Where do souls of non-Christian go after they die?


No, your logic doesn’t follow.

Let’s say you & I both say our favorite musician is Mozart.

But when we both listen to pieces, you are able to correctly identify the name of the piece, what it was written for (ie for Mass, an Opera, etc) and I consistently get everything wrong does that mean that Mozart isn’t my favorite musician?

No. It simply means that you know Mozart better than I do.

It’s the same with the Muslims because they say they worship the God of Abraham. The Jews, Christians & Muslims all profess to worship the God of Abraham, and it’s true that we all do. However, we have a different understanding of who He is.

Now, the same thing could NOT be said about the Buddhists for example because even if they said they believe in the one true god, they would say they do NOT believe in the God of Abraham.

The one true God is the God of Abraham.

Furthermore, the Muslims actually beleive in the Virgin Birth of Jesus. The Muslims rever Mary.

From my point of view, Muslims do beleive in the One True God, however, Islam is really another of the great heresies - a greater heresy than Protestantism.

I pray this makes sense.

God Bless


They might go to hell (Sheol or Hades) but not burn in Hell (Gehenna)


The problem is not that the Catholic Church is difficult to decipher. Not at all. The problem is that many, notably many on this forum, do not embrace the documents of Vatican II and the teachings of Pope Saint John XXIII, Pope Saint Paul VI, Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

As the Council Fathers said at Vatican II, the reunification of Christians was a divine imperative that they clearly understood was central to the Church’s 21st ecumenical council. Their decisions and their initiatives charted a new path for the Catholic Church and left to the past what needed to be consigned the past.

We just jointly commemorated the Reformation with our Lutheran Sisters and Brothers – and actually, other Reformed Christians, too. This would have been unthinkable in the mindset before the Council. That mindset is done, thankfully. We live in a new era.

Pope Benedict went to Erfurt specifically to visit, as Pope, places associated with Martin Luther and commemorate him with Lutheran Christians – for we acknowledge him today as a “Witness of the Gospel” and as a “Witness of Jesus Christ.”

In the months since Pope Francis went to Lund, the Cathedral for the [Lutheran] Church of Sweden has opened its doors to the Catholic community to celebrate Mass in the cathedral.

Understanding where the Catholic Church is today, 2019, on ecumenism and interfaith dialogue is not to be found by looking at documents from the distant past. It is found in contemporary teaching – from the Council Fathers of Vatican II and the Popes including and following Saint John XXIII.


First, we must look to what the Council Fathers said in Unitatis Redintegratio:

all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

They belong to Christ. They are in a state of impaired communion with the Catholic Church — and we with them. Nevertheless, they belong to Christ’s body. IF such a Christian becomes Catholic they are “received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church” precisely because they already have a state of imperfect communion with the Catholic Church because they belong to Christ’s body.

Baptism of Blood does not involve dying for the Catholic faith…it involves dying for Christ. This is exemplified by why there are Orthodox martyrs, Anglican martyrs, Lutheran martyrs, and so forth. Actually, this is one of the great impetuses to the ecumenical movement, for we acknowledge that it was by the action of the Holy Spirit that these martyrs gave supreme witness to Christ.

Lumen Gentium quite well explains the relationships that non-Catholics as well as non-Christians have with the Church.


With all due respect Father has not said I was wrong.


First I will certainly go through thoroughly the three documents you directed me to an your earlier post.

Regarding the part of your post which I have bolded does it mean that unless such a Christian is received into “Full Communion with the Catholic Church” by becoming Catholic they will not be saved if they die in an “imperfect communion” with the Church?


The Church has to walk a fine line between the fact that God loves everyone and wants them all in Heaven, and the fact that there isn’t any salvation except through the Catholic Church. The Church is also trying to teach about something that we have very limited information about, namely who exactly goes to Heaven. Other than canonized saints, and probably children below the age of reason (who are not capable of committing a grave sin), we have no idea who exactly is in Heaven.

