The following question and answer was in my church bulletin this past Sunday. I have some SERIOUS issues with this, despite the Impimatur.
Do you agree with “The Padre’s” answer?
I have a question: Can every good person go to heaven after they die, even if they haven’t been a Christian? My dad is from India and he just grew up with another religion. My mom, sister, and me are Catholic. I am afraid that we won’t see each other again after we die.
Put your mind at ease. A person who is not a Christian can go to heaven. I imagine we will see many more people than we think in heaven. Heaven is not just for Christians, but for everyone who loves God and respond’s to God’s will in his or her life.
We know that God wants all people to be saved, not just Christians. Jesus began a Church to help people achieve salvation. What I know as a Catholic is that God called me into the Church. It is there that I will work out my salvation. I do not know why there are some people who have never heard of Jesus or who do not have the faith to join the Church. I do know that God wants them in heaven just like God want me in heaven.
You should pray for your dad and be a faithful Catholic. Perhaps your good example will help him become a Christian. Even if he never becomes a Christian, your prayers will help him work out his salvation without the benefit of the sacraments and a believing community. Ih he does what is right, God will reward him.
Father Joseph Nolen, C.Ss.R.
2004 Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO 63057-9999 Printed in USA
Impimatur: Most Rev. Robert J. Herman, Archdiocese of St. Louis