Next to no salvation for Protestants, etc.

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Tim_Hayes

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I would like to discuss the following, The Church states in many places etc that one must be a member of the Church to be saved, or in other words tied to the Church whether the individual knows it or not.

Now Protestants have a lot of different beliefs/practices about what is right and wrong according to Catholic Teaching.

We are told as Catholics that if we die in Mortal sin then we are probably going to hell.

Many of the beliefs and practices placed upon us are considered to be mortal sin if we don’t toe the Church teaching, artificial contraception etc.

Now we know that many Protestants are committing mortal sins as defined by the CAtholic Church but not according to their belief.

We know that the CAtholic Church states that their is the possibility of Salvation for those outside the Church if they do not know the Catholic Church is the true Church, yet they attempt to live a holy life.

Anyone not in the Catholic Church, or who has left the Catholic Church, do so becasue they generally believe that the CAtholic Church is not the true Church and that somewhere along the way the CAtholic Church has corrupted real Christianity. ( Hardly anyone would leave the Church believing that it is the real true Church)

If anyone does not believe the Catholic Church is the true real Church then according to Church teaching they can be saved despite this, becasue they are ignorant of the fact that they must be in the Catholic Church to be saved.

Now the crux of the question, how much leeway does God give non Catholics to get to heaven. If he leaves a lot of leeway then objectively it is of no great value to be catholic. If their is only minor leeway then it is extremely important to be catholic.

The above question leaves us with two outcomes, if leeway is small, then hardly any protestants etc are gong to be saved and therefor it is most important that we spread the Gospel to them as outlined by the catholic Church.

If leeway is large, then there is no real requirement to spread the Gospel as outlined by the CAtholic Church.

Now I ask you, looking back at the Church historically what has been the attituded of the Church(say first 1900 years) and what is the attitude of the Church in very recent history. I for one see a big difference to what the Church emphasised and practiced hundrds of years ago as distinct from recent times, in terms of the necissity for everyone to be catholic.

But then again maybe I am going crazy.

In Christ

Tim
 
There is a tendency in the church, as is society in general, to not offend. The “I’m Okay Your Okay” sentiment. By following this mentality we do a great disservice to our those brothers and sisters that are not yet in full communion with the Church.

The Catholic Church teaches the fullness of Christianity.

It is true that God does not condemn those souls that are ignorant, through no fault of their own, to eternal damnation. However, we, as keepers of the full deposit of faith, owe it to our brothers and sisters to show them to the surest way to salvation.

Those poor souls that know and then reject the Church may be in peril. Hope is never lost, but there is only one way to the Father and that is through the Son. Christ founded this Church so that we can reach the Father and we must never forget this.
 
I need to think about it a little. Raised in a non-Catholic home, I’ll need to think about how my thinking has changed in this respect.
 
My understanding (which very well may not be correct) comes from the following:
  1. Full communion with the Church is not necessary in all circumstances. For example, one of the members of my RCIA class passed away this past winter without having been baptized. Because she had asserted her firm desire to join the Church, our program directors said we could assume she experienced a baptism of desire and would celebrate with all the faithful in Heaven. While receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, she did not receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, etc.
  2. Non-Catholic baptisms that are performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are considered valid by the Church - ie one baptism.
This leads me to believe that yes, Protestants can find salvation. I’m not saying that all Protestants will find salvation, but possible in some cases. However, as Catholics we should want all to know the fullness of Christ’s Church, and therefore should do all we can to lead others too it, both Protestants and non-Christians. If a Protestant firmly rejects the true teachings of the Catholic Church, then their salvation would seem more improbable.

Peace
 
From what I understand about the teachings of the Catholic Church is that we will have a higher place in heaven. Protestants will go to heaven just like we do, but our reward will be greater.
I was listening to Catholic radio and heard a priest say that God will ask a protestant, who stands before Him in judgement, “Do you want to be Catholic?” If they say yes they go to heaven, if not they go to hell. That sounds a little far fetched to me. Just my opinion.
 
I believe the leeway is large, but that should not diminish Catholics’ zeal to bring brothers and sisters into a fuller Christian experience.

I dream of a unified Body of Christ. Protestants and Catholics have much more in common than many Ps and Cs think. Catholic writer, Peter Kreeft, in his book Fundamentals of the Faith has an awesome chapter on the unification of the Church. He says that today’s Catholic Church needs a little bit of reformation, specifically a shift from legalism to grace, and the Protestant Churches need to return to everything of the pre-reformation Church except that which Luther had legitimate objections to.

