Ccc questions on 841 843 and 856

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”


is this saying they worship the same god as us? simply with faulty knowledge?

**843 **The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”


Is this saying that god gave other religions to prepare for the truth?

856 The missionary task implies a respectful dialogue with those who do not yet accept the Gospel. Believers can profit from this dialogue by learning to appreciate better “those elements of truth and grace which are found among peoples, and which are, as it were, a secret presence of God.” They proclaim the Good News to those who do not know it, in order to consolidate, complete, and raise up the truth and the goodness that God has distributed among men and nations, and to purify them from error and evil “for the glory of God, the confusion of the demon, and the happiness of man.”


is this saying that god gave other religions with some truth to other people?


The pertinent section for context:

1 - I’m not 100% sure.

2 - No, the “given by Him” that you bolded refers to the “goodness and truth found in these”. In other words, even wrong religions can have some elements of Truth in them…which makes sense, given that they exist in a world that God created. Since God makes Himself known via His Creation, it only makes sense that we should see *some *aspects of Truth in even the basest of religions (but that’s not to say that they ALL have elements of truth in them).

3 - No. See #2.

So help me understand… If ccc 841 is true, then you don’t have to be baptized to be saved. But John 3:5 Jesus says that **no one **can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and the spirit.

So, how do we reconcile this?

I don’t believe this is the a correct interpretation of what 841 means. To me it a statement of the fact the both religions profess a belief in the only God that exists.

But John 3:5 Jesus says that **no one **can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and the spirit.

So, how do we reconcile this?

I don’t believe there is anything to reconcile. 841 is not addressing what it take to get to heaven. It is simply acknowledging where the two religions share a common truth.

Where are you seeing that? I read it over and over, including the several few paragraphs before and after, and I’m not seeing anything remotely close to what you just concluded.


The ONE AND ONLY guaranteed way to receive Sanctifying Grace (ie, salvation) is through Christian Baptism. Jesus instituted the Sacraments of the Church so that we may receive Grace, including the Grace of salvation. This is, and always has been, the Doctrine of the Catholic Church.

God works through the Sacraments (100% of the time), but he is not limited by them.

The Church also teaches that it is possible to receive salvation apart from Baptism. This is called the doctrine of invincible ignorance.

However, the Church does not (and cannot) say if anyone has ever actually been saved this way. The Church does not (and cannot) say how it works, or what criteria God uses. The Church does not (and cannot) say if many have been saved apart from Baptism, or few have been saved, or if any have been (or will be) saved this way. Just because it is possible does not mean it happens.

That is why it is reckless to disregard our Great Commission to Baptize the world (Matt 28:19). We must never neglect the ministry of Baptism thinking that the unbaptized will yet be saved. We don’t know that. We know that Baptism is a guarantee, but we know nothing about invincible ignorance (apart from the fact that it is possible).

[QUOgTE=ahs;12904377]Where are you seeing that? I read it over and over, including the several few paragraphs before and after, and I’m not seeing anything remotely close to what you just concluded.


Its right in 841! ‘The plan of salvation also includes…’ :shrug:

I disagree. The paragraph states ‘the plan of salvation also includes…’ so what is the ‘plan of salvation’ if it doesnt mean, like yousaid, what it takes to get to heaven?

You are free to do so.

The paragraph states ‘the plan of salvation also includes…’ so what is the ‘plan of salvation’ if it doesnt mean, like yousaid, what it takes to get to heaven?

I do not see baptism mentioned. Do you? Or obeying the commandments? The only part of the “plan” mentioned is the belief in the true God.

I apologize for any confusion. Of course the word ‘baptism’ is not mentioned. But, the *‘plan of salvation’ *is mentioned. And, we know, that in order to be saved, we have to be baptized (wouldn’t that be a big part in the plan of salvation)? So, I have questions with how anyone can be a part of the ‘plan of salvation’ and not be baptized. Just curious is all. Thanks for your replies.

I like the way that (David Filmer, I think) has said it around these forums: it’s the grace that baptism communicates to us that is necessary for salvation (see John 3:5 and “rebirth from above”). But, the Church has always taught that baptism is normative, not strictly necessary, per se.

