Really having issues with Protestants go to hell..Catholic view on this?

My Mom and Dad are really wonderful Christians, but I was reading a post earlier that said true salvation comes from only the church :confused: …so do Catholics believe that Protestants go to hell even if they believe in Christ?



Of course not. The Church teaches that only God can know the heart, and only He can judge. Only He knows who is worthy of eternity with Him, and who is worthy to be without.

We say that there is no salvation outside the One Church founded by Christ because there is no salvation outside of Christ, and He is one with His Holy Bride, the Church. We know that not all those He saves are visibly members of His One Body, but we trust that they are grafted into Him, and therefore, members of His One Body, the Church.

If your parents are baptized they ARE in the Church! :wink:

Catholics Protestants other and non believers can all go to hell if they reject God’s mercy. Hell’s an equal opportunity eternity.

I think your question is, are non Catholics excluded from heaven.

The question is a time waster, one of those useless conversations that bear nothing but argument according to Paul. What needs to be focused on is the need to spread to word to unbelievers and our brothers and sisters in the faith, with the same love as Jesus did when He revealed himself.

Some Protestants will go to hell. Some Protestants will go to heaven. God is the judge of all mankind.

For those Protestants who do go to heaven, they are saved through the Church in a way we don’t understand yet. All salvation comes through the Church. For those who are unaware that the Catholic Church is the ONE Church that Jesus built, Jesus will hold them accountable for what they did know, and how they responded to God.

That said, we shouldn’t leave Protestants alone, or anyone outside the Church because they MAY be saved. Salvation is guaranteed through the Church if we follow His commands. It is not guaranteed to those outside the Church. Plus it is much easier to respond to God’s grace through the sacraments, especially when we have Confession.

The Church echoes St John of the Cross in the Catechism, “At the evening of life we shall be judged on our love”.
This is the most basic of her teachings. God established a Church to “get us there”, to help accomplish communion between man and God as was always intended as the right order of things, so that He may accomplish in us a transformation, into His image, so that we may be justified, possessing His justice aka “love”. That Church subsists in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, separate “lungs” of the one Church as I believe Pope Emeritus Benedict put it.

As our creeds attest to, God established only *one *Church- more would promote confusion and be superfluous anyway. So any other “churches” within Christianity actually fall under the authority of that one Church, whether or not they acknowledge that authority and however imperfectly they may be united to her and the fullness of truth which she possesses. The bare minimum for that unity is that a person be baptised according to the formula that the Church has always recognized as valid. And even that baptism can be lacking, depending on the level of a person’s knowledge/ ignorance as God may override His own sacraments or formal ways of dealing with man at His discretion.

IOW, if we’re Christians then we’re all members of the one, same, Church.

A lot of Protestants love and honor God to the full extent. They do not deserve hell just because they are Protestant.

A Protestant will go to Heaven if they are validly baptized, are inculpably ignorant (don’t doubt the truth of their false religion), and lead lives of innocence (commit no mortal sin, or at least have perfect contrition for mortal sin). It is not impossible for a Protestant to go to Heaven, but it is extremely difficult. Pray for your parents to convert.

Anyone CAN go to heaven.

But only the Catholic church has been handed the keys.

Only the Catholic church can shorten your stay in purgatory if you are fortunate enough to go there.

In short, being Catholic is in all of our best interest.

Baptism alone does not make one a member of the Church any more than faith alone justifies (although the baptism of heretics does in some sense unite them, imperfectly, to the Church); nor do we presume that all the baptized are “good to go.” We can surely hope, but should not presume.

To Confiteor’s good answer, I would only add that inculpable ignorance would seem also to include having done one’s duty to know the truth. One could have no doubts about his false religion, but be culpably ignorant because he neglected or refused opportunities given him to learn the truth.

I disagree with you again. A lot of Protestants love God just as much as Catholics. I admire Evangelical Protestantism a lot. Do you think most of them go to hell?

Principles to drive into the heart before considering these questions…

  1. God loves any given person more than I do.
  2. God knows any given person more than I do.
  3. God is more merciful than I am.
  4. God is more just than I am.
  5. What is impossible for one to do he is not punished for not doing.
  6. One is always bound to follow his conscience, even when it’s wrong.
  7. One is bound to form his conscience and religious knowledge according to his ability.
  8. God binds Himself to the Sacraments but has not limited Himself to them.
  9. Hell is continually chosen by those persons who occupy it.
  10. Nobody in Heaven pities those in Hell.
  11. Hell is not one size fits all but is according to one’s faults and graces.
  12. Limbo can be considered as Hell, even though it is physically pleasant, because it excludes the Beatific Vision.
  13. Whatever God does is good.
  14. It is generally unwise to judge souls as anything but in need of prayer.

Now we can start to get a grip on the principle, “There is no salvation outside the Church.”

People usually disagree with me, so I’m used to it. :slight_smile:

We may think a Protestant is worthy of Heaven, but God may very well know otherwise since only He can see the true state of their soul. I believe it is rare for an adult Protestant to go to Heaven. It is quite difficult to be inculpably ignorant and innocent of all mortal sin as a Protestant, especially when they lack the Sacraments. It happens, but it isn’t common.

Here is what the Catechism says on salvation

you might be thinking of paragraph 846**

**As to your other question, let’s not overlook what Jesus commands. He’s NOT making a suggestion. John 17:20-23

[FONT=&quot]While Satan is busy sifting, people don’t have to g[FONT=&quot]ive in to his sifting.[/FONT]

[quote=Ad Orientem]Baptism alone does not make one a member of the Church

The CCC: 1273 Incorporated into the Church by Baptism, the faithful have received the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian religious worship.


1277 Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.

Yes, I know that baptism makes us members of the Church. Note the use of the word “alone” in my post above. See Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3 on this point.

To be clear, I do not say that the baptism of heretics is invalid, but that if having valid baptism were alone generally sufficient for our salvation, then the Lord would not have provided a Church with six other sacraments and other means of sanctification.

According to the catechism Baptism justifies us-there’s nothing between us and heaven at that point. The “problem” comes after that, since struggle with sin/concupiscence is inevitable and our faith/baptismal vows will surely be tested. But this testing is also a refining-where we can grow in even more justice that than which is infused in us at Baptism. Or we can lose it, falling back away from God and into sin. So both are true; Baptism is sufficient-and yet we must remain in that state of grace, in communion with God, or we lose what we had gained in which case our Baptism alone will not suffice. Repentance, a turning back to God, is necessary.

Protestants tend to be very good at serving God though.

True, but who is “us”? I think it’s referring generally to those baptized in the Catholic Church. What do you make of St. Gregory the Great on this point, Denz. 249?

Thank you. I almost did that last night but I fell asleep!

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