I was doing some reading on soteriology. Specifically, I was wondering about those who harbor doubts about Christian teaching. I came across an article that I have since lost that stated as long as one admits their doubts are wrong and the Church is right about the issue of doubt, they can remain members of the RCC and could possibly attain Heaven. So, in other words, if I have trouble believing there is a God (I don’t, btw) as long as they admit their doubt is in error and the Church is correct, this person could be a faithful Catholic and maybe saved from damnation (God-willing, of course).
Unwilling doubt is not sinful. All sin, whether venial or mortal, requires some measure of freewill consent. If we want to believe but find ourselves unable, we incur no sin and remain faithful sons and daughters of the Church.
That doesn’t mean its OK to have doubt. We must realize that our doubt is a flaw that needs to be corrected, and we must make a sincere, ongoing good-faith effort to resolve our doubt. And, obviously, we cannot teach our doubts to others as doctrine.
As long as we meet those conditions we do not commit sin.
Thanks. If I am understanding you correctly, as long as the person in question is not deliberating cultivating doubt (why someone would that is beyond me but I have seen lots of strange things :)), admits he is wrong and that the Church is right and tries to overcome those doubts (maybe successfully, maybe not) may be faithful to God and His Church and not sin? Thanks again for the quick reply. It is appreciated.
St. Thomas doubted. St. Peter doubted. And as the PP said, unwilling doubt is not sinful. It is human nature to doubt, especially about something that we were not specifically a witness to. I hope that doubting doesn’t lead to eternal damnation because I have doubts all the time! I just try not to let them get to me and like PP said, you need to try and correct these doubts as it is important to have belief. I am not sure if I am just ranting here, but just adding to the convo
Thanks for your insight. It, too, is greatly appreciated.
Exactly. We commit no sin under such circumstances, regardless of whether our efforts to resolve our doubt are ever successful.
I think most problems come when people grow complicit in their doubt, and just learn to live with it instead of trying to overcome it.