Invincible Ignorance and Salvation Outside the Church in Scripture

The repentant criminal hanging on the cross beside Jesus received salvation.
Luke 23v.39-46
But will you also say no because he did express faith in the moment before he received the words of salvation?

But I wonder if at the moment of death, those who are invincibly ignorant are instantaneously shown who Jesus is and in that moment have the freedom to accept or reject, and if to accept, receive final salvation? I cannot believe that God in His mercy does not at that final instant show Himself to the spirit of the dying person…

I agree!

No, God does not play a guessing game.

If there is an indivudual out there, who desires truth, yet does not know Christ, or at least the Christ according to Catholicism, and never goes under the tittle “Catholic,” yet yearns to know Truth, but cannot accept catholicism because of disagreements, he/she is still dammed?

According to the Church, this individual could attain salvation assuming they meet all the requirements for invincible ignorance.
If the indivdual fully knows the Catholic Church is the one true Church necessary for salvation but does not accept this, he/she is damned.

Or let’s say there is one having psycological problems, depression, OCD, anything that makes faith all the more difficult, especially having no good influences around, yet also desires Truth, but stumbles alot, ever continuing because of that desire to find the Truth, then dies. Is he/she dammed according to the catholic Church?

No, again, I can only tell you what the Church teaches, this individual could attain salvation assuming they meet all the requirements for invincible ignorance.

This strikes me as nonesense, and no God I imagine plays a guessing game. If one TRULY desires Truth, he/she shall find it. And that Truth is God.

Well, then, you agree with the Catholic Church. :wink:

Does Catholicism really mean to say that everyone, in every other non-catholic religion, innerly knows Catholicism is the Truth, yet refuses to accept it because of pride?

No, that’s not what the Catholic Church teaches. :nope:

That ALL of them are arrogant and wrong?

Really, the Church takes a more sensitive tone than this to other religions and non-Catholics. It reaches out to them in open dialogue. :slight_smile: Is there one Truth, one God, one Church? Yes, to not point this out would be bad, but it’s not as simple as calling others arrogant and wrong.

If so then I’m glad I’m not Catholic. That’s the most arrogant thing I ever heard. Attitudes as this is why the violence of the medevil days erupted.

Hope my brief response starts to help clear-up some misunderstanding. :slight_smile:

Right, he believed in Christ, so this would not be an example of invinicible ignorance.

But I wonder if at the moment of death, those who are invincibly ignorant are instantaneously shown who Jesus is and in that moment have the freedom to accept or reject, and if to accept, receive final salvation? I cannot believe that God in His mercy does not at that final instant show Himself to the spirit of the dying person…

Interesting thought. I was listening to Jimmy Akin on the radio yesterday and he said something similar. We don’t know what people may think in there last moments. It’s reasonable to think one could sincerely accept Christ at this time and receive salvation.

This is an excellent point, Rodger. Who do you think Jesus was asking the Father to forgive? Everyone? The Jews? This may sound like a dumb question, but do you believe God answered this prayer?

Forgiveness would not automatically mean they would have salvation, would it? But this could be an example of God showing forgiveness to unbelievers.

The following thread goes into more detail on invincible ignorance including the scriptural basis.

“According to the Church, this individual could attain salvation assuming they meet all the requirements for invincible ignorance.
If the indivdual fully knows the Catholic Church is the one true Church necessary for salvation but does not accept this, he/she is damned.”

So God plays a guessing game. Unless one is perfect, remains clean from all sin, understands every theological doctrine perfectly, one is dammed. The Church in pas ttimes has called many “acurssed” simply for different theological beliefs.

Then, God plays a guessing game, according to these “men.”

Again if one disires Him, he/she shall find Him, and will eventually abandon all sin. God shall not abandon such a soul, nor will He say, “opps, you guessed wrong, and comitted one sin 4 seconds before death, see you, into the lake of fire forever to burn burn burn.”

sighs I suppose you’re going to cast stones at me now, go a head.

A TLM Catholic I know (my wife’s uncle) believes even one as the Amish is dammed because they’re not “Catholic.” I despise such self-righteous attitudes as this, though I love him. But it’s a perfect example of God playing a “guessing game.”

Again if one desires Him, he/she shall find Him, and will eventually abandon all sin.

Really? I don’t know anyone who is sin free. Do you? Where did Jesus or the Apostles say this?

God shall not abandon such a soul, nor will He say, “opps, you guessed wrong, and committed one sin 4 seconds before death, see you, into the lake of fire forever to burn burn burn.”

It depends on the sin. If you committed a willful murder, or rape, or an act of pedophilia four seconds before you were killed would you deserve salvation?

12 5 All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, 6 while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s hidden works through Christ Jesus.

