Question regarding salvation and Catholic beliefs

I am posting this in a sincere manner, so please do not take offense.

I was born, raised and baptized as a protestant. Many (I dare say, all) of my “issues” with the Catholic church stemmed from a lack of knowledge, not facts…

Additionally, my largest issue with the Catholic church, I also share with most Protestants (that is, I also had the issue with most all protestant church’s).

Therefore, in reading the posts here, it seems most of the “debate” is over the doctrine of purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, the state of Saints, Holy Tradition and the practice of celibate priests… Plus other similar topics that I may have missed.

However, what issues do you have (as a Protestant, Jew or Muslim) with the Catholic church (that would not be part of Christianity as a whole) that you feel would directly affect your Salvation? And why?

For example, most of my problem with the Catholic church (which is not generally shared by Protestants) was that over the seventh-day Sabbath. This was a salvation issue, by the way I was raised. However, I do not feel the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, or purgatory and the like, are as much issues of Salvation as they are Revelations of Truth as held by the Catholic church (please correct me if I’m stating this incorrectly).

If you do feel they are issues of Salvation, what are those issues, and why?

Again, I’m am bringing this question forth in all sincerity. I really would like to know what those beliefs are so I can better understand my own faith.

Thank-you! :slight_smile:

I am not entirely certain what it is you are asking. Are you asking protestants what problems they see in their understanding of Catholic teachings?

Are you asking specifically about the Immaculate Conception and Purgatory? If so, what about them is it that you are seeking?


I am asking non-Catholic’s what it is in Catholicism they see that would keep them from Salvation if they were to take the label “Catholic”.

In other words… I’m religion “A” and I will not become religion “B” because of specific reason “X” that will take away the salvation I now hold in religion “A”.

Problems understanding or accepting a teaching, in my eyes, is quite different from thinking that one will lose salvation because of “acceptance” of said teaching.

Does that make any more sense? :slight_smile: I apologize for the confusion!

I think I follow you in this statement…but since if one is to follow Christ, rejecting these Revelations of His is to reject Him, and could compromise your salvation, depending on your disposition and understanding that these are indeed divinely revealed truths.

I am not disagreeing with you, but this is from the inside (as a Catholic) looking out… Coming from a Protestant (or non-Catholic) perspective, this stance would not be shared.

That is to say, because (from a Catholic standpoint) rejecting said Revelations are a compromise of salvation is not the same as looking from the outside in, and saying (from a non-Catholic standpoint) that accepting said Revelations are likewise, a compromise of salvation.

Hi KJK and welcome to the forums -

I have been a Catholic my whole life, so I cannot come at your questions from a convert’s perspective.

Given that, one thing you state here, i.e. "I’m religion “A” and I will not become religion “B” because of specific reason “X” that will take away the salvation I now hold in religion “A”, needs a little redressing.

For someone to come from a Protestant tradition and become Catholic, or any other denomination for that matter, is NOT to change religions. In all cases one remains a Christian and simply refocuses one’s belief structure a bit.

In answer to Marian doctrine and the issue of salvation, I have asked this question myself of several clergy and the only answer I’ve received is, “As a Catholic you need to believe it,” which I do.

This, of course, leaves open the issue of salvation whether or not one believes the Marian doctrine (dogma).

I am a member of the Catholic apostlate, The Legion of Mary. I have an ever firming relationship with Mary and find that she is a great source of my ability to have faith in her Son. In my relationship with her I have more confidence in my approach to her Son, knowing that He respects my relationship with her.

In essence, I feel stronger and more sure of salvation because of her, for she leads me to her son along a sure path.

Catholics do not believe in assurance of salvation, as Free Will Baptists do, for instance. So building relationships with these people who are already with God in heaven, especially Mary, gives us at least *reassurance *of salvation.

I have never been taught, nor have I ever seen, anything in the Catholic Church that states definitively that belief in the Marian doctrines or dogmas is a requirement for salvation. Maybe someone here on the forums can enlighten this issue a bit more.

As far as other christian religions, the Catholic Church states that God’s grace exists in them, so salvation is available to them. This strongly suggests that Marian doctrines are not required for salvation, in essence because the Marian doctrines do not exist within them (save for the Eastern Churches). But, as a Catholic, I hold in my heart that they are true.


Thank-you for your response, and I appreciate your stance on the Marian doctrine… Quite fascinating indeed!

However, coming from a Protestant “tradition” and becoming Catholic, can be MUCH more than refocusing one’s belief structure a “bit.”

There’s eternal life on the line here… Let me give you some brief examples, of what I went through dealing with the Catholic church…

*]The Eucharist is blasphemy toward heaven {GC 59.2}
*]Holding (obligatory) mass on Sunday is blasphemy, and ultimately the mark that you have sided against God. {GC88 573.1}
*]Life (of any kind) after death (until the resurrection) is non-existant. {GC88 550.1}
*]The Catholic Church (primarily the Roman pontiff) is essentially going to be responsible for the persecution of religious rights {GC88 581.1}

I could easily go on… :slight_smile:

But, with all that… there were just a couple key points, that once I accepted them, the rest came with it… The other issues that I once debated so hard (purgatory, celibate priests, etc). fell into perspective.

