The Sanctification of other denominational Christians

In Matthew 18: 20 Jesus says, where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.

Jesus only says within this passage that we have to only gather in His name to receive the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Do you believe that this passage applies to other denominational Christians besides Catholics? It is a powerful statement by Jesus by saying those who gather in his name he is with. What I’m asking is doesn’t this statement by Jesus validate other denominational Christians besides Catholics?

Having signed up for social justice when I was a young twenty…now I am 70 and having been injured during a desegregation process in the city I once lived… the local Baptist Church was the most helpful in getting me to a safe situation…and we did pray together In Jesus’ name

Not sure what you mean by “validate”. Catholic teaching is that all Christians are members of the Body of Christ. The divisions have separated Christians from each other but not completely - they are imperfectly joined. Yes, Jesus is with all Christians but that doesn’t mean that the wounds to the unity of the Church never happened or are insignificant.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses sanctification in non-Catholic Churches and ecclesial communities in paragraphs 817-819, especially 819:
819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.” (source)

Isn’t this contradictory, since the RCC claims there is no salvation outside of the RCC?

No, only to those who take a very narrow view of that often quoted phrase. Which is often quoted to show how draconian Catholics are and for other similar agendas.

Salvation comes through Christ. The Church is the body of Christ on earth, the mystical continuation of the Incarnation. To His body, the Church, Christ entrusted the authority to mediate His grace, His salvation, to the world. Thus all salvation flows from Christ through His Church to mankind. That being said, there are many, while not formal members of the visible Catholic Church, who are imperfectly joined to Her by virtue of their baptism or even baptism of desire.

He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. (John 20:21-23)

He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. (Luke 10:16)

*And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. *(Matthew 16:18-19)

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)

What I mean by validate is how other denominational Christians worship. The Catholic way is not the only way to worship. I know as a Catholic, myself, people who are Catholic tend to minimalize Protestantism by saying that parts or the whole way in which a Protestant worships is the wrong way to do it. However, Jesus says in this passage, without referring to rites, that he is present when 2 or 3 gather in his name; therefore he sanctifies any gathering within his name.

Yes I am a Catholic and I find it contradictory.

I wouldn’t call it draconian. I just call it misinterpretation as with a fanatical point of view.

I think Catholics should see Protestantism as being part of the Catholic faith. Like if Catholicism were the trunk of a tree, then the splinters of Protestantism should be on a sort of branches on the trunk of that tree. My point is with this whole topic is that Protestants should relate to Catholicism better, and vice versa. We’re all of the same Church.

What about when the disciples stopped a certain man from casting out demons and healing the sick because the disciples claimed he was not with them; and Jesus rebuked them by saying, He who is with me is not against me–something to that affect. Its like with Catholics and Protestants bickering about doctrine. They’re both together under the same Lord.

It applies to all Christians. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ! I have seen Catholic prayers answered, and non-Catholic Christian prayers answered. And vice versa! The Lord doesn’t ignore someone just because they aren’t Catholic. God bless friend.

Mark 9:38-39. That should help solve the question of denominational division :slight_smile:


Amen and amen!!


There is no one way to worship and there is nothing wrong with the way Protestants worship but it’s incomplete. It can still be holy (sanctified) without being complete.

You could go to a parish mission at your local Catholic parish, for example. You might have singing, scripture readings and inspiring speakers. It would have all of the elements you find in many Protestant services. And the Holy Spirit would surely be present.

BUT… afterwards, the Catholics would have Mass and Adoration and access to the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus would be truly (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) present. There is nothing to compare with that in Protestant worship services. The Real Presence isn’t there nor most of the Sacraments.

The other Christian forms of worship are validated for them since it’s the closest they can get without access to the Sacraments.

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