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  #1  
Old Feb 7, '07, 6:04 am
Revelation13_16 Revelation13_16 is offline
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Default Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Hi CA,

As a Protestant I'm interested to know whether Catholics believe Protestants will be going to heaven or not.

Before you answer, I have some sketchy details that around 50-60 years ago the Catholic church took a 'kinder' view to Protestants than before, is this true or have I heard incorrectly.

Thanks.

(Waiting to find out if Heaven or Hell awaits)
Rev13_16
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  #2  
Old Feb 7, '07, 6:13 am
Stephen_C Stephen_C is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

This is what the CCC has to say about your question. (Only God know's who is going to Heaven)

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church"
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  #3  
Old Feb 7, '07, 6:21 am
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Cool Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Don't know...not my job. No one is qualified to judge teir hearts but God himself.
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  #4  
Old Feb 7, '07, 7:31 am
Revelation13_16 Revelation13_16 is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_C View Post
This is what the CCC has to say about your question. (Only God know's who is going to Heaven)
This is not how I understand Catholicism.

If Jesus gave Peter the keys and said "whatever you bind will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose etc" then logically if the church decides something, Christ has to honor it no?

Quote:
818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church"
Just a clarification on the bold in point 818.

I read this as those protestants born into their respective communities are brothers (because they don't know any better) but what about protestants such as myself who converted to the faith?

I mean, to clarify further.

818 seems to be acknowledging that being raised in a protestant home is a very hard thing to break away from and so the Church is not expecting those protestants to jump ship to Catholicism, but does the convert to protestantism from pagainism (ie. no religion) have therefore an added responsibility once they've been exposed to Catholic material?

Jesus says in the Bible, "to whom more is given, more will be expected".

So if you're given enough info about the Catholic church and you still stick to protestantism, and you weren't born a protestant, is there any danger for you?

Thankyou.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
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  #5  
Old Feb 7, '07, 7:44 am
chris molter chris molter is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Yes, protestants go to heaven. Not all of them, of course. Nor do all Catholics go to heaven.

The thing about Catholicism is that we believe we have the fullness of the Gospel and the gifts of Christ to his people (aka the Sacraments), therefore we have many things to help us on our journey through this life, whereas non-Catholic faiths lack the fullness of the Truth (although they have some or many elements of it) and the Sacraments.

Now, knowing a bit about the teachings and parables of Jesus, since Catholics are given more, we're expected to DO more with it! Which is why (from a Catholic viewpoint) most protestants living today aren't culpable for not being Catholic since, they don't know any better.

Now, once someone comes to understand that the Catholic Church is, indeed, what she claims to be, then one is obligated to come into full communion with Her. If someone fully understands that the Church is what She is and yet obstinately refuses to become Catholic, then yes, there is a very real danger to that person's soul.

That being said, I haven't encountered many people who have a solid understanding of the Church's history and teachings who haven't been convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church, although there are a few (mostly in the Orthodox Churches).

As long as you're learning about the Church to understand her, and not to find reasons to attack her, your searching will be fruitful!
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  #6  
Old Feb 7, '07, 7:49 am
Stephen_C Stephen_C is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation13_16 View Post
This is not how I understand Catholicism.

If Jesus gave Peter the keys and said "whatever you bind will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose etc" then logically if the church decides something, Christ has to honor it no?



Just a clarification on the bold in point 818.

I read this as those protestants born into their respective communities are brothers (because they don't know any better) but what about protestants such as myself who converted to the faith?

I mean, to clarify further.

818 seems to be acknowledging that being raised in a protestant home is a very hard thing to break away from and so the Church is not expecting those protestants to jump ship to Catholicism, but does the convert to protestantism from pagainism (ie. no religion) have therefore an added responsibility once they've been exposed to Catholic material?

Jesus says in the Bible, "to whom more is given, more will be expected".

So if you're given enough info about the Catholic church and you still stick to protestantism, and you weren't born a protestant, is there any danger for you?

Thankyou.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
It is more to do with what you believe as true. If you believe the Catholic Church is all she says she is and you turn away from it. Then you are willfully turning away from the Church founded by Jesus. Thus turning away from God. 818 will most likely not apply. Again only God know's ones Heart.
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  #7  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:03 am
Philthy Philthy is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation13_16 View Post
This is not how I understand Catholicism.
It is possible, then, that you never did understand it even when you were Catholic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rev13-16
If Jesus gave Peter the keys and said "whatever you bind will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose etc" then logically if the church decides something, Christ has to honor it no?
The Church has never bound anyone to Hell, so your logic is a bit flawed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rev13-16
So if you're given enough info about the Catholic church and you still stick to protestantism, and you weren't born a protestant, is there any danger for you?

Thankyou.
Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
If you come to know that the Catholic Church is the one, holy, apostolic Church founded by Christ and you choose to reject it - and thereby consciously reject Christ who is "one flesh" with his Bride - then you are definitely in danger of being excluded from the wedding feast.

