Religious indifference?

I need help with a question some Catholic friends have raised. They are asserting that as long as a person practices love, is moral, and a “good” person it doesn’t matter what they believe. My daughter has met a young man who is Mormon. My friends say he is one of the nicest young men they have ever met and it wouldn’t matter if my daughter became Mormon. I believe that she would be condemning herself if she left the Church, especially for a non-Christian religion.

I know there is a name for the error my friends are committing but I don’t know what it is. Help me to show them their error. I don’t think my daughter would become involved with this young man if she didn’t think he would consider converting. I talked with her last night and she really has a good head on her shoulders.

Ah, if only Catholics represented their faith as well as Mormons. I have never known a Mormon that I didn’t admire and respect.

There are some reasons that a Catholic may (and should) leave the Church and not incur condemnation. If a Catholic becomes firmly and sincerely convinced that the Church is false, and has exercised due diligence in prayer, study, and inquiry but is still convinced, then this person is obliged to leave the Church. (IMHO, one of the problems the modern Church has is that many of these types of people have NOT left.)

But meeting a nice boy of another faith does not rise to this criteria.

It is possible that your daughter could marry this boy without either person converting (with a dispensation for disparity of cult, and with some preconditions that the groom must agree to). But the Church advises against such marriages, for many valid reasons (and the Mormon church likewise advises against such unions).

C. S. Lewis in MERE CHRISTIANITY had something to say about this matter in the chapter “Nice People or New Men?”

While a person can be saved without being formally Catholic, someone who rejects the Catholic faith with sufficient knowledge of the Church’s truth compromise their chances. For Jesus Christ is Truth itself (John 14:6) and being “polite” while actively rejecting the Catholic Church isn’t going to cut it. There is no dichotomy between truth and love (which is also Jesus, 1 Jn 4:8).

In other words, if one adheres to Mormon teaching that conflicts with Catholic teaching, one has abandoned Christ Himself, the only source of salvation.

Irenicisim is the heresy you describe.

There are several good books about the dangers of the Mormon religion. One is called something like “Out of Mormonism” or something like that.

I suggest reading the declaration from the CDF Dominus Iesus with your daughter.

You are correct. It does matter and she would be committing a grave sin by rejecting the Church and Sacraments.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit