would be believing in the Body and Blood of my savior Jesus Christ. (and by having God within me by consuming the Body and Blood)

    To a non-Catholic that may appear cannibalistic. Even to myself if I just look at Eucharist all by itself. SO WHY WOULD I CHOOSE A RELIGION BASED ON SOME MEN’S STUDY AND INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE???? Very very good question! Once again it is not my ‘nose’ I was being led by- it was study, prayer, and God Himself, and the practical fact that those Catholic studies have originated with Jesus Himself (unlike other religions who’s founders have a much later birthdate-even other Christian religions)
    and these truths have withstood the test of time and the test of human failings within the Church.

    I am glad to respond to you Enoch


    my responses include alot of emotion and verbage-but the faith parts I feel confident about. <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #3591

    Enoch
    Member

    Hi Pamela,

    Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it.

    I totally respect your point of view, and wish you all the best. You do seem comfortable with what you perceive as the truth in your life. That is good, because it means you have an understanding of your faith.

    I know you said it’s a guess, but I’m not sure if you read my post properly.. maybe I explained it too criptic.
    I for one, I do not spend just an hour a day in a week in church. I don’t agree with people who think that’s all there is to it. The truth is to make it part of your daily life, and to live your life according to the scriptures, and according to what God requires from us.
    Also that baptism in my faith (non-catholic) charges me to be responsible for my own soul, and to give my life to God, in every aspect of my everyday life. It’s not just a ceremony that makes me part of the body of Christ, it’s much more. It won’t get me into heaven either, it’s just the beginning. Not sure about other faiths, but this is what I beleive.

    I’m glad to see you’re not led by your nose, and just except things as it is told to you. It is good to question everything, for how else are we supposed to learn?

    I will be doing a indepth search and study on catholocism, to see what sets the catholic faith appart from the other religions, and why you prefer it. You mentioned that catholic church was not founded by man. This is strange to me, as it must have been a man that spread the word of God after Christs death, thus there was a founder of the catholic church itself or not?
    My faith is very old, and our faith was founded by an apostel of Christ. It is very old, and it is deemed as one of the oldest faiths in the world. I’m not sure, but it could be that we too started out with the catholics. The difference is we don’t advertise as well <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    All the best to you <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #3592

    Anonymous

    Enoch:

    This should be a quick reply (because I am supposed to be hard at work on another project <img src=” title=”Wink” /> )

    I am terrible with the technical way to respond on these forums, i.e. using the quote keys or referring back to another post. Likewise I was hasty in making a guess about your faith practices AND I only explained two aspects of my own belief. So your explanation was good enough.

    This will be a great place to pause in your faith journey because as you may already have noticed there are alot of contributors who are very knowlegible, nowlledgable


    oh heck people that are smart! about Catholic history and tradition and truths.

    The founder of our faith is Jesus Christ, He put Peter in charge and it spread from there. That is what I believe – I will let others on this site take it from here.

    Love, hugs, and prayers,
    Pamela Z.

    #3601

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:1ykl8hfs]You mentioned that catholic church was not founded by man. This is strange to me, as it must have been a man that spread the word of God after Christs death, thus there was a founder of the catholic church itself or not?[/quote:1ykl8hfs]
    The Catholic Church was founded by a man, but also God – his name is Jesus. <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    [quote:1ykl8hfs]My faith is very old, and our faith was founded by an apostel of Christ. It is very old, and it is deemed as one of the oldest faiths in the world. I’m not sure, but it could be that we too started out with the catholics.[/quote:1ykl8hfs]
    Which faith is that? Which apostle?

    #3694

    Enoch
    Member

    It doesn’t say anywhere in the bible that the (specific) catholic church was founded by Jesus. Thus the church was founded propbably by a deciple/apostle (a man). I’m not questioning your faith, but Jesus did not say start a church, he told his deciples to spread the word.