LOL–Good question!!! I specifically didnt mention who I thought Jesus was talking to. It is in dispute. Many scholars have different opinions. However, it does show that people can commit a sin, but because of their ignorance(because Our Lord said “they know not what they do) they can be forgiven. This is the point. If one rejects the Church, and is not culpable for that particular sin(or if his ignorance reduces the sin to venial) then he wouldnt be damned beuase of it. He may go to hell for a different mortal sin. So, if he isnt culpable, and has no other mortal sins on his soul, and has the virtue of faith (if he knew the truth he would believe it) then he would go to heaven even though he isnt a formal member of the Catholic church. That is alot of “ifs.” I think it shows how desperate our non-catholic” freinds" are. Combine this with Pius XII’s warning in Humani Generis that we shouldnt make the teaching “Outside the Church There is No Salvation” into a meaingless phrase, then it seems that our non-catholic “friends” are in very near danger of going to hell. LET’S CONVERT THEM THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! :thumbsup:

This is not what the Catholic Church teaches. I didn’t fully explain it and I might have done a poor job. Why would you think I would cast stones at you? If you would like to learn more, please ask away. I may not be able to help personally, but I wouldn’t want you to have the wrong idea.

You make more good points. :thumbsup:

Well Mr. All Knowing, then I’d say that person obviously isn’t looking for Truth. And if one desires God, EVENTUALLY he WILL abandon sin.

Thank you for the sarcastic comeback.

No man is without sin. It is only by the strength given us by the Grace of God that we avoid and continue to grow toward the ideal of a totally sin free life. In this life we never achieve that ideal. We are not perfect as Christ was.

Your above statement makes it sound as though we are able, in our own strength and desire, to achieve the goal of a sin free life. I hope and pray that I have misread your statement.

“Thank you for the sarcastic comeback.”

I’m sorry. Truly. But don’t be so quick to condemn, because I read sarcasm in your post as well, which was what sparked me. Especially your opening word “really,” as if you know so much better than I. I know the way religous arguments go.

Yes, only by the Grace of God does one find Him.
therefore if one desires Truth, God is calling him/her, and he/she shall find that Truth. That’s what I meant. The difference is, I don’t believe one must claim the tittle “Catholic” to be saved.

Perhaps these:
John 15:21-24 But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake: because they know not him who sent me. If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin… (this passage shows that one must “hear” the Word properly in order to be guilty)

Luke 12:47-48 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. (this passage shows how the degree to which someone knows the Truth is how he will be judged)

Exodus 22:21 You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt…If you do afflict them, and they cry out to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword… (this last verse prefigures the protection of those innocently outside the faith…it at least shows God’s mercy extends to “outsiders”)

These would seem to be talking about NON-Christians.

Protestants know about Catholicism, Catholics know about Protestantism, obviously all still disagree. Many Protestants openly state Catholics are dammed, and vise-versa. The will of Christ is similar among all these groups, none are really outsiders, they just differ mostly on theological doctrines.

Though I forget where, but in Mark, I think, St. Peter tells Christ about other “Jesus Followers” preaching to others and castin gout demons in Jesus’s name, yet they are doing it a different way, and not following the apostles. Jesus says those that are for us are surely not against us.

On EWTN one night, a Catholic Apologist was asked that if a non-Catholic, say like a Methodist or like, could be saved. The apologist said “yes.” Then he was asked if one told him about Catholicism, and if the Methodist still refused to become “Catholic,” would he still be saved? The apologist answered probably NOT. Therefore, as I’ve said before, many of you believe God plays a guessing game, especially when it come to theological doctrine.

How can you be so arrogant to claim one is dammed because he/she, no matter how humble a heart they have, just because they are not a Catholic?! Take an Amish, here he grows up all his life in his community, loves his Church, believes it to be God’s will, runs into a Catholic preacher one day, claiming otherwise, yet does not abandon his community, believing what he sees as Truth is correct, and stays within the Amish, is he really then dammed?! My God doesn’t act as that. I believe that if one were to know the absolute Truth, seeing God face to face, knowing Him entirely, knowing which doctrines were absoluetly true and which doctrines were not, and even then STILL denied Him, well then I wouldn’t want to be in that person’s shoes. But I’d think one seeking Truth will accept what he knows to be Truth.

It was a happy day when I chucked the sin of presumption into the outer darkness, a sin I was guilty of when I was a Baptist. A proper Catholic does not judge the eternal destiny of ANYONE, Catholic or Protestant.
If someone does not know the truth, he or she cannot be condemned for it. However once that truth is revealed to them, they are held responsible, Catholic or Protestant.
Thier eternal destiny is God’s business, not mine.

I think that there is a danger , not just amongst liberals but also mainstream Catholics to exaggerate invincible ignorance to the point of Universalism.

The Catholic faith is a gift of God’s grace…and we are at an advantage…we can’t sit back and say, " they are Godly and I am sure they are saved. " No we have got to share the Faith.

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