This quote was brought over from a thread on infant baptism.
Validly Baprized non-Catholics are Christians. There are however many who call themselves Christian but have never been validly Baptized. They would not be.
Originally Posted by parvenu74 forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cad/viewpost.gif
*Let’s separate apples from oranges, please. The question of salvation for non-Christians (by definition, non-Catholics are non-Christians; if you want to debate that, start another thread and I’ll dive into it with you) is a question of Baptism of desire, of which only God can be the judge. It’s a question of the acts of a person who has the use of reason, which is not the case with babies. *
Is it possible that there are extra-Sacramental means of being cleansed from Original Sin? Sure; but it’s not known to us nor are any taught by the Church. But that’s not the point of this discussion either. It’s about the unbaptized and can they be saved. The Church says no. Discuss all of the tangents and side topics you want, but the central point is this: no person who has not been baptized can enter heaven. This is de fide. End of story.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Church and non-Christians
839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329
840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330
842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332
844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
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.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
Hope this helps. :tiphat:
It depends on the degree of the definition of what a 'Christian" is.
Now if one wants to assert that a Christian is somone that follows every single Command, Order, Directive issued by Christ then IMHO a non-catholic is a non-christian.
but again it depends on the degree of the definition of what a “Christian” is…
And the opposite end of the degree and definition is “To be a Christian is to be Christ-like” then no one walking on this earth is a christian at all.
This is not some new teaching (despite what some “traditionalists” would have you believe). Leo XIII calls non-Catholics Christians in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae and Pius XII does the same in Summi Pontificatus. So does Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence.
Note also that the anathemas declared against crossbowmen that were recently brought up (someone please find the reference, I haven’t the time :)) said something like, “Crossbowmen shall not attack Catholics or Christians…”
It’s not a new idea. The validly baptized are Christian, even if they’re not Catholic.
Very true. If they decide to become Catholic, they are not re-baptised.