Invincible ignorance, Protestants, and you

I’ve been reading all I can on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (No Salvation Outside the Church).

To what degree does invincible ignorance befall Protestants? I’m the only Catholic at my job and the rest are all evangelical/pentecostal types. They all seem to “know” about the Catholic Church, but would rather attend their various Protestant services.

Does invincble ignorance lie within them to a degree that they are included/excluded wtih the nulla salus belief?:confused:

The issue isn’t whether they know that the Catholic Church exists, or even that they’re aware of what the Church teaches. The issue is whether they know that the teachings of the Church are true (and that they know and believe that membership in the Church is required of them for salvation).

Does invincble ignorance lie within them to a degree that they are included/excluded wtih the nulla salus belief?:confused:

That question can only be answered by someone who has knowledge of what they believe in their heart; that is, only by them and by God. On the face of it, though, the answer is ‘yes’ – there is the possibility that ‘invincible ignorance’ applies to them.

For me, two passages- one from the Bible, one from Vatican II- solve this problem.

Mark 9:38-39

John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me."

Second Vatican Council- Decree on Ecumenism - Unitatis Redintegratio

“The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body,(21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.(22)”

In this modern age, you won’t find the Pope, Cardinals, bishops, and even priests going out and evangelizing Protestants, Orthodox, or other non-Roman Catholic Christians. The spirit of the Counter-Reformation is deceased; it does not exist now.

Our differences as Christians no longer matter, praise God.

If I followed what you said, then what would prevent a Catholic from joining the Protestant churches so they don’t have to follow certain Catholic teachings?

We don’t evangelize our fellow Christians with whom we have imperfect communion; rather, we witness to the fullness of the truth found in the Catholic Church through ecumenical efforts.

Our differences as Christians no longer matter, praise God.

This is not true; our differences exist and are real; and they matter. As Catholics, we pray that these differences be eliminated, so that we might unite in the Truth of Christ. From another Vatican II document, Lumen gentium:

The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. … In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.

In the Pope’s native Latin America, tens of millions of Catholics have abandoned the Church. As far as I know, there is no concerted effort to regain these millions of lost souls for the Church.

Perhaps this is an acceptable situation, as long as they are converting to trinitarian Evangelical groups?

I hear absolute crickets from the Vatican.

Really? At these ecumenical events, do priests minister to non-Catholic clergy? Does the Pope confer to them the truth of the Eucharist, papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, and so forth? At these ecumenical unity events, do they use the podiums to denounce the errors of non-Catholics religions?

I think not, with all due respect.

That answer really had nothing to do with my question…:confused:

Silence speaks volumes. Tens of millions of Catholics have abandoned the Church, primarily for Evangelical denominations. And yet, I hear crickets from the Pope and the Vatican.

Is it acceptable for Catholics to become Non-Catholics? I’d say the silence from our hierarchy is very disconcerting.

By witnessing to the truth, yes they do.

Does the Pope confer to them the truth of the Eucharist, papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, and so forth? At these ecumenical unity events, do they use the podiums to denounce the errors of non-Catholics religions?

‘Denunciation’ and proselytizing are antithetical to the spirit of ecumenism. If that’s what you expect out of ecumenism – or, if its absence ‘proves’ to you that differences don’t matter – then, with all due respect, you’re mistaken. :wink:

I learned that someone falls into invincible ignorance if they never questioned the validity of their religion or it is completely out of their power to know of the Catholic Church. It is through no fault of their own that they are not Catholic. As for your Protestant coworkers, I am not sure invincible ignorance would apply to them since they know of the Church, but I suppose only God can truly judge this. This is all the more impetus to evangelize them.

It is lamentable to see how many Catholics have left the Church and even more lamentable to see how many within the Church are heretical. I say that the hierarchy is what is culpable for the great damage that has been done in the Church over the years both from their silence and their spread of heresy. Now the laity must take up the job of fixing the mess.

It would… if you could make the case that the lack of public statements are the reason people leave, or that public statements might bring them back. It’d be interesting to see you make that case.

On the other hand, if what will bring people back are personal, one-on-one encounters with Catholics for whom faith is a positive, life-enriching experience… then we would necessarily expect to hear ‘crickets’ – since we aren’t the ones to whom the outreach is directed. :wink:

Is it acceptable for Catholics to become Non-Catholics? I’d say the silence from our hierarchy is very disconcerting.

What exactly are you expecting to hear? The teaching of the Church on the matter is clear.

So, for example, if Lutheran representatives are present are ecumenical gatherings, you are telling me that Pope Francis or the Cardinals specifically address the “heresies” of Lutheranism and how they violate Catholic doctrine?

Look, can you point to an example where Pope Francis has corrected the errors of Protestantism and has called for the rejection of heresy?

We are living in an information age. Even a secular and “neutral” source like Wikipedia recognizes the succession of popes down to St. Peter. Even a secular and “neutral” source like Wikipedia recognizes Christian heresies as being heresies against the Catholic Church.

Invincible ignorance is really a bit of a cop-out. The Protestants and Evangelicals that I have met personally in my life are intelligent people. Which is all the more reason why I don’t think invincible ignorance applies.

With all due respect, you most likely can’t point to one time when Pope Francis has called the Roman Catholic Church the “One True Faith,” and specifically that it is necessary for salvation for people to belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

As a Church, we do not seek the conversion of non-Catholics to the Roman Catholic Church, because in essence most of them belong to the mystical Body of Christ.

I know you are passionate about your faith, which is noble. If you believe it is necessary to convert non-Catholics to the Roman Catholic Church, go forth and evangelize. You will not find this objective among the clergy and the Vatican.

The catechism states that they are not necessarily “lost souls”…speaking in terms of salvation.

Can you provide the CCC reference?

If that is the case, then that is probably why it is not necessarily bad for Catholics to convert to non-RC Christian churches.

That is absurd. It is has been repeatedly stated from many proclamations of Councils and Holy Fathers that if you are not Catholic you are not going to Heaven outside of extraordinary circumstances; these extraordinary circumstances are not the norm but the exception. Apostasy is a mortal sin.

I have never heard one sermon in any Catholic parish, in 20 years of being conscientious about sermons, ever stating the necessity of being Catholic for salvation. I’m NOT arguing that you or others haven’t.

I have attended ecumenical events in the past that included Catholic priests, and at times bishops, and never once did they proclaim the necessity of being Catholic to the non-RC Christians who were in attendance at these gatherings.

Whatever ecumenism meant in the past, NOW it means “our differences don’t matter.”

It is universal common sense that actions speak louder than words. That is a 101 sort of logic. There are plenty of words stating the necessity of being Catholic. I’d love to see action from the modern hierarchy. Because so far, they don’t seem to preach that message- NOT saying because they reject it- maybe they are just too focused on secular salvation via Social Justice and Climate action.

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