Is everyone who is not Catholic going to hell?

Surely this has been posted somewhere but there is WAY too much info. to sort through in such little time.

I invited my coworker to Mass–I’m trying to evangelize her, and she is iffy about going… She said she dated a Catholic in college (probably about 20 years ago), and that when she went a couple of times to mass with him and his family they couldn’t tell her why they did or believed certain things. Of course, she didn’t give me examples and I had to run out the door to my next class since my lunch was over. I did manage to squeeze out of her a little juice as to one reason why she is not so sure that she wants to go to Mass.

She said that she went to a Christian conference. She stated that there were two Catholics there that said anyone that wasn’t Catholic was going to hell. I have heard both sides of this from Catholics. In fact, the other day I heard Fr. Corapi in a recorded lecture say that as long as people live good lives within Gods laws (ie. no suicide bombing, murder, etc [not following the 10 commandments]) that a lot of people are going to heaven. He said that Jesus died to forgive our sins, and that means everyone on Earth. He said even people that do not know about Jesus dying for us will go to heaven because that is why he came. This is contradicted in something I printed off of that states that if you are a heretic or part of a schism, you are not going there…

So, I want to help this lady understand, and I want to understand!! What is the actual teaching? I thought that we just feel sorry for everyone else because they aren’t getting the full benefit of all the sacraments–especially the Eucharist.

Thanks for your input!


CCC 847 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.1

Ok, this makes sense. And this is what I believe. So how do we get the word out to those good-meaning Catholics who actually believe everyone else is going to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus or the Church teachings?

Lord knows, I try on this forum all the time. :wink:

Maybe that statement from the catechism needs to be put in a sticky :slight_smile:

Well…if they DO know about Christ and the Catholic Church, and reject it anyhow, then what? :confused:

I think the catechism answer that as well :slight_smile: They are talking about Protestants here so I wasn’t sure if this what you meant. It’s meant for devout Christains. In my opinion anyway.

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

I think the key is knowing and accepting the Church as the true church. If you truly don’t believe that, but are still trying to follow God in a sincere way, then you have a chance.

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