This may or may not be temporary. One person told me (not here) that because I have learned so much, If I don’t become Catholic I cannot be saved. He quoted from Lumen Gentium as his source. I had already known about the quote, but I thought it was for people who KNEW Catholicism was true and abandoned it anyway. I don’t like threats. For years, I was afraid to leave Mormonism because I was terrified of their Outer Darkness threats. I don’t doubt Jesus Christ and His role as our Savior, but I do have doubts about Catholicism.
Was this person a priest? Lay Catholics, (and you know I love you, CAFers), have a wee tendency to over-simplify matters . . . Pretty please, set an appointment to discuss your reservations with actual clergy, i.e. a priest or deacon.
The Catholic Church teaches that nobody knows who will and won’t be saved. So this person gave you wrong info.
Also, the Church doesn’t threaten people into joining. We only want people who really want to join. That’s partly why we have a fairly long process to convert.
Pay no attention to the threats. Listen to God, Listen to Christ. Allow yourself to be drawn by the Holy Spirit. Studying takes you only so far.
My advice is to spend time before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration. In His presence, you will find peace in silence. Even though you will be contemplating what appears to be bread, isn’t that exactly what the Apostles contemplated in the upper room?
Tell Him of your search, your doubts, your difficulties. Sit. Pray. Then, be as patient with Him as He has been with you.
And when you become aware that He is there, you will be changed.
It was a zealous lay Catholic.
I don’t respond well to threats. I would like to learn more, but I can’t do it in fear. I was reading some of the Early Church Fathers, and I have a lot of their books around. I want to read them with peace in my heart. But thank you for your answer; that helps me feel better.
I with you.
I find nothing in Lumen Gentium suggesting that a person is damned who doesn’t become Catholic after learning a few things about Catholicism. That’s silly. Your over-zealous lay Catholic friend seems to have misunderstood the follow sentence:
Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. (Lumen Gentium, 14)
Hey Brige how are you? Are you in Utah if you don’t mind me asking? I ask because I lived in Utah for a while and I think it has an effect on how one views faith.
I would even take that with a grain of salt. It needs unpacking to understand it better, and unfortunately that’s difficult to do, but can be done by taking Church teaching as a whole.
The person who said this to you has absolutely no clue what they are talking about.
It’s important to distinguish between two kinds of threat:
A: If you don’t do what I say I will punish you. For instance, “if you don’t convert I will kill you”
B: If you don’t do what I say, it will be your fault if inevitable consequences follow. For instance, “Don’t skate on thin ice. If you do that you may fall through and drown.”
You should pay no attention to A but definitely pay attention to B
I cringe whenever this is cited. This is not an accurate explanation.
This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/what-no-salvation-outside-the-church-means
Oh yikes. I’m sorry to hear that someone framed their language to you as a threat – and in a way that understandably spooked you away from seeking further for truth in a direction that you previously found worth exploring! Sincerely, on behalf of the Catholic Church: I apologize for what you were told by this person. That was wrong, and it shouldn’t have happened.
I get the sense that your own intuition is telling you that this person gave you wacky info – and I’m thankful you came here to let others know what was said to you, so that we can affirm what it sounds like you already know in your heart: that this person does not have the authority to make any declaration about whether you “cannot be saved” if you reject Catholicism at your current level of knowledge. That’s the exact kind of judging of the internal condition of another human being, that Catholics are not authorized to do. The journey to Catholicism can be long (I’m an adult convert myself!) and it’s wacky in retrospect how much I (or a frustrated observer) might have been able to say I ‘knew’ before I actually had any capacity to understand what I ‘knew’. The deeper I run into God’s arms, the more accustomed I’m getting to this experience of constantly realizing that what felt like ‘knowing’ yesterday, doesn’t even count compared to the deeper ‘knowing’ I have today; just learning to trust that even while I realize that I have a veil over my eyes about something, I can give that veil to God and trust Him to let me see if/when I’m meant to see something, and in the meantime keep doing my best with what He’s already given me. Yes, eventually we do reach a point where we know ‘enough’ to make some given choice (and there are many choices in life to be made) – but no mere fallible human is in the position to tell you when you know ‘enough’. That’s between you and God, and some of the cleverest people in the world finally ‘click’ quite late in life… perhaps in part because of how clever they are, so they are aware of even more challenges to get distracted by, or to legitimately need resolved before one can proceed with integrity from one’s personal starting place?
I’m glad to hear that you don’t doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior God has given you a beautiful gift of faith! Thank you for nurturing this gift He has given you. I will pray for you, for God’s continued blessings upon you.
My suggestion to you, dear friend, would be to keep your eyes focused on God: keep your gaze on Jesus. Ask him to bless you, on top of the faith He has already given you, with courage to continue to seek the truth (after a threat that honestly it sound like the enemy influenced someone to throw your way, by misguiding them to push you away from finding the truth you were coming close to), and with forgiveness and love for the person who made this threat to you.
And please, feel free to continue to post on these forums, and especially to seek out answers from wise and knowledgeable Catholic apologists. God is sending them for your wellbeing: He loves you, and He wants you to benefit from every gift He sends you! None of them are secret ‘traps’. Just remember that this is the good shepherd who wants to lead you to green fields you can lay down in, and to bring you peace and freedom from anxiety; please put your trust in Him (and let Him love you through His Word), and He will lead you rightly.
“For surely I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
God knows exactly where you’re at right now. He knows your anxieties; He knows your limitations; He knows your confusions; and He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you. Think of anyone else in your life who loves you (or who you love), and how much that same love would be patient and understanding to you as you do your best with what you have. You think the same God who patiently walked each slow step with the heavy cross on His shoulder, can’t patiently sit in a room with you while you gradually sort through your understanding of the stories you’ve been told about Him? He’s in no rush; He knows exactly what timing is perfect for you. You can relax. You can trust Him. You can continue to seek the truth, with no walls up.
There are threats and there are warnings.
The OP felt threatened to the point where she’s about to turn away from the Church. It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s a threat or not.
Sorry but your response is tone-deaf and not helpful to people like the OP. I hope Catholics like you don’t actually discourage others from actually converting or moving as close as they can to Christ.
As for you going on about “risks”, you don’t have any idea of the risk in a particular case. You admit yourself in your post that we know very little about how salvation works upon death. Stop trying to scare people into converting.
Welcome to the forum!!
What Outer Darkness threats are you referring to?
That’s a very disingenuous comment and you know it. You know very well what he/she’s referring to. I’m not a Mormon and I know what he/she’s referring to. I have a nephew who left the church and he was told the same thing. Mormons talk about those who leave the faith as if they are going to be cast into eternal hell. Go ahead and deny it.
B isnt a threat it’s a warning, theres a difference… just saying
In the Catholic Church we have a Conon of Saints. Pople who the Church knows are in heaven (saved). What we do not have is a canon of the damned. I do not believe anyonme in the Church, including the Pope, can say definitively that a person is going to hell.
For what it is worth.
In the Mormon religion, Outer Darkness is Hell, with Satan and his angels being in control. If you once knew the light (according to what Mormons say is the light) and then abandon it, you get thrown there to be ruled by Satan forever. Most people that you think would go there actually make it to the Mormon 3rd Heaven (Telestial Kingdom). But not us abandoners of Mormon light!