    The apostles did’nt stick together, they went their seperate ways, and kept in touch with each other by sending letters to their communities. Our Faith was born through those communities by the apostles, so we owe our faith to all the apostles.

    I have no wish to start a fight with you, and merely wish to express my opinion.

    Peace be with you.

    #3695

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:k6s74g5q]I have no wish to start a fight with you, and merely wish to express my opinion.[/quote:k6s74g5q]
    I apologize. I must have misread your previous statement and I am sorry if I came off as rude. :oops:

    [quote:k6s74g5q]I’m not questioning your faith, but Jesus did not say start a church, he told his deciples to spread the word. [/quote:k6s74g5q]
    Actually, he said both! <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    [b:k6s74g5q]Matthew 16:18 -[/b:k6s74g5q]
    “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

    [b:k6s74g5q]Matthew 28:19-20 -[/b:k6s74g5q]
    “Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

    Jesus did not tell anyone else to start a church – he established it [i:k6s74g5q]himself[/i:k6s74g5q].

    [i:k6s74g5q]Church[/i:k6s74g5q] means body of people or assembly. Jesus established a group or body of people to follow him. This group was made up of the Apostles and the rest of his disciples over whom the Apostles had jurisdiction (because they were hand-picked by Jesus to do so). That group eventually got larger and larger as the Apostles went their separate ways and spread the Gospel. Eventually the name Catholic was attached to that group and has continued ever since.

    [i:k6s74g5q]Catholic[/i:k6s74g5q] means universal – meaning that this group or body or church was a church for all people, Gentiles and Jews and the whole rest of the world. Jesus came to save all people and to join his universal or catholic church.

    A capital “C” for the Catholic Church is used because it is a proper name; it’s just a grammar issue.

    [quote:k6s74g5q]The apostles did’nt stick together, they went their seperate ways, and kept in touch with each other by sending letters to their communities. Our Faith was born through those communities by the apostles, so we owe our faith to all the apostles.[/quote:k6s74g5q]
    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree and again, I apologize if I came off the wrong way to you. The internet is so limited in how we can communicate.

    We do owe our faith the the apostles who received their faith from Jesus to whom we ultimately owe our thanks for the gift of faith.

    Peace,
    Jon

    #3696

    SOGFPP
    Member

    [quote:rrw3te7r]Our Faith was born through those communities by the apostles, so we owe our faith to all the apostles. [/quote:rrw3te7r]
    In addition to Jon’s fine reply, I would like to add a few things Enoch.

    You say “Our Faith” so I assume you are a Christian and believe in the Bible as the Word of God.

    Christ established a Church, and the signs/evidence are right there in the Bible if you have eyes to see:

    [color=blue:rrw3te7r]Matt. 5:14 – Jesus says a city set on a hill cannot be hidden, and this is in reference to the Church. The Church is not an invisible, ethereal, atmospheric presence, but a single, visible and universal body through the Eucharist. The Church is an extension of the Incarnation.

    Matt. 12:25; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17 – Jesus says a kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and will not stand. This describes Protestantism and the many thousands of denominations that continue to multiply each year.

    Matt. 16:18 – Jesus says, “I will build my ‘Church’ (not churches).” There is only one Church built upon one Rock with one teaching authority, not many different denominations, built upon various pastoral opinions and suggestions.

    Matt. 16:19; 18:18 – Jesus gave the apostles binding and loosing authority. But this authority requires a visible Church because “binding and loosing” are visible acts. The Church cannot be invisible, or it cannot bind and loose.

    John 10:16 – Jesus says there must only be one flock and one shepherd. This cannot mean many denominations and many pastors, all teaching different doctrines. Those outside the fold must be brought into the Church.

    John 17:11,21,23 – Jesus prays that His followers may be perfectly one as He is one with the Father. Jesus’ oneness with the Father is perfect. It can never be less. Thus, the oneness Jesus prays for cannot mean the varied divisions of Christianity that have resulted since the Protestant reformation. There is perfect oneness only in the Catholic Church.

