What does the Church teaches about someone like Gandhi?


#1

On one side, I hear that there is no salvation outside of church.
On another side, I hear about invincible ignorance, where you may be saved even though you are not in the church.

Now, I believe that Gandhi was a very Holy man, maybe holier than many christians. Yet, he probably did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Please help me see clearer.


#2

Invincible ignorance means that you were of the attitude that IF you knew that God wanted you to be a member of the church, you would be a member. Since you are ignorant of this desire on God’s part, you are a member of the church by desire; the desire to do the will of God.


#3

ok, from my understanding, Gandi professed to believe in all the religions w/in India, including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. He based much of his politics upon the religious sentiments of his people. So, where does that put him in relation to the church?
Lil’


#4

You have to understand the social and cultural milue Gandhi lived in. He had many christian friends. the Sermon on the Mount was one of his favorite readings, but he spoke mainly to hindus, it was their freedom he was working for, devoted his life to. he wore only a lion cloth to show his solidarity with the poor, ate the most frugal of meals, travelled only by foot or in thirdh class compartments. His life work was the freedom of the Indian people. Prayer and God were a part, a big part of his life, but not the most importent part of it. Also you must remember christianity was the religion of the conquerors from whom the country was to be freed. he would never have embraced christianity, even if he felt, and he did, it’s attraction. he deliberately subjugated that attraction to what he thought was his goal in life. It will be only for God to judge him we cannot.


#5

No, Gandhi was not a Holy man. He betrayed Subsh Chandra Bose (a topmost Indian freedom fighter and also the founder of Indian National Army) for independence. Once his speech Gandhi said, I like Christianity not Christians. Moreover when he died he said, Hai Ram.
In Christ,
Selvaraj


#6

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 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.336
847 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.337
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm


#7

[quote=IesusDeus]On one side, I hear that there is no salvation outside of church.
On another side, I hear about invincible ignorance, where you may be saved even though you are not in the church.

.
[/quote]

The Catholic Church makes claims about herself that are easily misunderstood, especially in the modern atmosphere of pluralism and ecumenism. Among these claims, the most fundamental is the doctrine of the Church’s necessity for salvation. Not unlike other dogmas of the faith, this one has seen some remarkable development, and the dogmatic progress has been especially marked since the definition of papal infallibility. It seems that as the Church further clarified her own identity as regards the papacy and collegiality, she also deepened (without changing) her self-understanding as the mediator of salvation to mankind.
ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ315.HTM


#8

Thanks, I think that I understand …

From your link:

Thomas Aquinas restated the constant teaching about the general necessity of the Church. But he also conceded that a person may be saved extra sacramentally by a baptism of desire and therefore without actual membership by reason of his at least implicit desire to belong to the Church.

It would be inaccurate, however, to look upon these two traditions as in opposition. They represent the single mystery of the Church as universal sacrament of salvation, which the Church’s magisterium has explained in such a way that what seems to be a contradiction is really a paradox.


#9

I would just like to warn everyone that we cannot assume that anyone is invincibly ignorant. There is a level of ignorance that is not invincible. Only God is fit to judge it. We are to assume as people charged with making disciples of all nations that no one is actually invincibly ignorant. Regardless of their knowledge of the gospel, we are charged to teach it in its fullest.


#10

[quote=KBarn]I would just like to warn everyone that we cannot assume that anyone is invincibly ignorant. There is a level of ignorance that is not invincible. Only God is fit to judge it. We are to assume as people charged with making disciples of all nations that no one is actually invincibly ignorant. Regardless of their knowledge of the gospel, we are charged to teach it in its fullest.
[/quote]

To come back to the first question, what about a man like Gandhi then? he knew the teachings of Jesus, he was not ignorent. He deliberately ignored this ‘call’ for the sake of his mission.


#11

I cannot think of any case that is more troubling to me than that of Gandhi. I know that he was aware of Christianity. I also know that he rejected the idea of conversion. Yet he was a remarkable leader, &, I believe a great man.
I think that perhaps we have here something that we need to think about praying more for people like this. There are others who reject any form of Christian faith…
I also think, though, that we have to be careful not to stand in judgement on anyone who did so much good in his life. But I, too, am haunted by the fact that he called out to a false god at the moment of death…


#12

Thank you, participants on this thread. You made it interesting.


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