Do Non-Catholics have a greater chance of getting into Heaven due to lack of full knowledge of the grave matter of sins?

Hey everyone. I have a question. I hope this is not in the wrong forum.

Do non-Catholics have a great chance of getting into Heaven since they do not have full knowledge of the grave matter of sin? I ask because if they don’t have full knowledge of the grave matter of sin then they can’t commit mortal sins, right? This would seem to mean that if the lack full knowledge prevents them from committing mortal sins then they would have a greater chance of going to Heaven.

I think the Apologetics section would make more sense, but since you posted here I’ll give my two cents.

Why do we look at things like we can define who’s “more likely” to attain Salvation with our Holy and perfect God. As if God is limited and would say “well, he’s a Protestant and doesn’t fully understand mortal sin, thus he hasn’t sinned mortally and for that I won’t let him suffer in Hell for all of eternity.”

It honestly boggles my mind that we can put God in a box like this and give Him loopholes when it comes to Salvation. Honestly it hurts my brain a bit, God doesn’t judge like a human judge with by-laws and loopholes.

Your premise is not correct. God has written his laws on the hearts of men. Everyone knows that it is a grave sin to murder someone, or to commit adultery, or to steal, or to bear false witness. We don’t have to be taught these things and they are grave, or mortal, because of the nature of the sin. So there are no excuses. The problem is that Protestants do not have access to the sacraments and so unless they have perfect contrition for their sins, they remain in them.

Another dangerous scenario is the “Once Saved Always Saved” crowd. We now have a situation where someone may very well know they are entering into serious sin and yet believe that there is no reason to repent because they are already saved. They are in for a big surprise.

You omit the fact that they lack the Sacraments for the forgiveness of sins.

They may commit fewer mortal sins (e.g. missing Mass on Sunday isn’t a mortal sin for them) but they have no way to have the ones they do commit absolved.

As long as they know what the Church teaches, they are still culpable for natural law sins: adultery, fornication, theft, blasphemy, etc. Very few people go their whole lives without committing a mortal sin.

God Bless

Yeah I understand what you’re saying. But not all Protestants, as an example, know that it is gravely sinful to use contraception to prevent pregnancy for example. They are capable of committing some mortal sins of course because they already know they are seriously sinful but there are others that they may not know are seriously sinful.

Yeah I left that out because I figured that since this is a Catholic forum, that would be taken into account. I am not trying to be sarcastic here. I am only being honest. And you are exactly right that if they commit a mortal sin then they don’t have a way to be absolved. However, we know that God can forgive mortal sin without Confession for example with an Act of Perfect Contrition. One must, of course, if Catholic, make the firm resolution to go to Confession as soon as possible though.

And yes, I completely agree that very few people go their entire lives without committing mortal sin. Everyone knows that things like what you mentioned are mortally sinful.

Yes, as Catholics we also believe that salvation can be attained outside of the normal means instituted by Christ. But to say that these people then have a greater chance of being saved due to their ignorance is going to far. They may be saved, but we know we are saved through the sacraments which bring us the grace which flows from Christ’s sacrifice.

You hit the nail on the head. The OSAS crowd gives you a “Get out of hell free” card. IMHO that cheapens Grace. Yes, we can ask God to forgive us our sins, but, receiving forgiveness from the pastor is one of the great things ever.( that may not have been worded right)

It has often struck me in the pursuit of truth, that it reminds me of navigating trough a dark dense forest. By following the tenants of various faiths you may have a rough road map on how to navigate through the forest safely. However, there are lots of dangers and dead-end paths so the Catholic Church was created to help protect the truth and safely navigate and protect people. By rejecting various parts of the original Church, this leaves one without one or more tools to safely get to the other side of the forest safely. If one disregards the faith entirely then it is up to chance like Russian roulette with your soul. When you die have you lead a life in the image of God’s creation as we are requested to do in our faith, or have you lead a life similar to the fallen angels and thus obtain the same fate?

In the end there are certain truths that one should not violate, even out of ignorance.

God Bless

People confuse types of ignorance that hurts clear thinking here.

A truly ignorant person is one who knows only one way, does not know of any other way.