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com[/color:rrw3te7r]

    In addition to these verses (and many others like them) you have the history of our faith…. something I strongly suggest you do some reading about. The organization that evolved into the Catholic Church has it’s beginings in the Bible and the 1st and 2nd century Catholic Church.

    I understand this may be difficult for you to grasp ( I was a Protestant most of my life) but I pray you take some time and look at the history behind your faith….. [b:rrw3te7r]you can’t have faith in the Bible if you don’t have faith in the Church that defined the Canon of Scripture that you read today.[/b:rrw3te7r]

    May God bless you.

    Scott

    #3765

    [color=darkblue:1tty4qjb][u:1tty4qjb]Definition from Fr. John Hardon S.J. in his “Pocket Catholic Dictionary”[/u:1tty4qjb]

    “Lack of knowlege, either of fact or law, for which a person is not morally responsible. This may be due to the difficulty of the object of the knowlege, or scarcity of evidence, or insufficient time or talent in the person, or any other factor for which he is not culpable.”

    This term seems to get tossed around a lot and I decided that I would go get a good definition. Now…what were we saying about it and how it applied to what?[/color:1tty4qjb]

    #3899

    these articles may help:

    [b:2ewcq5vi]Salvation Outside the Church[/b:2ewcq5vi]
    No Salvation Outside the Church: An Explanation[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Ignorance: Invincible and Vincible[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    How to Become a Catholic[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Is There Salvation Outside the Church?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Leonard Freeney on “No Salvation Outside the Church”[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Tragic Errors of Leonard Freeney[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    No Salvation Outside the Church[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Salvation Outside the Church[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Which Church Saves?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    The Necessity of Being Catholic[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Is There Salvation Outside the Church?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Can Outsiders Be Insiders?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Without the Church There Is No Salvation[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Who Will Be Saved?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    No Salvation Outside the Church?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    The Church Necessary for Salvation[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    If “No Salvation Outside the Church” Is Infallible, How Can We Say Today that People Outside Can Be Saved?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    “Mr. Critic” and Salvation Outside the Catholic Church[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Against Feeneyism[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    The [i:2ewcq5vi]Unam Sanctam[/i:2ewcq5vi] “Problem” Resolved[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    No Salvation Outside The Church?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    The Church’s Position on Salvation Outside the Church Is Unchanged[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Salvation for Non-Christians Explained[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    The Case Against Father Feeney and for Baptism of Blood/Desire[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    An Examination on Three [i:2ewcq5vi]De Fide[/i:2ewcq5vi] Decrees on “No Salvation Outside the Church”[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Is There Salvation for Non-Catholics?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Can Non-Christians Be Saved?[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    Salvation by Conscience[/url:2ewcq5vi]
    –[b:2ewcq5vi]note:[/b:2ewcq5vi] also see the “Baptism of Blood or Desire” section of the
    [b:2ewcq5vi][i:2ewcq5vi]Baptism[/i:2ewcq5vi] entry[/b:2ewcq5vi][/url:2ewcq5vi] and the “Confronting Specific Ultratraditionalist Dissenters” section of the [b:2ewcq5vi][i:2ewcq5vi]Vatican 2 and Ultratraditionalism[/i:2ewcq5vi] entry[/b:2ewcq5vi][/url:2ewcq5vi]

    what i would like to point out is that the belief that non-catholics can be “saved” is not a novel one, and it was not created at vatican II. it is something we have always believed.

    pax christi,
    phatcatholic

    #3909

    While it’s great to have a huge library of links, maybe it would be more useful to give out three or four, with explanations about what they’re saying, and then add that you have many more links if anyone wants them.

    #3916

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:p2kny4r2]While it’s great to have a huge library of links, maybe it would be more useful to give out three or four, with explanations about what they’re saying, and then add that you have many more links if anyone wants them.[/quote:p2kny4r2]
    I feel likewise. It’s unlikely that someone will read all those pages. I do appreciate your contributions though. <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

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