[quote="Della, post:4, topic:296810"]
The Church considers all persons baptized with the trinitarian rite who intend what the Church intends by baptism as Christians. They have an imperfect union with the Church, but they are Christians. Your deacon ought to know this. Perhaps you misunderstood him--let's hope so. :)
As for the possible salvation of non-Christians the Church teaches this--from the Catechism:
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
So, you have no more reason to fear for your friends' salvation than you have for your own. ;) Depending on their denominations, what they do not have is all the sacraments, especially that of the Eucharist. Christ instituted the 7 sacraments to impart God's graces to us and to strengthen us in the battle against sin and evil. Your Protestant friends are innocent of deliberately rejecting the Church since they are ignorant of what it really is and what it teaches. In that, though, you can help them. :)
Reformulated positively:confused:. Does that in essence that for thousands of years the Church wallowed around in ignorance and negativity until this positive reformulation was fully developed?
If that is the case then every doctrine and dogma that we have could apparently be open to reformulation,either positive or negative, sometime in the future..
And what of those who are not in the least ignorant of the Catholic faith, which includes I would assume a pretty good number of Protestant and Orthodox believers as well as many non Christians, and who still actively and consciously reject the Catholic Church?
Or does it say that it really doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe in something?