Fallibly,

Phil
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  #8  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:03 am
Revelation13_16 Revelation13_16 is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_C View Post
It is more to do with what you believe as true. If you believe the Catholic Church is all she says she is and you turn away from it. Then you are willfully turning away from the Church founded by Jesus. Thus turning away from God. 818 will most likely not apply. Again only God know's ones Heart.
Lets take two scenarios that would keep me a protestant, and I'd like to know what you think as an experienced Catholic, of my chances of going to heaven.

1) I don't know if The Catholic Church is true or not, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

2) I believe The Catholic Church was the church founded by Christ, but that subsequently along the way has become corrupt and thus I can't swear allegience to her today, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

Allow me to clarify these points.

Point 1) I'm guessing is the likeliest outcome of my research if I don't become a Catholic. It seems hard to discern whether she is or isn't the true church, because apparently in the early centuries it was the eastern Orthodox church that had the most councils and influence. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Point 2) is a real concern of mine.

I might find out "yes, I believe Catholicism does have a strong link to Jesus" but then I look at Benedict XVI and I'm not sure I trust him. (no offence guys, just being honest)

So, I can't reject the Papacy, I can't be a 'cafeteria catholic' and I can't in good conscience swear allegience to the pope when I know in my heart I have no intention of listening to him. (that makes me an imposter)

As you can see, it's a very difficult situation I'm in, I don't want to go to hell.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
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  #9  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:10 am
Revelation13_16 Revelation13_16 is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philthy View Post
It is possible, then, that you never did understand it even when you were Catholic.
I never was a catholic.

Quote:
The Church has never bound anyone to Hell, so your logic is a bit flawed.
It's not my logic, it's from the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma".

Apparently (according to the film) if the church makes a rule, Christ has to honor it because St. Peter has the keys.

The topic in the film is plenary indulgences, papal law do you call it?

Anyway, that's where I'm getting my info from, Kevin Smith is a Catholic.

Quote:
If you come to know that the Catholic Church is the one, holy, apostolic Church founded by Christ and you choose to reject it - and thereby consciously reject Christ who is "one flesh" with his Bride - then you are definitely in danger of being excluded from the wedding feast.
So a rejection of the Catholic Church is always a rejection of Christ except when the rejection of the Church is done from ignorance? (is there a Cat no. for this one?)

Thanks.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
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  #10  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:18 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

CCC 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.

CCC 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.



I disagree with an earlier poster who said Protestants go to Heaven (but not all of them).
Those outside the Catholic Church who live in invincible ignornance (CCC 847) may be saved. The word is may and not will.

However, Protestants cannot claim invincible ignorance of Christ and his Church so I would think it very unlikely that Protestants will be saved unless there are some who truly want to become Catholics but are somehow forbidden/unable to do so.
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  #11  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:23 am
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StevenFrancis StevenFrancis is offline
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation13_16 View Post
Lets take two scenarios that would keep me a protestant, and I'd like to know what you think as an experienced Catholic, of my chances of going to heaven.

1) I don't know if The Catholic Church is true or not, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

2) I believe The Catholic Church was the church founded by Christ, but that subsequently along the way has become corrupt and thus I can't swear allegience to her today, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

Allow me to clarify these points.

Point 1) I'm guessing is the likeliest outcome of my research if I don't become a Catholic. It seems hard to discern whether she is or isn't the true church, because apparently in the early centuries it was the eastern Orthodox church that had the most councils and influence. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Point 2) is a real concern of mine.

I might find out "yes, I believe Catholicism does have a strong link to Jesus" but then I look at Benedict XVI and I'm not sure I trust him. (no offence guys, just being honest)

So, I can't reject the Papacy, I can't be a 'cafeteria catholic' and I can't in good conscience swear allegience to the pope when I know in my heart I have no intention of listening to him. (that makes me an imposter)

As you can see, it's a very difficult situation I'm in, I don't want to go to hell.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16

The answer to this, going all the way back to the original question is quite complex, and in the final analysis, I don't believe we'll be able to answer you satisfactory. If you have been exposed to the Gospels. If you have discerned the truth of the Holy Catholic Church and her teachings, and then rejected it, and furthermore went on to die before having a chance to repent, then, as far as we can glean from all that was left us by Jesus, you'd be in a group of people who are ELIGIBLE to go to hell. In the fullness of time, however, it is God's call, of course. We're all just folks chatting here on earth. In the end you need to give an account of what you did and why. If you wish to gamble, no one can stop you because of the bugaboo of free will. And you DO get your day in court. From all we can tell, however, I'd be very careful about willful turning away from known truth. It's a less than skillful use of free will that smacks of pre-meditated, discerned, and most importantly unrepentant mortal sin. Please be careful, my brother.

Peace,
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  #12  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Frankly, dude, I would not trust Kevin Smith in matters of doctrine and morals.
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  #13  
Old Feb 7, '07, 8:29 am
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

To decide who goes to heaven is not base on the opinions of Catholics. The final judge who is Jesus Christ can determine who goes to heaven.
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Old Feb 7, '07, 9:10 am
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation13_16 View Post
Lets take two scenarios that would keep me a protestant, and I'd like to know what you think as an experienced Catholic, of my chances of going to heaven.