The fact that God might love a Muslim and through His infinite mercy allow a Muslim to go to Heaven does not mean that it doesn’t matter if we all quit the Catholic Church and all go be Muslims tomorrow.
And by the way we have no way of knowing for sure if God lets a particular non-Catholic into Heaven; we can look to private revelations like Padre Pio or to our own trust in God like I do when I believe that a non-Catholic relative is heaven-bound, perhaps in large part due to Catholic prayers. But we do not know for sure and private revelations aren’t part of the deposit of faith. We could easily get to heaven and find there are five million Muslims there or five Muslims there or no Muslims there.

It would be much easier to take the position that if you didn’t become a Catholic you were going to hell. But the Church realizes God is more complex than that. Hence, all the teachings Don Ruggero has referenced.

If you have a better answer than the Catholic Church on this matter then please do feel free to share :slight_smile: (<----I hope the smiley indicates sufficiently that I am joking with you so I don’t get a “Flagged Post Removed by Staff” for being colloquial)


I absolutely have no problem accepting and understanding the bolded part above. So if you feel you have not been corrected, I very much appreciate you stating your position in the form of a direct question to which I long to hear a direct answer to. I have great respect for Father Ruggero and have every confidence that the answer he gives you will be the true position of the CC at this point in history.


Is it not all based on and complicated by the fact the the Catholic Church did in past history claim that all non-Catholics had no hope of salvation or heaven?


Your problem, I suspect, is grammatical rather than theological. The statement is not “no one outside the Church is saved”, it’s “there is no salvation outside the Church”. The word “outside” does not refer to a person, or a category of persons. It refers to where salvation is found – the Catholic Church.

When you parse the statement as you have, you then find yourself facing the project of defining which persons are “inside” or “outside.” That’s not where the statement is attempting to direct you. Rather, it points only to the Catholic Church, and identifies her as locus of salvation through God’s grace.

If you parse the statement well, then you won’t get into the trap of labeling persons as “inside” or “outside”, and will have the opportunity to understand what the theological assertion of the statement really is. :+1:


No, it does not. What comes into play is whether they’ve learned what the Church teaches, accepted it as truth, and nevertheless refused to enter into the Church. If a person does that, then they cannot be saved. Short of that situation, though, the Church does not teach that non-Catholic Christians go to hell if they do not join the Church.


Quote of Thistle: Regarding the part of your post which I have bolded does it mean that unless such a Christian is received into “Full Communion with the Catholic Church” by becoming Catholic they will not be saved if they die in an “imperfect communion” with the Church?

No. They can assuredly be saved by virtue with their relationship with Christ, even if they never come to believe what we as Catholics believe about the Church

It is wrong to represent to a Reformed Christian positions as Magisterial teaching which, in fact, are very far from what the Magisterium teaches today on our relations with other Christians It is no wonder Wannano posted what was posted

That would be wrong.

This is what Pope Francis said to the Methodists when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Catholic-Methodist dialogue. I think it is very important to post, even though it is long. I hope you will reflect on what he says. These are excerpts, however, for everyone here to read and appreciate…the document can be found at the link at the end.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank Bishop Abrahams for his kind words and I offer all of you a warm welcome on this fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of the Methodist-Catholic theological dialogue.


Pope Francis Continued

In the Book of Leviticus, the Lord proclaims the fiftieth year as a special year that calls, among other things, for the setting free of slaves: “You shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants” ( Lev 25:10). We are grateful to God because we can say that, in certain sense, we too have been freed from the slavery of estrangement and mutual suspicion. The Lord also told Moses that in the fiftieth year “every one shall return to his property and… to his family” ( ibid .). As a result of these fifty years of patient, fraternal dialogue, we can truly say to one another in the words of the Apostle Paul: “you are no longer strangers” (cf. Eph 2:19). Yes, we are no longer strangers, either in our hearts or in our belonging to the Lord, thanks to the one Baptism that has made us true brothers and sisters. We are, and we feel ourselves to be, “members of the household of God” ( ibid .).

We have come to this realization as the result of dialogue. The Second Vatican Council continues to encourage the growth of knowledge and esteem between Christians of differing confessions by means of a dialogue carried out “with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility” ( Unitatis Redintegratio , 11). True dialogue gives us the courage to encounter one another in humility and sincerity, in an effort to learn from one another, and in a spirit of honesty and integrity. We are brothers and sisters who, following a long separation, are happy once more to see and learn about one another, and to move forward with open hearts. So let us advance together, knowing that our journey is blessed by the Lord. It began from him, and it leads to him.

