What is the catholic position on the non Christian soul at death? Millions of Bhudists, Jews, Muslims etc. may never accept the truth of the gospel. Are you responsible for what you were never exposed to? It doesn’t seem as though God would not have mercy on those souls. Some American Indian lived his life never knowing of Jesus as well as other tribal people. This topic has come up many, many times before but I think it is always worth taking a look at.
I cannot cite the official Catholic teaching, but I do firmly believe that God has a plan of salvation for every human no matter what faith, race, creed, etc. We were all created by his love and were made to love HIM, We must come to realize this and strive to do what is pleasing to our maker. I actually had this discussion yesterday with my two best friends over brunch, he is a seminarian and she is working towards becoming a nun.
My lady friend believes that very few people will end up in hell, in fact she believes that unless they choose hell at judgement they’ll likely partake in God’s infinite mercy and enter into heaven. That is certainly a noble and compassionate way of thinking and worthy of praise. My thougths are that God has the job of judging us all and he can have that job because I sure don’t want it. That all being said I believe it is our duty to pray for all of those potentially in jeapordy of hell, allow God to use our prayers as he sees fit from his seat in eternity.
I still wonder sometimes about this despite having the question “answered” many times before haha.
The answer to that is difficult though. It’s possible that those who never accept the gospel can be saved, if they live their lives according to what they do believe. Like if someone is born a Muslim, and truly believes that “there’s only one God and Muhammad is his messanger” and follows Islam devoutly-because he truly loves God and wishes to serve him, and he thinks Islam is in fact the true religion, God will have mercy on him because he will have been “baptized by desire”.
My priest used the example of Jesus saving those that took care of him, even when they did not recognize him.
But if at any time, someone truly believes that Catholicism is the true religion, it means that God has revealed the truth to them and if said person ever leaves the Church or does not make an effort to join, they will be condemend because they have rejected God’s gift of the Sacraments, Church, and even Salvation.
But just because some one can be saved without conversion-it’s still our duty and privilige to “spread the gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Dear Johnny, this a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which explains the position of the Church regarding non-Catholic Christians, and non Christian religions
May God bless you
I think that the admonition “outside the Church there is no salvation” is more of a challenge to Catholics to get off their duffs and do something regarding evangelization, than it is a warning that non-Catholics will go to hell, OR words of comfort that, “You’re OK, you’re Catholic!”
Only God truly knows who gets into Heaven.
=johnnyjones;9422634]What is the catholic position on the non Christian soul at death? Millions of Bhudists, Jews, Muslims etc. may never accept the truth of the gospel. Are you responsible for what you were never exposed to? It doesn’t seem as though God would not have mercy on those souls. Some American Indian lived his life never knowing of Jesus as well as other tribal people. This topic has come up many, many times before but I think it is always worth taking a look at.
So that you don’t think I’m ONLY sharing “my opinion” PLEAS GO TO:
TYPE is numbers 845; 846; and then 847 in the search window.
IF and ONLY IF] a person has NEVER had the opportunity to know of Christ; TEN and only then there acts of charity MIGHT get them into heaven. God’s CALL!
ALL OF US WILL BE JUDGED NOT ON WHAT WE KNOW;
NOT ON WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
NOT ON WHAT WE ACCEPT AS TRUTH
***ALL OF US WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD BASED ON WHAT GOD HAS MADE POSSIBLE FOR US TO KNOW.***
Doesn’t that make Christ’s sacrifice a little pointless, then? It either applies only to those who accept it, or it applies to everybody. I’m not saying I know God’s thoughts, but, if the possibility is opened up that we all can go to heaven just for trying to be really good people, why bother with rituals, rites, and religion itself?
You don’t get a choice once your dead. Your choice is considered and made during your temporal life. If you die without sanctifying grace, you can’t go to heaven. You said it correctly that we need pray for all souls.
Too bad she’s mistaken.
I would make a slight correction to how this is phrased.
