Befriending non-Catholics

I’ve read numerous quotes from Saints, Popes, and Bible verses, especially from Saints such as St. Thomas Aquinas, that clearly say that being friends with ANY non-Catholic, or even a Catholic who is a sinner, is altogether prohibited and even results in damnation, and that the heretics themselves should be completely shunned and even put to death. They’re all very harsh.
Now, I’ve never heard of having non-Catholic friends being sinful, and no-one even seems to hold this opinion. Even the most radical traditionalist Catholics on the web say it’s fine. So I wanted a good answer from someone who knows what they’re talking about, so I came here.
So, is it permissable for a Catholic to have non-Catholic friends, so long as he/she does not allow his/her faith to be put at risk? (In other words, long as they do not support their friend’s heresies)
Thanks and God bless.

Most all my friends are non Catholic, some are non practising Catholics too.

I don’t “support” them in what way they choose to live, and I don’t stick my nose into their business, just as they don’t in mine.

I would be there for them as a friend no matter what they believe. :thumbsup:

Totally agree, I have three best friends, two are devout Muslims; a Sunni and a Shia; and one is a non-practicing Catholic (but so absorbed by heresy at this stage that I wouldn’t even use the term “Catholic”). Unfortunately, there are no good Catholics in my area that are my age, so I just try to keep company with people who have good morals regardless of their religion. The devout Muslims are great company because they have good morals, so they won’t lead me into sin, particularly the Shia who has far better self control, and never pushes his religion at me, but rather praises the parts of Catholicism that he agrees with. The Catholic has “alright” morals, but sometimes raises an objection to the Church’s teaching on marriage or contraception, to which I simply ignore (because I’ve tried evangelising them but they simply won’t accept the Catholic faith). Of course I try to evangelise all my friends and correct them when they fall into sin (“mind your language!” “You know that’s sinful, right?” “You need to forgive them instead of cursing them”).

You can certainly go ahead and befriend whoever you please.

The good Lord was friends with prostitutes, thieves, and the lowest of all people. There’s no line outside of which non-Catholics stand. While what they believe personally might be heretical, we are still their brethren. God does not want us to stand divided. He created your non-Catholic neighbour. We are not some sort of perfect believer upon which anyone else is to be downtrodden, rather we have been commissioned to defeat the protestant reformation and spread the fullness of truth and true love. To further this, it’s always better to look at how Catholic our non-Catholic friends are, rather than how non-Catholic they are to begin with. God Bless you :signofcross::byzsoc:

First of all, all of us here on Earth EVERYONE are sinners.

Second, I don’t see any reason why someone who is Catholic can’t be friends with someone of another faith or no faith at all. As a friend, you do not have to support the person’s sins (homosexual acts, etc.) but you can still be there for them as a friend. I do not see how that is sinful, especially when Jesus was friends with EVERYONE.

Doesn’t God want us to love our neighbors as ourselves? I think that would mean to love all your neighbors, regardless of whether they are Catholic or not.

I don’t agree with pointing out when someone is about to sin, unless you are willing to hear the same thing from others.

Perhaps you can provide links or references to these numerous quotes.

In days past, religious, social, economic and political life were intertwined much differently than they are today. Shunning as a means of pressuring a Catholic to repent and renounce heretical beliefs was effective. And Church laws imposed such sanctions on those who persisted in heresy.

Today, this is not the case and so Church law has no such sanctions.


I can’t agree with this. Unless you are sinless (which no one but Jesus is), then I wouldn’t point out someone else’s sinfulness. It seems overly judgmental, IMHO. If someone were to say something like that to me, I would probably ask them when they think they became Jesus or when they started walking on water.

Fraternal correction is biblical. Instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinner are spiritual works of mercy.

One must always do so charitably.

Exactly. We are called to guide others by sometimes telling them something they are doing is wrong, as long as you don’t start judging (ex: you’re going to hell, etc).

Agree. :thumbsup:

I only correct out of love for them and I make sure that I don’t do it when I do the same thing myself, and if someone corrects me (which my friends frequently do), then I stand corrected abd thank them for their concern and stop whatever I’m doing that’s sinful.

Being judgmental needs to be considered under another light. To show a people that he or she is wrong can be (and usually is, if done in love and in the appropriate moment and place) an act of love itself. Remember we are called to correct our brothers in love (1 Thessalonians 5:14, Romans 15:14, James 5:20, Matthew 18, etc.).

This is a truth far to often overlooked. It is all the more reason to befriend non-Catholics.

To befriend non-Catholics to show them that they are “wrong”?

Nope, the “in love” part. I don’t like how Catholics sometimes jump on non-Catholics, complaining “you’re heretical! you’re sinful! you’re wrong, wrong!” This isn’t the love that Jesus taught us. We are all a Christian family, and the minute we behave non-lovingly, we lose the ground of our arguments.

However, as Catholics - we believe that the fulness (the absolute fulness) of truth, can only be found in the Catholic Communion - both lungs, east and west and all of her counterparts. To show others what we believe to be the fulness of that truth, this is love. Christian love. Concern for souls.

Not all my friends are Catholic and some are just from other Christian denominations.
I don’t push my beliefs on them and they are the same way with me.
I am in a class with some Muslim people also and they are nice as can be to me.

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