1) I don't know if The Catholic Church is true or not, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

2) I believe The Catholic Church was the church founded by Christ, but that subsequently along the way has become corrupt and thus I can't swear allegience to her today, so I'd better stay a Protestant.

Allow me to clarify these points.

Point 1) I'm guessing is the likeliest outcome of my research if I don't become a Catholic. It seems hard to discern whether she is or isn't the true church, because apparently in the early centuries it was the eastern Orthodox church that had the most councils and influence. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Point 2) is a real concern of mine.

I might find out "yes, I believe Catholicism does have a strong link to Jesus" but then I look at Benedict XVI and I'm not sure I trust him. (no offence guys, just being honest)

So, I can't reject the Papacy, I can't be a 'cafeteria catholic' and I can't in good conscience swear allegience to the pope when I know in my heart I have no intention of listening to him. (that makes me an imposter)

As you can see, it's a very difficult situation I'm in, I don't want to go to hell.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16
You should probably see some of the existing threads or start some new ones on these points. Believe me, there are mulitple threads on the authority of the Church and the accusations of apostasy.

As others have said, only God is the the judge of who goes to heaven. If you want to know what Catholics believe about salvation, read the Catechism. From the CCC points that have already been posted here, you can see that the Church teaches that those who truly do not know Christ or His Church may attain salvation. There are some hard core Catholics that misinterpret the whole "outside the Church" section. Read it for yourself (CCC 846) and come to your own conclusion. It seems clear enough to me. I will say one thing though, Catholics believe that we are truly sanctified during our lifetimes. In other words, we believe our souls are made clean, not just a "covering up of sins" as most protestants believe. It starts with baptism, then we receive graces throughout our lives as we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ and as we participate in the Sacrament of Reconcilliation. Protestants do not have these Sacraments so it will be much harder for them to be sanctified. Though, with God, nothing is impossible. So, as you can see, the subject of salvation is a deep subject.

My advice is, don't take any information from a movie even if it is produced by a Catholic. Read the Catechism if you want to know what Catholics believe. There are also hundreds of Catholic books out there to help you sort through the various issues... authority of the Church, the papacy, the Sacraments, what we do and don't believe about Mary.. etc. Read into the history of the Church as well. Here is a site that has a lot of scriptural references for Catholic beliefs. Happy reading

Take a look at my signature. Most every commentary I've read says that the 153 fish represent all the nations. What is fascinating to me is the fact that it says Peter's net remained untorn. I read in Stephen Ray's book, the Gospel of John, that the Greek word for "torn" translates to schizo, upon which the word schism is based. So, it is Peter's net (Church) that remains untorn (UN-schismed)....interesting, eh?

Peace be with you, Prayer_Warrior
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Old Feb 7, '07, 9:25 am
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Default Re: Are Protestants going to Heaven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation13_16 View Post
Lets take two scenarios that would keep me a protestant, and I'd like to know what you think as an experienced Catholic, of my chances of going to heaven.

1) I don't know if The Catholic Church is true or not, so I'd better stay a Protestant.
I think this is one of the major reasons why many Catholic apologists focus not only on the truth claims of the Catholic Church, but on the inadequacy of Protestantism in many very clear cases (doctrinal dispute being a major one). If they can show that staying Protestant is worse than changing to an Apostolic Church, that's half the battle.

I don't know about other Catholics here, but I'd certainly rather see a Protestant convert to Orthodoxy than remain Protestant, simply he would thereby be embracing more of the Catholic faith than he did before. "My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." Even if we think that you're still wandering by being Orthodox, at least you'd be wandering closer to the corral

Quote:
2) I believe The Catholic Church was the church founded by Christ, but that subsequently along the way has become corrupt and thus I can't swear allegience to her today, so I'd better stay a Protestant.
In Scripture, submission to our leaders was never predicated upon their rectitude. Even Christ, when talking of the Pharisees, told the Jews to obey what they commanded (but not what they do), because they had genuine authority.

Quote:
Point 1) I'm guessing is the likeliest outcome of my research if I don't become a Catholic. It seems hard to discern whether she is or isn't the true church, because apparently in the early centuries it was the eastern Orthodox church that had the most councils and influence. (correct me if I'm wrong)
The Orthodox Church didn't split from the Catholic Church until after the first seven ecumenical councils, so it's not accurate to say that they "had the most councils." Notably, since the schism, they believe there have been no further ecumenical councils.

In addition, as we Catholics would claim (and the Orthodox would protest) the councils were verified as ecumenical by their ratification by the Pope. But, as it seems to me, the Orthodox idea of an ecumenical council itself being verified by the subsequent council doesn't seem to work in practice. A good article on this is Council minus papacy equals chaos.

Quote:
As you can see, it's a very difficult situation I'm in, I don't want to go to hell.
It is certainly a difficult position. That's why I would suggest that you look into the history of your current church or of Protestant churches in general: I think you'll find, at the very least, that Protestantism is no "safer" than the Apostolic Churches, and likely significantly less "safe" than they are.

Jeremy
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