I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this question. I have never met a Catholic who will say that he is certain he is going to heaven. If he did, he would commit the sin of “presumption” and thereby assure that he did not go straight to heaven. Lol!
So, you’re not going to find any knowledgeable Catholic, short of one who has a personal revelation from God, to say that he knows he is going straight to heaven.
Most Catholics will answer that they hope to go to straight to heaven, but they expect to go to purgatory first. I’d say, without exaggerating, that 99.9% of Catholics will answer this way. For good theological reasons.I
But, I have met Catholics who say that they are certain they won’t even make it to purgatory but will go directly to hell. Of course, they are also committing a sin. It is the sin of despairing of God. So, they are kind of of assuring that they won’t straight to heaven with that attitude.
Now, I want to change horses and consider this statement by Jesus Christ:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
I have heard Catholic professors (which shall go unnamed), say that this strait (or narrow) road, refers to the hell of the damned.
Who is right? The Catholic professors? or the Catholic faithful?
I say it is the Catholic faithful.
Consider this. The majority of the Jews did not get in through the narrow gate. The majority of the Jews got in through the wide gate. They went to Limbo, which in my opinion is another name for Purgatory.
As far as we know, the only Jews who made it directly to heaven are Enoch, Elijah, and Moses. They are explicitly mentioned in Scripture. We can make a case that all the Prophets also went. But that is still a tiny minority. Scripture says:
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
When it comes to the Jews, they got in through the wide gate. Enoch, Elijah and Moses. Other than that, the others are presumed to have remained in the Limbo of the Fathers until Jesus let them in.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Consider also that faith does not contradict reason.
I mentioned faith and reason because in school, we are taught that most things fall in a happy medium. It is called a bell curve. If we apply that to salvation, most people are neither evil nor holy. They fall right in the middle. These people, in my opinion are going to wind up in the Christian Limbo. The one we more commonly refer to as Purgatory.
A small minority will go directly to hell because they have no redeemable qualities and have willfully turned away from God and persisted in that condition to the end.
Another small minority will go directly to heaven. They are the Saints. Both the Canonized which are recognized by the Church and those who live anonymously holy lives whom only God knows about in this life.
Therefore, I believe that most people are going to end up in Purgatory and then going to heaven. That is Catholic Doctrine. And a small minority will bypass Purgatory and go straight to heaven.
And another minority will wind up in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
This, I believe, is confirmed by the sense of the faithful. The Holy Spirit has led the Catholic faithful to arrive at this conclusion. But we’ll see how this poll goes. Maybe I’m totally wrong.