Being Catholic does not gurantee you salvation either. Obejectively speaking, the fullness of truth resides in the Catholic Church. Therefore, it should be eaiser for a Catholic to work for their salvation, because the Catholic has more to work with. However, there is a difference between objective reality and subjective reality. Many Catholics don’t make good use of the fullness of truth to which they have access. This is beyond the Church’s control.
At the same time, een the Catholic Church teaches that the Reformation communities retain enough of their Catholic origins that God can use them as a means of salvation.
Again, this is an objective statement, not a subjective one. For God to use the Reformaton communities as a means of salvation the individual must make use of those truths that are available to him or her. If he or she does not, then he doesn’t stand a chance.
Basically what John Pau II was saying is that there Reformation communities receive their means to salvation from the Catholic Church, because they are still linked to the Catholic Church as long as they maintain those Catholic elements that their founders took with them when they left the Church. John Paul II is being consistent with there is not salvation outside the Catholic Church. What he is pointing out to is that you can find Catholicism in many other ecclesial communities. Therefore, the spirit of Christ, because it is merciful, makes use of thoese bits and pieces of Catholicism found in other communities.
People are not saved because they believe in Martin Luther’s teachings on Predestination. But a Lutheran can be saveed because he believes in the Paschal Mystery, lives according the the Commandments, lives according to scriputure. practices love of God and neighbor, is repentant for his sins and does penance for them, because all of these things are rooted in Catholicism. Martin Luther didn’t event them. He took them with him.
John Paul II was talking about the entire Reformation community, not the individuals. The individuals have to live up to a certain set of moral standards whether it be within the Catholic Church or one of the other faith communities. They have to live up to the moral standards set forth in the scriptures and taught by the Church.
The highest moral standard is that we love God above all things and our neighor as ourselves. When a non Catholic rejects Catholicism based on the belief that to be a Catholic would be offensive to God, what he is doing is trying to be faithful to God, trying to love God, which the Church recognizes as the highest commandment.
“You shall love your God above all things and your neighbor as yourself.”
The fulness of revelation subsides in the Catholic Church, but the ability to love God above all things and neighbor as self is not a Catholic monopoly. There is a difference here.
In charity we should want everyone to know the fullness of truth.
Also in charity and mercy, we should never judge a person for trying to do what they believe is the will of God. We can judge their judgement, but not their soul.