Reconciling salvation for my friends


I have avoided this question for a while now even though it’s been nagging me. I have a lot of friends who are Catholic and non-practicing or aren’t Catholic but they’re all still really great people (otherwise I wouldn’t be spending my time with them!), and even some celebrities I can think of who really try to make a difference but aren’t Catholic, and I can’t logically accept that they would be sent to hell just because they didn’t worship God in the Catholic Church every Sunday.

By NO means am I discrediting our practices or worship, but I just want to know what will happen to them and
a) If they, hypothetically, would be sent to hell for not worshiping as a Catholic and practicing The Faith, then I would have issues with a God that jealous of His Creation (as I’m sure most of us would!)
b) If they, again hypothetically, are granted salvation from damnation…what’s the point of even practicing as a Catholic as long as you’re a good person?

I guess the big one question summary of all this is: How can I feel that my level of spirituality is not meaningless when I believe that my God will look Mercifully upon the souls of good non-Catholic and non-practicing Catholic souls at Judgment?



read this decree from Pope Eugenius in his Bull Cantate Domino in 1441.

“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics (protestants) and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

then look at the Salvation section on the main page of this site, and then clear your mind and pray to God to help you accept these Divine Truths. Your friends can gain salvation if they remain in ignorance, but if they dont, (and they shouldnt, you should be evangelizing them) and then reject the Dogmas outright, then their reward will be eternal damnation. This is not the act of a jealous God, this is their own fault. God sends no one to Hell. We choose to go there on our own. Unfortunately, many peole are choosing that wrong path.

God Bless, St. Michael Pray for us.


Your instinct is correct. God will not condemn anyone simply because they are, through no fault of their own, not Catholic.

For a more modern understanding of the Church’s important teaching on “Outside the Church there is no salvation” please read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 846-848, or the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, question 171.


The surest way to heaven is to be a practicing Catholic who lives his Faith. Anyone who is convinced and therefore knows the Catholic Church is the true Church and refuses to join it is in a lot of trouble.
Now where that leaves those who are Catholics and are not living it I don’t know, but I would be praying that they get squared away before passing on. Those of us who are born into Catholic families and grow up in the Faith are given much and as Scripture has it “From those who have been given much, much is expected.” Your Faith is the most important possession you have, even surpassing your life in value. :slight_smile:


Just to clarify official church teaching

This is what St Augustine says on the matter:
“The apostle Paul said, ‘As for a man that is a heretic, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him’ [Titus 3:10]. But those who maintain their own opinion, however false and perverted, without obstinate ill will, especially those who have not originated the error of bold presumption, but have received it from parents who had been led astray and had lapsed . . . those who seek the truth with careful industry and are ready to be corrected when they have found it, are not to be rated among heretics” (*Letters *43:1 [A.D. 412]).
When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body. . . . All who are within [the Church] in heart are saved in the unity of the ark (ibid., 5:28[39]).

from the Cathecism of the catholic church

                How are we to understand this affirmation "Outside the Church, no salvation"], often repeated by the Church Fathers? 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
(CCC 846).

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 (CCC 847).


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