Who isn't saved?


#1

It seems to me that many Catholics today almost seem to think that almost anyone can have “invicible ignorance” and still be saved. The Apostles, the Fathers, and Catholics for the vast majority of Church history saw an urgency in evangelizing the Pagans. Today it is almost suggested that unless you outright reject the Catholic Church, knowing that it is Christ’s Church, you shall be saved. This, when taken to the extreme, suggests it really isn’t that hard for pagans and members of various non-Catholic religions to obtain salvation. I don’t believe that this view can be reconciled with the Fathers, the Popes down through the ages, nor Scripture. Sure, we must accept a possibility of salvation for those outside the visible confines of the Church…but many priests and laity have reached the point in which there are almost no benefits in being in the Church.


#2

[font=Arial]Short answer: we don’t know who is saved and who isn’t saved – Supposing I am in a state of grace now, I can’t even know, ultimately, about myself since I might become colossally stupid and sinful between now and my death.

The point isn’t that protestants and pagan WILL be saved, but that they CAN be saved IF, as it is charitable to assume, they have invincible ignorance AND are people of good will. Obviously, the Catholic Church is not saying that being Catholic is irrelevant. It is more of a conclusion based on the mercy and power of God. God, being merciful (really just just) would not condemn someone for something they cannot help (Aquinas: invincible ignorance makes an act involuntary as such). God, being all-powerful, can work the redemption of sinners even outside the visible Church, but not without Christ and his mystical body.

That said, that it is POSSIBLE for the ostensibly non-Catholic to be saved, being Catholic is not irrelevant since the Catholic Church (1) does have the fulness of the Gospel, (2) is instituted by Christ as the ordinary means of the grace necessary for salvation, and (3) this grace is made available through the sacraments, preaching, and generally, the life of the Church.

In a sense, I agree with you; misunderstanding the Church’s position to mean that non-Catholics WILL be saved, some Catholics are not as zealous in their efforts to evangelize, and seem to think that their own being Catholic is a matter of personal preference or religious tastes. But, I think it is kinda protestant to approach the question of being Catholic in terms of “being saved.” I try to evangelize by saying it is great to be Catholic because (1), (2) and (3) listed above. Can one “be saved” outside the visible Church? Yes, its possible, but why would you want to try. Why would you reject the graces available in the Church and go around the clear intention of Christ? (Answer: you shouldn’t; be Catholic! It’s great! You’ll love it!)

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#3

*Today it is almost suggested that unless you outright reject the Catholic Church, knowing that it is Christ’s Church, you shall be saved. *
i can understand what you mean here. The pendelum sings too far in both directions. I believe that is why Dominus Iesus was such an important Church document because it tried to address both extremes, those who say there is no salvation unless you are a visible Catholic, and those who say that being Catholic isn’t important. God can save extra-sacramentally. However, He has told us the way to receive His grace. There are no guarantees outside of that. And i think that there needs to be more emphasis on evangelizing non-Catholics who are “unsure of their salvation” as Pius XII said in Mystici Corporis Christi. They are still in a gravely deficient situation.

*This, when taken to the extreme, suggests it really isn’t that hard for pagans and members of various non-Catholic religions to obtain salvation. *
I think that we all need to hope for God’s mercy to all. However, i don’t think that we can presume. and that is what you’re getting at, and I would agree.

but many priests and laity have reached the point in which there are almost no benefits in being in the Church.
sometimes i think that the Church has to treat the faithful with kid gloves because there are many who are so nominally Catholic that if they don’t like what they hear, they will leave. So i think the Church has a great balancing act that they’re trying to do.
They’re trying to keep people in Church for the spiritual benefits (and no I don’t think it’s to keep the money flowing in), in the hopes that God will change them from the inside.
I think the Church does not want to alienate people so they are taking this approach of trodding very gently.
I really don’t know if it is working though.

Just my thoughts.


#4

[quote=twf]It seems to me that many Catholics today almost seem to think that almost anyone can have “invicible ignorance” and still be saved. The Apostles, the Fathers, and Catholics for the vast majority of Church history saw an urgency in evangelizing the Pagans. Today it is almost suggested that unless you outright reject the Catholic Church, knowing that it is Christ’s Church, you shall be saved. This, when taken to the extreme, suggests it really isn’t that hard for pagans and members of various non-Catholic religions to obtain salvation. I don’t believe that this view can be reconciled with the Fathers, the Popes down through the ages, nor Scripture. Sure, we must accept a possibility of salvation for those outside the visible confines of the Church…but many priests and laity have reached the point in which there are almost no benefits in being in the Church.
[/quote]

I think this is one of the modern problems. It is being taught as if there is no difference in the Church and what is outside the Church. Its almost becoming where every religion is equal and it doesn’t matter. This is an idea that leads to athiesm and gnistisism. It is bad and should be stopped, they need to start teaching the gravity of being outside the church. There may be invincible ignorance, but I don’t think that it is as generous(couldn’t think of a better word), as people think.