Define “plan of salvation” as it is used here, please. It does not mean what you think it means.

God desires that ALL men be saved…that’s His plan and He sent Christ for the salvation of ALL men. That doesn’t mean we all will be. 841 say nothing akin to what you concluded…not even remotely close.

841 is based on the Church’s philosophical tradition concerning how God can be acknowledged as one and the Creator of the universe, even without supernatural faith, and that we can provide God a natural, reasonable worship (not the same as worshiping in spirit) even without faith. Also, as noted in context, the “plan of salvation” part is referring to all men, and is going through the various groups one by one.

The others refers to “seeds of the Word” found throughout creation. This also does imply salvation but rather are seeds that can lead one to embrace the Gospel and be saved. Here are some Saints explaining this distinction:

[quote=St. Justin Martyr]For each man spoke well in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic word, seeing what was related to it. But they who contradict themselves on the more important points appear not to have possessed the heavenly wisdom, and the knowledge which cannot be spoken against. Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians. For next to God, we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since also He became man for our sakes, that becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing. For all the writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the implanted word that was in them. For the seed and imitation impacted according to capacity is one thing, and quite another is the thing itself, of which there is the participation and imitation according to the grace which is from Him.

[quote=St. Thomas Aquinas]Every truth by whomsoever spoken is from the Holy Ghost as bestowing the natural light, and moving us to understand and speak the truth, but not as dwelling in us by sanctifying grace, or as bestowing any habitual gift superadded to nature. For this only takes place with regard to certain truths that are known and spoken, and especially in regard to such as pertain to faith, of which the Apostle speaks.

Also, don’t skip the rest of the context, like 844, 845, 848, etc. as well as other paragraphs, like 161.

I reconcile it by noting that the same Jesus who said that in Luke also spoke with Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration. Those two were obviously saved, and obviously did not have baptism. Jesus’ declaration pertains to those who know about the Church and baptism. For those who have not truly heard the Gospel message and had an opportunity for baptism, God will give them some opportunity to follow Him as best they know how, and will decide their fate. I’d imagine, similar to Jesus preaching to the souls in prison on Holy Saturday, those who followed God as best they knew how will be given some opportunity just before final death to accept or reject God, and He will apply His Grace to those who accept. In this way a spiritual baptism will occur to them.

Yes, I agree that God sent Christ for the salvation of ALL men. But it doesn’t end with ‘He sent Christ for the salvation of All men’, you have to believe in Jesus! I’ll just use one example given in Scripture (there are many):

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, *that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. *

Is this not God’s plan for salvation?

Unfortunately, I don’t see believing in Jesus a part of the Muslim faith.

Here’s the thing, though: you’re making an inference that just doesn’t hold up logically. The statement is “whoever believes in [Jesus] shall … have eternal life.”

That statement is absolutely true! But, you seem to be thinking about the logical inverse: “whoever does not believe in Jesus shall not have eternal life.”

The inverse is not necessarily true, even if the original statement is true. (In other words, in logic, the truth value of the inverse does not depend on the truth value of the original statement.)

There is the possibility that those who do not believe in Jesus may yet be saved.

Ok, maybe this will help. Just two verses down from John 3:16 (which is what I was referring to above).

John 3:18

*Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already **because they have not believed **in the name of God’s one and only Son. *


Luke 10:16

“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”


John 12:48

***There is a judge for the one who rejects me *and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

Hopefully, this shows that the ‘inverse’ IS true!


You are missing the point completely. Again, define “plan of salvation” as it was use there.

God’s “plan of salvation” includes MANY people. That doesn’t mean they WILL be saved. And the CCC paragraph is not suggesting they will…it’s only stating the obvious. You are reading something that isn’t there, and making a conclusion which is not even remotely hinted at in the CCC. I am guessing you didn’t read the rest of that section, or the section on Salvation. :shrug:

God’s plan for salvation doesn’t change. I believe I have stated that plan. Doesn’t matter where it’s mentioned, God’s plan of salvation remains the same. With that being said, Please tell me, what is God’s plan for salvation as seen through your lens? Thanks!

Read Lumen gentium, paragraphs 14 through 16. :wink:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit