What is the Catholic stance on non-Trinity sects of Christianity?

I was just wondering what the official Catholic stance is on sects of Christianity, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc.

I’ll use Jehovah’s Witnesses as an example since, of those sects, that’s the one I know the most about. Jehovah’s Witnesses accept that Jesus died for our sins and they follow His teachings and such. However, they do not accept that Jesus is 1/3 of the Trinity, but is instead the archangel Michael.

I’ve been told that Catholics believe that not all non-Christians go to Hell, and as long as you follow what you sincerely believe to be Jesus’s teachings (or to live as much like Jesus), you still have a shot at Heaven. But what about sects like Jehovah’s Witnesses? They sincerely believe and follow Jesus’s teachings, they just don’t believe that He is God like we do. So, where does that leave them?

Further, are they to be considered Christians, like the Protestants are? Or are they something else entirely?

Those who do not believe God is Trinity are not Christians just like Muslims, Jews, Hindis and Buddhists. It doesn’t mean they’re bad in anyway, just that they don’t know Who God is. God looks at and judges the heart. Who He saves or doesn’t is up to Him. No one is saved except through Jesus whether the person being saved knew that in this life or not.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed considered “Christians”–a Christian denomination or sect-- by the rest of the world (and standard dictionaries and encyclopedias, etc).

If a group follows the teachings of Christ, they are pretty much therefore Christian.
It may be a different interpretation of his words than other denominations, but still…he’s their guy.

They are usually classified as ‘pseudo-Christian’. They use the Bible but don’t have the same understanding of God.

The Catholic Church alone claims to have infallibility and indefectibility,which pretty much spells out what their stance is on any opposing belief.They(JW)do not follow the teachings of Christ,for if they did,they’d be Catholics.God has infused in every man "Natural Religion,"in a word:they have the Ten Commandments embedded in them,“primal instincts” if you like,where to know right from wrong,e.g.it’s wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to mistreat children,etc.If you are non-Catholic and have not been brought to the truth of Catholicism,but keep "Natural Religion"as best you can,you can be saved.It is virtually impossible to be saved outside of the Church established by Christ,however,it is possible.

Personally, because they think Jesus is the Archangel Michael, I don’t know how the JWs can be considered Christians since Jesus Christ, to them, never existed. JWs don’t believe he rose from the dead but what difference does that make since they’re talking about an angel.
I don’t believe they follow Christ’s teachings. No Trinity, no Jesus Christ, 144,000 will go to heaven, no sacraments. Heretics.

Well, the Holy Fathers in 325 (please, correct me if I am in error) came up with this:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only-begotten;
that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father
By whom all things were made both in heaven and earth;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
He suffered, and on the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.

But those who say: ‘There was a time when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable’ - they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church

The OP was asking about the Catholic view, not Mirriam Webster’s. :slight_smile:

The Church considers that Christians are those who have, at a minimum, received the Sacrament of Baptism. Because these groups do not have Sacramental Baptism, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they are not Christians in the way the Church defines it.

Interestingly, since the JW in particular, have aggressive prostelityzing efforts in Latin America, many JW’s are, in fact baptised Catholics. Many current JWs bring thier children back to the Church for Baptism and FHC.

But as a group, theologically, JWs, Mormans and some “Jesus-only” evangelicals are not Christians, as the Church defines the term.

This would include the oneness pentecostal movement which does not believe in the trinity. Since they as well as JW and Mormons do not baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they are not Christian. The oneness movement does not believe in baptizing in the trinity but “in the name of Jesus”. Baptisms done this way are not considered a valid sacramental baptism. The CAtholic church does recognize Protestant baptisms done in the trinity as valid Christian baptisms.

good explanation :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I left the rest of the answer to you, Corki, because I know you take great pleasure answering questions like that in detail.
But I gave her some information just in case the current pope’s view was similar to other Christians, non-Christians, and the “official” definition for much of the rest of the world.
And if it isn’t, the OP may still have interest in being informed more expansively.

No, DG. JWs are not considered Christians. :nope:

Lest you accuse me of proclaiming only the Catholic POV, here’s a very anti-Catholic website that agrees with us on this point: JWs are not Christians.

There are no sects of Catholicism. Non Catholic gatherings are properly called ecclesiastical communities.

It makes me wonder what they think of Christ’s command: “go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

It doesn’t really get any clearer than that.

Not entirely true. Your Church officially calls the Assyrian Church of the East, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church ‘Churches’

They are Catholic and recognize the Pope.

The Catholic Church, as far as I know, considers all of the above as really one Church under the Catholic umbrella, recognizing apostolic succession and valid sacraments. This cannot be said for the Protestant “churches”. I think the idea is that Christ started only one Church, therefore there can not be Christian “churches”, but only one Church.

The Catholic Church does not consider JW or Mormonism as Christian. A main reason is their lack of belief in the Trinity although I think there are other reasons as well.

No, none of those groups are in communion with the bishop of Rome.

I think buffalo used the word recognize, not follow. They do recognize the Pope even if they reject his universal authority.

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