The Law kills; the Spirit gives life. More grace, less legalism, and the the wonderful sacraments of the Church is the key to healing the rift. I don’t believe in compromise of the Truth. But the truth is, neither side is perfect and in coming closer to Christ, the rift can be closed.
 
Tim, I forgot to comment on your comparison between what the early Church said and what it is saying today. 1900 years ago, the mystical church was the Catholic Church. To be outside of the Catholic Church was to be outside of Christianity. But the intent of that declaration was that “there is no salvation for anyone outside of Christianity”.

This still applies today. Except in very unusual circumstances, there is no salvation for anyone outside Christianity. Protestants are Christians and are in agreement with Catholicism on far more points of doctrine and practice than they are in disagreement. The rift is a problem, which I hope can be healed someday. But we are all Christians.
 
Read the thread ‘salvation outside the Church’ for some interesting answers.

I actually believe in the Divine Mercy of God as in Divine Mercy Sunday and lean heavily on that and not getting too complacent about working out my salvation with fear and trembling!
 
Petra, we are not all Christians, Do any of you here generally think that Jehovas witnesses will be saved, considering in one form or another most of them are fallen away catholics, they are a form of protestant religeon, it is all about how far one falls from the true faith, Where is the boundary, it cannot be an invisible boundary, have you read about Tertullian in the second century, have a bit of a read about him and then see if you believe Protestants can be saved, according to the early Church.

Tim
 
I’m with Tim. When we argue the “fullness” of faith, or “rejection” of truth, it doesn’t only confine to Christianity. As Tim noted, there is about .001% who willfully rejects the truth of anything, let alone that the Catholic faith is the true Church.

We turn to sin, even when we “know” it, That is correct. However, how many people “know” the truth of Catholicism? St.Paul, the three children at Fatima, etc etc. They have or had evidence. So, as we have faith, one can argue everyone is exempt from truly knowing, and would never willfully reject truth.

This is the danger with the ambiguity of the statement. It can blanket even the satanist. Remember, the lines between good and evil is not clear within humanity. This isn’t G.I. Joe. People don’t believe in the Catholic faith, stroke their hands and decide to leave it because they want to attack God. If they leave the faith, they are doing so because of a lack of faith.

Can they be held accountable because they never searched for what God has placed in their hearts, e.g. a thirst to understand there is a higher being? No, if they were a Navajo in 13th century America. However, we are suggesting that those who even have a remote idea of what Catholicism is are exempt because they don’t accept Catholicism and so are innocent. This is nonsense. If that be the case, even Hitler would be scot free. After all, if he knew truth, would he spit on it?

I think when we are generous with invincible ignorance, we fall into a slippery slope and it starts to appear the devil will burn all by his lonesome. Read some of the visions of St. Bosco, and all types of ignorant people are in hell.

As I said in another forum, like “extraordinary” ministers are used ordinarily, so invincibly ignorance is used ordinarily and this needs to stop.

God has mercy, and God must decide, surely. But I think the Church has been able to measure salvation for centuries, and the inclusive rhetoric of late is getting old.
 
Now the crux of the question, how much leeway does God give non Catholics to get to heaven. If he leaves a lot of leeway then objectively it is of no great value to be catholic. If their is only minor leeway then it is extremely important to be catholic.
This is the crux of your question- no one can speak for God. Only He will judge how much leeway to give to a soul. This isn’t something anyone else should concern themselves with- God’s judgement. Live your faith, be a wittness to your faith and let God do His job.
 
That has been traditionally the point of view of the Church, not in the manner used today. Yes, we leave things to God, but he does always grant us a measure of understanding.

The Trinity is somewhat a mystery, yet at some point it was adopted. We didn’t say, “We don’t understand the mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” so we will leave it up to God. We accepted and integrated this view that they are One.

In the same manner, the Church has held a more conservative view of salvation, until suddenly, one day, it didn’t know, and left it to God. Or at least that is what laypersons tell us.

I think the Church is pretty clear, just individuals who “leave it to God”.
 
I think the two possibilites are two sides of the same coin. In charity we should treat those who are baptized and exhibit a faith in Jesus Christ (and a Trinitarian God) as brothers and sisters in Christ. While at the same time having an urgency that they need to be in the fullness of faith for their own sake and safety. Right now they are in a life boat on the open sea, alive but in potential danger, we need to bring them aboard the rescue ship.

Marcia
 
Bottom line is you have two choices, you can damn everyone who is not Catholic to hell or you can leave it to God to judge them.

