Question about people born in other religions

In the case of someone being raised as a religion that doesn’t worship god or raised as an atheist and they never find god(after being told about god but they don’t realize that god is the only true god) could they still be saved? :confused:

The short answer is “yes” they “could”.

Your question involves application of the concept of invincible (as opposed to vincible) ignorance. It gets complicated, and the devil is in the details, as they say.

Anyone alive has the capacity to be “saved”… I normally wouldn’t use the term saved.but in this case for this thread I do… There’s a well known quote from the Baha’i Writings revealed by Baha’u’llah:

“How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul’s ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire!”

~  Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 265

As always, the best resource for discussing what the Church teaches about any topic is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here are the paragraphs that deal with your question:

Possible salvation of non-Christians: #s 846-848.

“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

I don’t offer them to end discussion, but as a springboard for discussion. :tiphat:

I of course agree with this (the response above), as a Catholic. As a point of contrast, most protestant denominations would say “no” - especially those in the reformed tradition who focus on divine election and irresistible grace.



As a former member of the Assemblies of God I understand this, too. :slight_smile: We were certain that non-Christians couldn’t be saved, and more than that, that most liturgical Christians wouldn’t be saved. The kernel of this idea began with certain reformers, but there is no longer any rationale taught for it except except that doesn’t get people into their churches and thus “saved.” At least that was my experience of this kind of thinkng.

Even though they teach and preach that the grace and love of God has been poured out on all mankind through Christ’s redemptive act, they only apply it to those who “get saved” according to their definition of the term. All others are lost, as far as they’re concerned. Hence the great drive to proselytize them by any means necessary (the ends justifying the means), not simply evangelize them as we should do–in love and understanding.

According to the teaching of the RCC yes. In my words, you cannot be held responsible to someone you do not know nor understand.

Indeed. To put it another way, God does not hold people responsible for what they do not/cannot know.

Having written that, though, they are (as are we all) accountable to God for what they do know, as St. Paul wrote in Rom. 1:18-32. IOW, they have the natural law, which ought to prompt them to seek God and do what is right according to the grace he has given them.

Invincible Ignorance must apply to infants. So why is there such a big rush as catholics to baptize your children?

Because of the stain of original sin. And because we know we ought to baptize our children, therefore we are accountable before God for their spiritual welfare. Baptism isn’t just about cleansing sins or getting people initiated into the faith, it’s about enbuing them with God’s saving grace so they can have the Beautific Vision and not merely a natural happiness in eternity. The Church teaches that since we do not know the fate of unbaptized children who die, we leave them to God’s mercy. We do the same with any and all unbaptized persons (or those of the baptized, as well) since we cannot judge the state of their souls, only God can do that. It’s why we pray for the repose of the souls of all the dead, baptized and unbaptized alike. The unbaptized adults who are living according to the grace God gave them are termed “persons of goodwill” whose salvation we hope for, but cannot determine, as indeed we can determine no one’s salvation except the canonized saints.

Just because Catholics admit the possibility of salvation outside of the normative means provided by God doesn’t mean they should bank on it. You could ask the same question concerning adults: why does the Church evangelize adults? Why send missionaries to nations that have yet to hear the Gospel if invincible ignorance applies?

Yes, otherwise we would be committing the sin of presumption. Althougth God is merciful we are not to presume upon his mercy as if our cooperation with his mercy has nothing to do with it. We must choose to use the graces God gives us–even those who have never heard the Gospel. We can’t be slothful and think God will just overlook our sins/our rebellousness/our unwillingness to admit our need of him.

Can they be saved yes , but only if they trust Christ .
Keep the faith , Starwars :slight_smile:

It does, but it also only applies to “actual sin”, not original sin. That’s why the rush.

And how is that trust defined?

So the position of the church is that we do not know the fate of those who are not baptized but die in a state of II? Why doesn’t II cover original sin? Does it say this anywhere in tradition that I don’t have below?

“7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.”(Pius IX, QUANTO CONFICIAMUR MOERORE)

"“If, however, unbelief be taken just negatively, as in those who have heard nothing about the faith, it bears the character, not of fault, but of penalty, because their ignorance of divine things is the result of the sin of our first parents. Those who are unbelievers in this sense are condemned on account of other sins, which cannot be forgiven without faith; they are not condemned for the sin of unbelief.” (Summa, 2, 2, 10, 1)

The quote from the Summa may be what you are talking about, but it does seem to contradict what Pius says. I personally don’t care if it does I’m just pointing out they seem to be saying different things about the eternal destiny of the II. In this version though the II person is not condemned for original sin, but for the rest of there sins. This seems to be saying that their ignorance is a result of original sin and they are not condemned for the sin of unbelief. Unless I am reading this poorly.
By the way I understand this may read weird, but now I have spent an hour looking up references and don’t feel like rewriting everything,

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