Here’s what I’m getting at, in my personal opinion, many of the issues that are discussed so hard within this forum are over issues of semantics. Those on opposing sides are never going to agree until there’s a common set of rules. Which is ultimately never going to happen until the non-Catholic accepts the Catholic (just picking one direction here, it can go either way) way of viewing Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition and Divine Revelation, among other things.

So in other words, aren’t there much larger topics we can work together on, rather than debating the same old things to death, which we know before hand, we are never going to agree about?

Nobody comes out winning, we all waste our time, and there’s no Glory to God in any of it, again, my opinion!


Hi, K;

Ultimately, for me, it was a matter of authority.

Who has authority? How does one get authority? What is authority? How is it passed from God to human beings, and from person to person?

Once I knew the answers to these questions, it became strikingly clear that the Catholic Church is the only one with the authority to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another thing I know for a fact is that God does not give authority without also expecting us to obey that authority. So once I realized that the Catholic Church is the only Church with the authority to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I realized that I have a duty to God as a Christian to believe and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Five months later, I was Catholic. :slight_smile:

Bingo, totally agree!

So then, until someone recognizes and/or accepts that, is there any point of discussing anything else regarding Catholic “beliefs”?

It turns into a circular argument otherwise, no?

I’ve been on both sides, as it sounds like you have. So I’m trying to look at both sides as objectively as possible.

I think there’s much more to discussing the “big” differences (and referring back to them over and over if needbe) than arguing over whether Purgatory exists as a place or concept (just picking a topic for example). :slight_smile:

Well, I think it’s useful to know what it is that we are supposed to believe. I always learn a lot for myself when researching these discussions and looking at what other people have found out, as well. The objector almost becomes kind of like an exam question - whether or not he is ultimately convinced becomes secondary - the interesting part is what we are learning as we attempt to answer his objections.

Of course, it gets tedious when he keeps reciting the same objections. One is tempted to tell him to get to the next question, already, so that we can study something new. :smiley:

I completely agree again.

However, as you also stated, I think there’s a time to stop.

I think there are two kinds of folks who come onto this specific board to ask questions…

  1. Those who are truly looking for an answer
  2. Those who are wanting a debate for the sake of debate

I think it is easy to figure out, after the first couple rounds, which is which. After that point, it starts making everyone (the questioner and the answerer (don’t you love my English)) look rather foolish.

I guess that’s why I am sincere in my original question… as to what issues are literal salvation/mortal/moral/eternal life/however you want to put it belief, that the Catholic church holds as a doctrine/dogma, etc. that you (generic) feel (as a non-Catholic) that would keep you from being a Catholic. You don’t have to be looking to convert here, but I know there’s gotta be some bigger issues going on than some of the things I see thrown around here. :slight_smile:

Then maybe we can look at the root of the problems, rather than going in circular conversations about the misunderstanding of whether priests should be married or not (again, just picking a random issue). :slight_smile:

I’d also like to quickly add, that the issues that form a continual “debate” can easily come from both the Catholic and non-Catholic side within this forum… So I’m not trying to address non-Catholic’s specifically here… however, since this is at its root a Catholic forum, and this is specifically a non-Catholic forum within that root… We are to assume that those visiting here and posting questions would be either non-Catholic’s asking questions regarding Catholicism or Catholic’s asking questions regarding Protestantism, Muslim or Judaism. Just a guess. :slight_smile:

I really liked your blog. I truly believe you were called by Jesus.

Ok, maybe I’m misunderstanding (I’m sure you’ll let me know :smiley: ), but here goes. There is nothing in the Catholic faith that I, as a Lutheran believe would cause me to lose salvation were I to convert. You believe in the Trinity, the expressions of faith as stated in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, in the saving nature of Baptism, and the Eucharist. You believe in justification by grace through faith (we can argue about sanctification some other time). You believe that… John 3:16.
While we have disagreements, I don’t see Catholics as damned, so neither would I be were I to convert. But, I also don’t believe I have lost salvation by remaining Lutheran.

There is nothing in the Catholic Church which makes me think that, if I was to become Catholic, I would not be saved.

I do have some major disagreements with the Catholic Church, so I’m not planning on becoming Catholic anytime soon.

I’m not sure that the Catholic Church would consider my Protestant self as possibly saved, though. It all seems very iffy in that case.

That perspective is good and true. Catholics have much in common with Lutherans.

However, I would like to hear from some other Protestant groups, like Baptist, Pentecostal, Fore Square, Nazarene, and so on, that tend to be less liturgical than a Lutheran or Presbyterian.

I go to a Foursquare church. See my post above yours. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure exactly how the Foursquare denomination views it. I’m guessing most of them would agree with that when it comes down to it, though the whole works thing might add some confusion. They would probably fall into the “if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ you are saved regardless of denomination” group. I haven’t specifically asked anyone about this though.

That quote is in the “Non-Christian Religion” section of the Catechism.

Does the Catholic Church think Protestants belong to a different religion?

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