I have no idea how saying their salvation and state of soul is between them and God means that we are saying that the Catholic Church is not important, but some people feel it is a either or situation.

Just live the example of faith, evangelize the Church and the need of the Church and leave the rest to God. What else can you do besides that? Going around telling non-Catholics that they are damned souls if they aren’t Catholic is not going to lead them to but away from the Church.
 
No one said anyone was damning souls. Are we to expect there to be a criteria for one to be in mortal sin, and then turn and say we don’t know he or she is in a state of mortal sin, we let God decide?

Absolutely not. I’m not saying there is a cut and dry answer. I am saying that the way it is being focused by today’s laypeople and some clergy is appearing to be universal salvation. While some may not be advocating this. others are, knowingly or not.

I suggest, and hope, and pray, that the Magisterium clearly define what it means. Why? The same way R.S. is starting to clearly define the role of the laity in the Mass and point fingers at abuses (due to an ambigious definition of “participation” previously), it can make a narrower definition of salvation IMO.
 
Tim Hayes:
Petra, we are not all Christians, Do any of you here generally think that Jehovas witnesses will be saved, considering in one form or another most of them are fallen away catholics, they are a form of protestant religeon, it is all about how far one falls from the true faith, Where is the boundary, it cannot be an invisible boundary, have you read about Tertullian in the second century, have a bit of a read about him and then see if you believe Protestants can be saved, according to the early Church.

Tim
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Protestant, nor are Mormons. They don’t believe in the diety of Christ. So they are not Protestants.

Additionally, Protestants aren’t automatically saved. They need to cooperative with Christ’s invitation for grace. Protestants and Catholics have much more in common than differences.
 
Petra, you are right. We certainly today have more similarities than we ever did historically. In this we agree.
 
“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? 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.

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.


nccbuscc.com/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9p3.htm
 
This should raise eyebrows!
NO Church guarantees your salvation!
The Catholic Church simply gives you the means, the “fullness of faith”.
There are, very unfortunately, countless Catholics who will not be saved.
There are also, again very unfortunately, countless Protestants who will not be saved.
BUT!!! The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church 1. Jesus the Christ established, and, 2. That follows ALL of the teachings of Jesus (even the ones we’re confused about) BOTH oral and written. IF you follow the teachings of the Catholic Church you will indeed be saved, Protestants take a gamble on which teachings are important and which they don’t accecpt.
An example? o.k.
The perpetual virginity of His mother Mary.
Is it correct?
Well, we’ll only know if the Catholic Church is correct when we stand in front of Him. He will either say thanks for loving my mom, or laugh and say why in the world did you do that? I think the Catholic Church is correct, because it declares so. It agrees with Scripture, doesn’t deny Scripture, but the reason I believe is His Church says so.
In either case I really doubt He will punish ANYONE for loving His mother.
Will He punish those who hold contempt for His mother? yeah, I think He will.
In either case, He will decide, not you or I. He left us His Church to be members of, He left the Holy Spirit to guide His Church. Rather than knit pick what we can and can’t do, why not follow His Church?
 
Pere i Pau:
No one said anyone was damning souls. Are we to expect there to be a criteria for one to be in mortal sin, and then turn and say we don’t know he or she is in a state of mortal sin, we let God decide?

Absolutely not. I’m not saying there is a cut and dry answer. I am saying that the way it is being focused by today’s laypeople and some clergy is appearing to be universal salvation. While some may not be advocating this. others are, knowingly or not.

I suggest, and hope, and pray, that the Magisterium clearly define what it means. Why? The same way R.S. is starting to clearly define the role of the laity in the Mass and point fingers at abuses (due to an ambigious definition of “participation” previously), it can make a narrower definition of salvation IMO.
Okay, it’s mortal sin let’s say, so what? What are you going to do when the other person does not believe it is? Tell him he’s going to hell? That’ll make him convert to the Church real quick.

The Church has been more than clear- the Catholic faith is the faith that saves. We know this but we do not put limits on God’s mercy, this is why the Church damns no one to hell personally not even non-Catholics.

Do you really want the Church to infallibly make a proclamation on the destination of souls outside the Church when they can not even do that with souls in the Church?

I can tell you- there are more Catholics who are more in danger of hell, no one has a guarantee of salvation, what Catholics have is the truth that will lead them there, those outside do have seeds of truth and God will be their judge In the same way He will be ours. . How does saying this mean the Church is not doing it’s job preaching the true faith?
 
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