I was born into a Catholic family, went to Catholic elementary and Hifh School. I was a practicing Catholic most of my life. I respect the Catholic faith and agree with many Catholic teachings. We became Evangelical Christians about nine years ago. We (my wife and I who is now deceased) began attending a Christian Missionary Allicance Church near our new (at the time) residence. We did start to attend a Catholic parish in this general area about 10 miles away in a neighboring State. It wasn’t at all like we had experienced previously. Our Evangelical neighbors here invited us to attend their church, and the experience was good as we developed a more personal relationship with Jesus. The Holy Scripture said to us that if we accept and receive Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead as our only means of salvation we will be saved. We will also live a Christian life dedicated to Jesus and try to set an example for others. Is it Catholic doctrine that one must be Catholic to obtain eternal salvation?
You can be an evangelical catholic if you wished to. Catholics find Jesus in the Eucharist, and, if you go to a break away christian group, you will no longer have Him in the Eucharist as the sacrament that Jesus established before He was crucified. Find the truth of your decision to leave the Faith. Does your group find fault with catholicism, one may wonder. Catholics have so much richness in their Faith, that for me, I know that I am certainly missing out on much of it. Retreats, Books, Saints, classes, shrines, other Catholics … service, ministry, parish activities, charitable giving, hospitals, schools, universities, history … there is so much. The foundation of Western Culture, the mystical, on and on, heritage, my ancestors faith secure through the upheavals … the familiarity, prayer, the miraculous, the opportunities to pray with others … it is your loss, and that is what it is in the end too, I suspect. God is the judge, and, it is amazing to see how he works through everyone. If you do not turn against the Holy Spirit, but how could you not, one may ask, when you left. What is in your heart.
First a question for you. Do you believe the Catholic Church to be the one and only Church founded by Christ 2,000 years ago?
Now the short answer to your question. Yes, you must be a Catholic in practice in order to obtain salvation as there is no salvation outside of the Church. You do not have to be a card carrying member however. In your case, if you answered “Yes” to the above question yet you have left the Church then you have rejected Christ. Don’t think so? When Christ sent the Apostles out he told them, “He who rejects you rejects me and he who rejects me rejects He who sent me.” The Apostles were the Church, so rejecting them was rejecting the Church that Christ established. If a person does not know the Catholic Church through no fault of his own he MAY still be saved. But by not being Catholic you have NO assurance of the truth. Others will follow me with probably better explantations. But Gene, I don’t understand why anyone would want to leave the Church of truth for a church that is established by a man with no assurance of teaching the truth.
The Catholic Church only professes this position to the extent that the soul recognizes the Catholic Church as the true Church followed by Christ. All persons on earth can be saved to the extent that they pursue the truth in accord with the graces they have received. Failing to investigate the Catholic Church once told She embodies the fullness of revelation could be problematic. The Catholic Church, like you, also believes Jesus is the one Savior. For further reading on this, I recommend reading the Catechism paragraphs 846-848.
It might also interest you to read the Letter of the Holy Office, Aug. 8, 1949, sent from Pope Pius XII, just prior to excommunicating Father Leonard Feeney for teaching that salvation holds no exceptions–that all the saved must be formal members of the Catholic Church. The Pope affirmed that this was a false teaching.
I was raised a Baptist with Church of Christ influence.
My observation about confessional, classic protestantism is that no so much it’s wrong as that it’s incomplete.
Most of them have the right Jesus and the right Bible. Now they just need the right Church to go along with it.
Liberal protestants and pop-evangelicals are different kettles of fish.
If you have a better relationship with the Lord Jesus, if you are closer to God if you are being blessed by God in the church that you are attending now than in the catholic church then you are in the right.
Take it from an eightty year old who was saved at age ten, you are not missing a thing by not being catholic. Just build on your your relationship with the Lord and God will greatly bless you. He has me and I have never been catholic.
But even many of your fellow Catholics on here argue against that. They give examples from what popes have said to back this up as well. I can even point you to John Paul the II’s words in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope that say the exact opposite of what you are saying.
