How much responsibility does a non-Catholic have in verying the claim that the Catholic Church is THE Church Christ established?

Hello!

I have a quick question that popped into my mind a few days ago:

How much responsibility does a non-Catholic have in verying the claim that the Catholic Church is THE Church Christ established?

From what I have read in this board, it appears as if though once the claim has been presented to a non-Catholic, that they are morally bound to check out the truthness behind the claim, and to then act on those findings.

Is this so? (first checking!)

If this is so, is this really reasonable?

For example, let’s suppose we have a very faithful Catholic who has grown in love with the Faith all of his life. Some Latter-Day Saints missionaries knock on his door, and ask him to pray about the Book of Mormon to see if it is what it claims to be. However, he is so sure of his faith, that he does not even take a look at it, and may even consider such a prayer as sinful (I remember reading something along these lines in a website when I was studying Mormonism. I can’t remember if it was Catholic specifically though).

Was this faithful Catholic who knows the Catholic Church to be true morally responsible in any way to verify the claim the Mormons made? Along these lines, should a Mormon in the same case be condemed for not verying the claim of the Catholic Church?

By the way, I was happily Confirmed in the Church this past Easter, so I hope this in no way comes across in a negative light. I am trying to understand this issue so that I may be better prepared to explain it in the future if the need arises (and I am also a very curious creature :stuck_out_tongue: )

Thanks in advance!

The key thing is this: Does the non-Catholic sense at all the Holy Spirit tugging at him to investigate the Catholic Church’s claims?

If he does and chooses to refuse to act then he has resisted the Holy Spirit.

If he does that he committs mortal sin–if he continues in that resistance until death without perfect contrition for that resistance and never confesses to a Catholic priest then he would go to Hell.

Who can judge whether the person has resisted the Holy Spirit?

Jesus!

There are some people who are Invinicibly Ignorant–they have a chance at heaven.

The ones who Do Know Better and resist–they wind up in Hell!

If you’re referring to invincible ignorance, this might help.

In John 9:41, Jesus told the Pharisees the following because they KNEW who he was, but rejected him anyway and accused him of performing miracles:
Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains."

The same is true today. If you know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, that is to say, you have been exposed to the truth of the Church, yet reject it, you have rejected Jesus himself.
If you have not been sufficiently exposed to the truth, you MAY be sufficiently ignorant.

In Luke 10:16, Jesus told his apostles:
*"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." *

**I for one, wouldn’t want to take that chance.

**

Well, even if you tell a non-Catholic that he has a duty to verify the claims of the Catholic Church; he is under no obligation to believe that he has a duty.:slight_smile:

Thanks to all of the responses! They help clear things up. :thumbsup:

I think Jerry-Jet summed it up well enough when he said that only Jesus can know if a person resisted (knowingly) the tug of the Holy Spirit or not.

elvisman said,

If you have not been sufficiently exposed to the truth, you MAY be sufficiently ignorant.

That makes sense. If a person drives past a non-Catholic individual yelling “The Catholic Church is THE Church!” then I suppose that could be a case where the person (if that is the only time he’s been exposed to that claim) wasn’t sufficiently exposed to the truth (heck, he might think the person was drunk! :stuck_out_tongue: ) However, if that incident causes a little tug…

Ahimsa said,

Well, even if you tell a non-Catholic that he has a duty to verify the claims of the Catholic Church; he is under no obligation to believe that he has a duty.

That’s what I was trying to get to in my first post: is he under any obligation at all just like the Catholic has no obligation to verify the Mormon claim? The answer seems to be, as was explained, just how much that person has been exposed to the claim and the proof, and whether he has felt the tug or not, which is an entirely subjective experience and one that a person from the outside cannot determine completely (expect for God).

I think I’m getting a hang of this. Thanks again! :smiley:

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