No Salvation Outside the Church?

Firstly, I apologize if this in the wrong place. If it is, please move it. I’ve also read some of the other threads on the topic - but I missed if they answered what I’m asking.

Growing up Catholic, I’ve heard this a lot. When my cousin married a Lutheran girl and converted for her, my aunt prayed every day that he would come back because she was worried that his soul would be eternally damned…

Anyway, as I grew I began having doubts. For a long time, I considered myself agnostic, dabbled in Buddhism, and searched for truth. It wasn’t until my mid-20’s, when I started reading on anarchism (including some of the ideas of Dorthy Day and Ammon Hennacy) did I once again feel the calling of God and Jesus Christ…

Yet at the same time, I felt no real connection to any church. I’ve prayed on it; I ask God to guide me where He wants me to be but as much as some would want (some friends, some family) I honestly, in my heart of hearts, feel closer to God than I ever was when I went to Mass every Sunday. Am I wrong in this, destined to Hell - or will God judge me on His own?

I feel you wouldn’t be here, asking this question if something or someone wasn’t stirring you to come back. Nothing happens by accident. You may be near the end of your earthly journey and God is calling you one more time to return to Him. You already know the answer in your heart so why keep rejecting Him? He calls in the stillness…are you willing to listen or is pride getting in the way?

It is impossible to quantify the benefits of attending Mass. This is the same as being present that dreadful day on Calvary. If you were given that chance to attend & see/experience the Crucifixion would you reject it? Most people would travel thousands of miles to see such a spectacle. Yet it happens every day at Mass. Give it a go, immerse yourself in it and see how it feels again…after all those years. Good luck on your quest. You have taken the first step… just a few more will bring you inside the door. He is waiting, He is calling. The call will only get stronger…

Well, the Truth isn’t based on feelings. Feelings can be deceptive.

I would encourage you to go talk to the pastor of your local Catholic parish for some spiritual guidance.

God bless you on your journey.


I honestly, in my heart of hearts, feel closer to God than I ever was when I went to Mass every Sunday.**

Try going to Church by yourself first. Meditate in silence before the Eucharist. Ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration, not feelings. You cannot be any closer to God than kneeling in abject humility before the Eucharist. Out of the humility will come peace. And out of the peace, sooner or later, will come joy. :thumbsup:

But it starts with humility. All virtue begins with humility, as all vice begins with pride.

I find your post interesting, xNoOnox, But only you can answer this question. First, ask yourself, "Just how much do I really know about my religion. Can I say that I believe in baptism which made me a Christian? Do I believe that Jesus Christ is my savior? Do I believe the concentrated host at Mass is the actual body and blood of Christ? As A child, how much religious instruction did I receive.

If you truly believe these things because you have concluded it from sound instruction, and not from a “Monkey see monkey do” conditioning by your family and friends, and you can sincerely state you believed this at one time in your life, then you better go and have a talk with a priest. Not just any priest, find one with a reputation of being a good, holy priest.

If you really don’t believe in any of these things and never did, then you should find a faith you really believe in. But walk carefully in this because you are dealing with the well-being of your soul…May God guide you.

I will give you the blunt truth.

If you die as an apostate from the Catholic church, you will go to hell for eternity.

Curious cat:

So glad you are not on God’s Admissions Committee…and never will be.

Do you hope to be able to squeeze thru the cracks in the celestial doors with such harsh unforgiving attitudes? ‘…Judge not, lest…’

This person may be much nearer to God…than you are. At least s/he is seeking. Negative advice never helped anyone. A silent prayer might be more effective. Hope you both enjoy yr Sunday Mass.

No, an apostate who converts to Buddhism is not closer to God than me. What I just told him is the greatest act of love a Christian can give. What he he died today, wouldn’t u regret not telling him the blunt truth about his apostasy?

Are you in a position to determine the mercy of Our Lord on an individual sinner?

I too have been there. I grew up in a Catholic family with a very devout Catholic mother, and I rebelled and turned away. I was an atheist Communist in my teens (while at a Catholic school), then dabbled in the occult (not just ouija boards etc, but much more dangerous things), briefly back as a believer again, then Buddhism, then Asatru paganism, then like you I was called back (in quite a dramatic experience in my case). I was running away from the Lord for over 20 years before coming home.

It is wonderful that you have been called back, just wonderful. You have been called back, so just stop, be still and listen, then you will know what you need to do.

The fact that you have been called back is great news!

If I was you though, I would go to a priest in Confession, tell him what has happened to you and ask for forgiveness. You will be really pleasantly surprised with his reaction and you will feel such a relief afterwards. Come back home to us, you will be welcomed with open arms.


Did you miss the part where he says that he has now been called back to the Lord?

So you are not only are you in a position to judge who Our Lord will extend His mercy to, but you also know which people are closer to the Lord than others?

I don’t think you, or anyone for that matter, has the right to say that aside from God Himself. Even the Catholic Church has never condemned anyone to hell. Neither should you.


Check out this charitable YouTube video.

I get the picture, but, sadly, there is no sound. What did he say? :confused:

It was like that for me at first. You have to click on the sound icon on the bottom left corner of the video clip screen (not your PC) as it is automatically switched off at first.

He repeats the orthodox Catholic position that people of other faiths and no faiths can be saved by Jesus Christ.

Thank you. That worked. :thumbsup:

This is the way I understand it and at least how I explain it to my self

Who’s in heaven
According to the Catholic Church not only Catholics go to heaven but only Catholics are in heaven. Along with the fact since jesus started the Catholic Church it is the normal means of salvation
This is a paraphrase but sums up no salvation outside the church

Holy Moley! That is absolutely wrong. When I was taught my catechism over 70 years ago, even before Vatican II, the nuns taught that anyone can go to heaven if they live a good life. The nuns taught us in the eighth grade that if someone lived in a cave all his life and was never exposed to the name of Jesus Christ or his teachings, but lived a good life according to the dictates of their conscience, he or she would go to heaven, because it says in the Old Testament that when God made man he wrote the Ten Commandments on the fleshly tablets of men’s hearts, which is in essence, your conscious. Now, this doesn’t mean a Catholic Christian is free to ignore the teachings of the Church if you have been given the great gift of baptism. It just means that a person without exposure to the Church, through no fault of there own, has a path to salvation provided by a merciful God.

I recommend you go to Google and type in “There is no salvation outside the Church,” for a thorough explanations of the subject. :eek:

The catechism is the best place to get the correct technical answer.

But I think analogies introduce new ways of thinking well. Without water, you will die of thirst in very short order. So it is with Grace for your soul. God is the ONLY source of Grace in the world. In the person of Christ, God came into the world in order to save us. Grace and water…

A desert area had NO source of water for hundreds of miles and so was uninhabitable. A man can and constructed a fountain that would draw water from deep in the earth and splash it into a pool so that people could have water. The fountain worked for centuries and the people came and were nourished. But as people often do, these people came to quarreling among one another. The fountain pool seeped water into the earth and at times and in some places, that water bubbled to the surface away from the pool and also nourished those who found it there. But those locations came and went with weather and temperature. They could not always be relied upon. The man had intended for ALL the people to come and drink from the fountain pool. Those who drink from the ground seeps perhaps think they’ve found another way, but it really isn’t. The fountain is STILL the source of that water. And the fountain is reliable, always pure, and honors the intention of its builder. Why NOT go drink from the fountain? Just because some of the people there are irksome?

The builder, of course, is Christ. The fountain is the church. The seeps are all the other places in the world where people who are unaware or are misinformed about the church sometimes also find Grace. They aren’t alternate SOURCES of Grace. Just alternate places where the one source of Grace are sometimes manifested.

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