Also, I have been told many times that the reason why the rcc is correct is because their is no division in it, that they are united, and this is the basis for claiming that the protestant church is false and heretical. Well, if you say one thing and your popes say another, where is the unity in that? It would seem that one of you is wrong.
It is good that you have a closer and more personal relationship with Jesus.
I had that before I became a Catholic. I have not lost that; in fact it has become better.
I chose the Catholic church primarily because it is the most Christ-centered church out there. I tried quite a few Evangelical churches, and most of them seemed to put Paul’s epistles above the Gospels.
Here’s an excellent quote from Cardinal Newman, which shows me the problems with private interpretation of the Bible:
“How are private readers satisfactorily to distinguish what is didactic and what is historical, what is fact and what is vision, what is allegorical and what is literal, what is [idiomatic] and what is grammatical, what is enunciated formally and what occurs, what is only of temporary and what is of lasting obligations.”
Plus, I believe that, having once been Catholic, that you may be in mortal sin to convert. But you’d have to ask a priest; don’t take my word for it.
You are in an interesting case.
Having known the Church, and left her, your soul is in jeapordy. It is a mortal sin for a Catholic to leave The Church.
Technically, unless you have written to your Bishop and removed yourself from the Catholic Church, you are still a Catholic and bound by the Catholic laws and dogmas.
As a Catholic parent of children who have left the Church for an evangelical denomination, I can only say that I pray for God’s mercy that He will bring them back to Himself in the Eucharist. That and the fact that my grandchildren are not baptized is what hurts. It seems strange to me that my grown children who talk of adopting a child into their family would never consider not giving that child our family name right from the get go – not expecting that child to decide for him/herself whether he/she wants our name or not. But they will make my grandchildren do the work of deciding if they want to be a brother or sister of Jesus and be adopted into God’s own family.
Oh well, God have mercy!
Yes. Outside the Church is no salvation. Christ Jesus didn’t establish a Church and purchase it with His own blood so membership could be optional.
I had my 4 children while I was away from the Church. Somehow I had the first 2 baptised and then later the 3rd joined a Christian group and was baptised. Only one of my grandchildren was baptised Catholic and made her 1st Communion (although now she does not attend). I have baptised my other grandchildren. I was told I was wrong to do that but I did it anyway.
Pray, pray. I do and I believe that this is a prayer that will be answered. God answers all prayers - most of the time he get his own way (like Frank Sinatra!
This is a secular world and if your children are in an evangelical denomination that is not so bad. They still look to God!
They will be back. Just keep praying:gopray2:
I do not accept your statement. The Church doesn’t either.:tsktsk:
I do not accept your statement. The Church doesn’t either
Um…yes, she does. This is commonly reffered to as 'Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus". The Catechism:
“Outside the Church there is no salvation”
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
It sounds at first a bit affronting, but nevertheless, it is correct to say the Church teaches that there is no salvation outside the Church.
This has been taught by many popes too: Pope Boniface VIII, Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pope Clemeent VI, even as recently as Pope Pius XII in 1958, and many, many more.
Lumen Gentium, of the Second Vatican Council said: “They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it.”
Yes, I do pray everyday for all my children (not just those fallen away from the church). And I have no intention of baptizing my grandchildren, as I cannot make the promise to raise them in the faith. And it does hurt that my children have left the Eucharist. I feel such a failure that I could not give them the love for the Lord in the Eucharist and in His Church. But my confidence is not in me, it is wholly in Christ and His mercy.
But how can you say this with assurance when other catholics disagree? It would seem to me that your differences negate the idea that the rcc is the only church because there is no division like with protestants because there is only one teaching. If that is the case, why are so many catholics divided?
You make very good points. I understand and I will pray for you
We may have different opinions about the meaning of “outside of the Church there is no salvation” but as Catholics we are not going to leave and start another church over it. We’ll keep on praying and worshipping together, and keep on trying to better understand and know our faith together. This board is one way of our doing that.
Thanks, Cinette, I really appreciate your prayers—
I can buy that, but which of the “parties” is right?