#5

What happned to the sin of " what I have failed to do " ?


#6

[quote=twf]It seems to me that many Catholics today almost seem to think that almost anyone can have “invicible ignorance” and still be saved. The Apostles, the Fathers, and Catholics for the vast majority of Church history saw an urgency in evangelizing the Pagans. Today it is almost suggested that unless you outright reject the Catholic Church, knowing that it is Christ’s Church, you shall be saved. This, when taken to the extreme, suggests it really isn’t that hard for pagans and members of various non-Catholic religions to obtain salvation. I don’t believe that this view can be reconciled with the Fathers, the Popes down through the ages, nor Scripture. Sure, we must accept a possibility of salvation for those outside the visible confines of the Church…but many priests and laity have reached the point in which there are almost no benefits in being in the Church.
[/quote]

It’s just that as Catholics we cannot have absolute assurance of any particular person who is still living on this planet’s salvation, or lack thereof, including our own. We can only hope and place our trust and confidence in the love, the justice and the mercy of God in Christ.


#7

Of course it matters. The Catholic Church, under the leadership of the successor of Saint Peter, holds the fullness of Truth. But read what that very Church teaches in its Catechism. I don’t have my copy in front of me, but those who are baptized, regardless of their denomination/ecclesial community, are in “certain, though imperfect” union with that Church; it also says that they are “rightly called Christian and should be received with respect” (or love, I can’t remember which) “by the children of the Catholic Church.” They have many instruments of grace and salvation, albeit that they rec. those things from the Catholic Church. “Certain, though imperfect.” Of course we want them to come back into union. “Invincible ignorance” that ceases to “invincible” becomes “enlightenment.” It doesn’t matter if they are presented with all the Church’s claims about Herself, if they don’t believe it, if they aren’t convinced of it, they shouldn’t join up. Many of them won’t be able to do this. You can’t argue that they’re not invincibly ignorant because they’ve been told about the Catholic Church, somewhere, by somebody. Do they believe what they’ve been told? Did they say,"Wow, that makes sense? Or did they say “Sola Fide!” (Most Protestants hew to this NOT because they want to believe in an “easy salvation” or a "cheap grace, but because they sincerely believe that nothing can be added to what Christ did for us on the Cross and that to consider anything else is to cast aspersions on that Sacrifice as being insufficient. Most of these people, placing their faith in Christ, go on to live lives of great charity almost naturally, thus fufilling our belief that it’s Faith working through Charity). Consider this: why do you believe what you believe about the Church? Can you help it? Can you help what you believe? I don’t know about anyone here, but I can’t help, but believe what I believe about the Catholic Church. I had no choice, but to believe it. I believe it because I believe it. I cannot will myself to not believe it. I didn’t have to act on that belief. I didn’t have to be rec. and confirmed in the Catholic faith, but that is where I think culpability enters because I would not be acting on what I believed to be Truth. My grandparents were not overtly anti-Catholic, but they were grievously misinformed about the faith. They made all sorts of innocent mis-statements about Catholicism. I can remember my grandfather saying this: “I think that the Catholic Church should just get rid of the Pope. There idn’t no Pope in the Bible.” You’re talking about a Northeast Texas farmer who has only ever read the newspaper and the Bible (KJV), which he reads faithfully. At the age of 88, he isn’t going to switch over to the Church that he’s viewed with a degree of polite suspicion for his entire life. And there is nothing in his conscience that tells him he should. There is, however, this, which rests in his mind as a very real reason why he shouldn’t: Years ago (pre Vatican II, before I was born), a Mexican migrant family, working on a farm near ours, lost a baby, to what I can’t remember. The local Catholic priest, at St. Martin’s Church, about three miles down the road, refused to conduct the service because the family couldn’t pay the fee. Our pastor, who was a saintly man (and I don’t mean that sterile, holier-than-thou-type of “saintly,” I mean the loving, self-sacrificing, dirt-under-the-nails sanctity) did the service instead. This was an enormous indictment of the Chruch to my grandfather. Is it true? I don’t know. I’ve never encountered a priest like that, ever. I would also never, however, have believed that so many priests could so disgrace themselves and Christ’s priesthood by their victimization of children. I know that my grandfather believes the story vehemently (and that he has never lied to me, except about Santa and a dog he had to shoot). What I’m saying is that thus far, his ignorance has been pretty freaking invincible and the Church, in the person of that old priest and the predator priests of today, hasn’t done a lot to overcome that invincibility. If we’re so concerned about them returning to the Church, why isn’t She, the Institutional She, out there, like our sep. brethren, spending money on billboards that say “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation!” or “Behold, I stand at the door and knock!” or “It’s time to trust in Jesus!” (all of these are scattered around by the Baptists throughout my town…Las Vegas!!!). I never hear my bishop (an orthodox man) on radio or TV urging people to come home. Let’s face it, by and large we offer “Inquirer’s Classes,” and if people are interested, they can go through RCIA. I hope, respectfully, that the previous poster is wrong and that Invincible Ignorance is much more generous. If not, then I believe the Church will have much to answer for.