In today’s world, an extremely rare case. Maybe the inner amazon tribe they recently found that has never had outside contact with the world would fall into this category.

Contraception (for example) is a choice, therefore, it is not ignorance as above because there is a known other way(s).

Choosing not to learn about the topic, but blindly going with the best advertised / most convenient, does not create ignorance as above.

Same with what you know about God or the way you worship or do not worship God. Actively doing what you are doing is a choice, even if you’ve always done it, there was a point in time it became a choice in your life.

There will be a day when even the most ignorant in the truest sense, will be presented with the truth and have to make a conscious decision on it. That’s the nature of perfect love, it can’t force.

Addressing the ‘chance’ aspect -

We hope for mercy, and hope we continue to actively say ‘yes’ to a heavenly invitation through the only way we can in our nature today, words and deeds.

A great guide is from the prayer Jesus taught, if we want that mercy after death, we better be showing it today to all who we contact and ‘forgive those who trespass’.

As all salvation comes from the Catholic Church, being a member in The Catholic Church is the easiest way to get to heaven. The further away from the Church, the harder to achieve salvation.

This video is great!

Thank you for making those distinctions in various types of “ignorance”. You are absolutely correct. Ignorance of our own making does not mitigate our guilt. :thumbsup:

Well said, as usual, Steve. There is nothing to add here other than perhaps expanding on what you said.

As pointed out, this is where the Sacraments come into play. Protestants, sorry to say this, well some Protestants, are fond of saying about grace. … You know what I mean … Well, Sacraments are graces. Seen and being administered to and partaken.

Steve, you couldn’t be more precise with your second paragraph.

You presume wrongly that non-Catholics, regardless of the communion to which they belong, do not have full knowledge of sin. They do indeed. And just like some Catholics, some non-Catholics ignore the matter, even though the law is there to make it quite clear.

On the other hand, many also see the law, which, like a mirror, shows us our sinful selves, and our need of grace and redemption.

In Lutheranism, we recognize the means of grace in the sacraments of Baptism, Confession/Holy Absolution, and the Eucharist.


While Christ put in place the Church as the means to provide sinners word and sacrament, all salvation comes by the grace of God, through the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ.


Thanks, Reuben. This is one of the saddest aspects of the Reformation, IMO. Other than the few liturgical Protestant communities, most have no concept of the word “sacrament”. They are completely cut off from these channels of grace established by Christ to bring salvation to the world. I cannot imagine my life without the sacraments. I would truly be lost.

There was a thread once about how in heaven, everyone is catholic, and it has been noted that it is through the Church that all are saved, if saved, because the bride of Christ leads us to Christ.

For all Christians this should seem obvious as the foundation of all Christian religions was and still is what we call the Catholic Church. It’s never changed since Jesus in foundational teachings which all Christians share, sourced from Her, the Church…

However, I don’t agree with the easy point.

To whom much is given, much is expected.

It is much easier to not do that which is expected from us.

The path is narrow, which refutes ease as well.

A strong will and perseverance through the toughest of temptations is needed to be Catholic and eventually reside with God.

That was an excellent short video there!
…Thanks for posting it!

I beg to differ but all Christ believers have a direct channel of grace flowing directly from God the Father through His son Jesus and directly to us. There is no need for any other! The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (or Ordinances as we refer to them) and the church itself are essentially important to strengthen us, edify us, and bring us closer to God through Christ but they are not the instruments of that grace; God alone through Christ is all that is needed. We are taught that “sacraments” are an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace but not, in themselves, the source of that grace.

You just made my point. Most Protestant denominations are so far removed from the original Church and Sacred Tradition that they have no idea what the first Christians believed and practiced. The Church has always been a sacramental Church, the Eucharist being the source and summit of our faith. A little reading of the early Church Fathers should give you a different perspective. These were folks who rubbed shoulders with the Apostles or their students and so it would not be unreasonable to assume that they knew a little more of what Christ intended then someone picking the Bible 2000 years later and using that as his sole source of information.

Well of course Jesus is the source of that grace. The sacraments are the means of giving and receiving that grace. How does this lessen their importance?

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