“You shall hallow the fiftieth year”, God said to Moses. The latest document of the Commission spoke precisely about holiness. John Wesley sought to help his neighbours live a holy life. His example and his words encouraged many to devote themselves to reading the Bible and to prayer, and in this way to come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we see others living a holy life, when we recognize the working of the Holy Spirit in other Christian confessions, we cannot fail to rejoice. It is impressive to see how widely the Lord sows his gifts; it is impressive to see brothers and sisters who embrace in Jesus our own way of life. But other “members of God’s household” can also help us grow closer to the Lord and spur us to bear more faithful witness to the Gospel. Let us thank the Father, then, for all that he granted us, even before the last fifty years, in bygone centuries and throughout the world, in our respective communities. Let us strengthen one another by our witness to the faith.


Pope Francis Conclusion to Methodist Catholic Dialogue 50th anniversary

Faith becomes tangible above all when it takes concrete form in love, particularly in service to the poor and the marginalized. “You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants”: after fifty years of our dialogue, this ancient summons of the word of God remains ever timely. As a call to life in communion with God, the call to holiness is necessarily a call to communion with others too. When, as Catholics and Methodists, we join in assisting and comforting the weak and the marginalized – those who in the midst of our societies feel distant, foreign and alienated – we are responding to the Lord’s summons.

As we look to the future, beyond the past fifty years, one thing is certain: we cannot grow in holiness without growing in communion. This is the journey that awaits us in the new phase of the dialogue, devoted to reconciliation. We cannot speak of prayer and charity unless together we pray and work for reconciliation and full communion. May your discussions about reconciliation be a gift, and not only for our communities but for the world. May they be an incentive to Christians everywhere to be ministers of reconciliation. The Spirit of God brings about the miracle of reconciled unity. He does so in his own way, even as he did at Pentecost, awakening a variety of charisms and ordering everything in a unity that is not uniformity but a communion. We need, then, to remain together, like the disciples awaiting the Spirit, and as brothers and sisters on a shared journey.

I thank you for your presence. I am grateful to the Dialogue Commission for its work, past and yet to come, and I thank the World Methodist Council for its ongoing support for the dialogue. The blessing of the past fifty years resides in the grace we have discovered in one another, which has enriched both our communities. But the task is not yet ended, and we are called to look ahead as we continue our journey. We have learned to see one another as brothers and sisters in Christ; now is the time to prepare ourselves, with humble hope and concrete efforts, for that full recognition that will come about, by God’s grace, when at last we will be able to join one another in the breaking of the bread. /…/



The question is what does invincible ignorance mean. Related to that is what is stubborn refusal. It seems common for many to assign invincible ignorance and stubborn refusal seemingly arbitrarily. So for instance all Protestants are invincibly ignorant but any Catholic who has trouble understanding and reconciling novel teachings is stubbornly refusing to believe the Church. The not so subtle message of that is that it is far better to be a Protestant.


I don’t think the Catholic Church officially claimed that. The Baltimore Catechism said something pretty close, but it wasn’t an official catechism of the Catholic Church in the way the CCC was.

What actually seems to have happened is the concepts got oversimplified in the teaching by individual priests and catechists. Also, a lot of the people in the original Protestant Reformation were Catholics who rebelled and rejected their faith for one reason or another, often for political or economic gain. That to me seems a lot more likely to send someone to Hell than the person 10 generations later who happened to be born into a family of Lutherans and stays Lutheran but gets along fine with his Catholic neighbors and is more tied to his faith by its being “in the family” than out of some big desire to rebel against the Pope.

Both the Church and the non-Catholic groups are also way more focused on trying to find common ground and heal conflicts today than they used to be. So some of the harshness came from the imperfect, sinful attitudes of men on both sides. I don’t see the official Church teaching in this area has ever changed. Jesus after all made a point of including non-Jews in his flock.


He has not said I was wrong in my earlier posts. He simply said this subject has to talked about in a very nuanced manner.



I think not all Baptists believe this.


Also a great document:9781483932811-us-300

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