Catholic's and other non-Christian faiths?


#1

Recently I have read and heard popular Catholic teachers state that some individuals who do not believe in Jesus but in “a God” will have a possibility of salvation. One such teacher, a priest on EWTN, made this similar statement. I also heard today that in Fatima they are building a place for Muslims to worship and pray, not with the Catholics/Christians but their own space. I am concerned about this. Isn’t Scripture clear that there is only one way to the Father and that is Jesus Christ? If you can just be a religious seeker and receive salvation what was the point in Christ going to the Cross? I think the Church made a big mistake when they turned the other way as liberals entered the Cathoilic Church decades ago. Look at the problems that has caused. Now, we want to be all embracing of other religions and to be honest I think this is going to cause even greater problems. Jesus made it clear, you are either for me or against me, no middle ground. Ecumentical motivations are dangerous when they water down the Truth. And I feel this is what is happening, we are getting close to wolves in sheep’s clothing!


#2

Your have a loaded statement here. First let me say this, It isn’t a change in doctrine, “liberals” have not corrupted Church doctrine to say that everyone can go to heaven. What the Church says, as she has said throughout time, that someone who truly seeks God but does not have the witness of Christ may go to heaven. For instance, a man lives his life in ancient India as a buddhist. Because he truly seeks the truth and goodness, he is not denied salvation because he doesn’t know Christ. However he is still saved by the atonement of Christ, whether he knows it or not. It is not buddhism which saves him, but Christ. He is just unaware of this. Christ died for all, whether they are aware of this or not makes no difference.
Hope that helps!


#3

[quote=MichaelKelly]Recently I have read and heard popular Catholic teachers state that some individuals who do not believe in Jesus but in “a God” will have a possibility of salvation.
[/quote]

The Church does teach that in certain, specific circumstances the possibility exists that a non-Christian could obtain salvation. Do we know for sure who God chooses or who He doesn’t? Of course not. None of us can be certain of our salvation until the day we answer to God.

The following link explains the topic much better than I ever could:

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

[quote=MichaelKelly]Isn’t Scripture clear that there is only one way to the Father and that is Jesus Christ? If you can just be a religious seeker and receive salvation what was the point in Christ going to the Cross?
[/quote]

The Church does not, and never has, taught that any plain old religious seeker can receive salvation. Specifically, if the person genuinely seeks God’s truth and listens to God’s call in their life, but through no fault of their own never heard of Jesus Christ, they have the possibility of salvation. Again, the article I linked to above does a better job at explaining this than I can.

[quote=MichaelKelly]Now, we want to be all embracing of other religions and to be honest I think this is going to cause even greater problems.
[/quote]

I agree that we cannot treat all religions equally. Most religions do contain some amount of good and truth – some more good and more truth than others. To treat all religions as equals is practically a heresy in my book. Of course, choosing to be Catholic, I believe the Catholic Church does hold the absolute deposite of truth. However, other religions and other Christian denominations do adhere to some (but not all) of the same truths.

[quote=MichaelKelly]Ecumentical motivations are dangerous when they water down the Truth.
[/quote]

I agree that the Church should never water down the Truth. That is not, however, an excuse to not pursue dialogue with other religions or Christian denominations.

Ecumentical situations can be very positive when they break down misunderstandings and misconceptions about religious beliefs. I have come across many people who hate (and I use that word intentionally) the Catholic Church because of what they think the Church teaches when their understandings of the teachings are very distorted from the reality of what the Church teaches. Most times when I actually sit down and explain the real teaching, and the person I am talking with truly wants to understand (versus just argue) the person agrees with the Churches teaching. That is a situation where ecumenism creates a positive dialogue and where the Truth is not watered down, but spread to others!


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