Non-Catholics may be saved but not for living according to what they do believe. Believing false teachings is not going to aid their chance of salvation, but living according to good morals, which are found in many false religions, will.
Of course, in the end we need to receive grace to be saved, and since it is not ordinarily offered outside the Church (except in the case of many non-Catholic baptisms) it must take a very special perseverance to persist in a state of grace until death for those outside the Church. So even though God saves people outside the Church, we ought to pray for them to come into it, where they can receive His mercy through the sacraments daily.
That’s what I was trying to get at, I guess I wasn’t clear enough:P
I thought so, I was mostly cleaning it up for third-party readers less catechized than yourself.
Firstly, the reward of heaven is not a right to man, so we shouldn’t automatically assume just because those that are invincibly ignorant of Christ and His Church should or might be given the grace of heaven. The truth is, we don’t know but according to the extreme necessity of Christ and His Saraments, there is reason to believe that by His Divine Mercy He may preserve them from eternal fire if they lived according to natural law but by His Divine Justice, He may not grant them the beatific vision but allow a means between the two.
Just because some animals live in caves, or so far below the ocean’s surface that they never see the sun, doesn’t mean the sun does not exist, nor that life on earth is not dependent on the sun for it’s existence.
And those animals that live in the sun rejoice in it (allegorically speaking!)
Personally this is my view. I think this was popular in the middle ages (it’s mentioned in Dante’s Divine Comedy), but as far as I know it’s never been church doctrine.
Those that are Christians and saved will go to what is called Heaven, with God. Those who deny and hate Christ, oppose him without remorse, and sin against God and his creation, will be in hell. Their punishment will be equal to their crimes. A lot of Islamic terrorists and atheists will end up in hell.
The middle group are those that were neither believers nor opposers. I think there is a sort of limbo or intermediate state for them. They are not punished but not rewarded with the Kingdom of God, either. They are on their own. These are those people who had the opportunity to become Christians but simply chose not to, but they are not hateful towards Christ. Again their particular circumstances depend on their conduct in accordance with God’s law in life. I don’t think these people go to “heaven” per se, because to me an essential element of faith is admitting one’s sinfulness and one’s inability to atone for them on one’s own. When I was religion shopping no other faith offered redemption in that manner.
I don’t think those who never had the chance to hear the Gospel will suffer. I think they go to a place of perfect natural happiness.
Interesting answer. Seems like the origin of the word “limbo”,but with a little extra bonus.
I think that we first of all have to agree that none us of deserve heaven, that salvation is completely and totally a gift of God, and without the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ, each and every one of us deserve to go to hell. Some are greater sinners than others and deserve greater punishment than others, but none of us deserve heaven. and none of us can earn our way into heaven. It is a gift of grace and the saving Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I was just answering a question about infant baptism in another thread which I think relates to this question. To understand infant baptism, you have to understand that we are all born completely separated from God. We must be bought back from Satan through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
As Catholics, we all must agree that Jesus Christ founded only one church, and that is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the only Church to which he gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Catholic Church is the only Church in which salvation can be found. Any truth, any saving graces in other religions can all be traced to the Catholic Church. Therefore, all saving graces come through the Catholic Church.
How does God deal with someone who has never heard the saving message of the Gospel? Only God knows. Is there a way he can save them? He is a God of infinite mercy and has told us that he desires everyone to be save.
But I do know this - it is virtually impossible to live in our modern western world and not have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t think there is anyone you can meet who will truthfully tell you that they have not heard the name of Jesus Christ, the name by which all men must be saved. They will be judged by how much they understand and how actively they have resisted that name. It is not up to any of us to judge, thank God. But no one will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven who has not had their sin cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
There is just one little problem: How about people who never heard of Jesus Chirst? And what about all of the people who were born and died before His Birth, Death, and Reserection? Or those who were alive at that time but lived in other places (ie China, the Amarecas), when He walked the Earth?
Love the frog!!! :love::bounce::nun2: