My question is based on paragraph 847 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which says the following:
“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 attain eternal salvation.”
A friend says this means that for non-Catholic people who meet the three conditions in the above paragraph, they are NOT at a disadvantage as for as attaining eternal salvation goes, as compared to faithful, practicing, devout Catholics.
For convenience sake, I’ll brake down the above-quoted paragraph 847 into its three constituent elements:
(1) Through no fault of their own they do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church.
(2) They seek God with a sincere heart.
(3) Moved by grace, they try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience.
Again, my friends says that those who meet the above three conditions can be saved in any religion as easily as a Catholic can be saved in the Catholic Church.
I have been telling my friend that he is wrong. I have been telling him that the correct teaching of the Church is that it is **POSSIBLE **for non-Catholics to attain eternal salvation, but that it is always **MORE DIFFICULT **to attain eternal salvation outside of the Catholic Church, since persons outside the Church do not have all the sacraments of the Catholic Church and all the true teachings of the Catholic Faith.
Here’s my question for this Forum. Can anyone provide me/us with **quotations from official Church documents **issued since the time of the Second Vatican Council that show that either my friend is correct or that I am correct. I am not looking for personal opinions on this issue, but quotes from official Church documents since 1962 that clearly and unambiguously answer this question.