Did the good thief have faith alone?

A friend of mine is baptist. He submits that faith alone will get you to heaven and refers to the thief on the cross. Ho do I as a catholic rebute that? I know in scripture it mentions faith and works but how do you explain the thief on the cross?

Thanks
Tony

Dear Tony,

Let’s give a good look at the situation. The thief you speak of certainly made a profession of faith when he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. But is that all that was happening? As a matter of fact, no! He was also in the process of being crucified as a punishment for his deeds. If this isn’t a work, I don’t know what is! Jesus didn’t stop the man’s crucifixion, but let him suffer for his misdeeds.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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