#8

[quote=tom.wineman]What happned to the sin of " what I have failed to do " ?
[/quote]

I agree and some of the posts and threads looks like severe spiritual pride and presumption. I also might add some non-catholics that see these are going to think some of the posters are gleeful in the prospect of certain groups going to hell. I think our time would be better spent on praying for conversions and honest dialog on our Faith. God Converts.God Bless


#9

Have you noticed how Pope John Paul II most oftenly uses his world mass media access to make demands on what the world should do rather than use it to tell one billion Catholics what to do. For example: JP2 tells the World Bank to forgive third world debt rather than demand that Catholics tithe to pay off third world debt to help the poor. If JP2 believes there is no salvation outside the Church, why should he demand the “no salvation” hell goer portion of people in the World Bank be demanded to feed the poor, rather than demanding that one billion Catholics, with the promise of eternal life, cough up the money? Ten percent of the income of one billion Catholics, and properly baptized Protestants, should be in the trillions of dollars.

Jesus never made demands on Caesar. Jesus made demands on His followers to feed the poor and obey the commandments. I believe that Jesus did this because even if you stopped a world war, you would save infinitely more life if you taught one person to come to Christ and gain eternal life. One person converted to eternal life would gain more life than the combine years of physical life lost from all the wars in human history. Moving Mountains

It seems to be a great temptation for Church leaders to deny any difference bettween what one billion Catholics should be doing compared to what the “no salvation” world is doing. Is it really fair for a Pope to put many demands on the world without making it absolutely clear to them that he believes that they, outside the Church, will never inherit eternal life?

The Church, from the top on down, must put their focus away from world politics to focus on bringing people to Jesus. The Church must focus on getting the “inside the Church” group to love and obey Jesus.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#10

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]I I also might add some non-catholics that see these are going to think some of the posters are gleeful in the prospect of certain groups going to hell. I think our time would be better spent on praying for conversions and honest dialog on our Faith. God Converts.God Bless
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I was thinking exactly the same thing.


#11

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]I agree and some of the posts and threads looks like severe spiritual pride and presumption. I also might add some non-catholics that see these are going to think some of the posters are gleeful in the prospect of certain groups going to hell. I think our time would be better spent on praying for conversions and honest dialog on our Faith. God Converts.God Bless
[/quote]

That’s a valid point. Fundamentalists, both Catholic and Protestant, seem to think that part of the fun of Heaven will be watching the damned in Hell as they spin on their roasting spits (I think Christ will be grieved in His judgement). Oh, well, lots of people can only be happy when they think they’re better off than others. Is God’s “sola gratia” salvation not therefore all the more wiser, as it deprives us of any reason to boast?


#12

The Church teaches:

Those outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church MAY be saved. But there’s no guarantee. This includes Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants, and all others.

Those inside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church MAY be saved. But there’s no guarantee. But we stand a better chance, since we have access to all the gifts Christ gave his Church to help His followers get to heaven, beginning with the Church and the Truths she teaches and, of course, the Sacraments.

Whoever is saved, they are saved through the graces that flow from the Catholic Church, founded by Christ for the salvation of the world (Mt 16:18-19) to speak for Him (Luke 10:16). I am grateful to be in the barque of Peter!

**As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13)


JMJ Jay


#13

Jesus never baptized or married anyone that we know of. Jesus established a Church that would do this in His behalf. The Pope is Christ’s Vicar on Earth. The Catholic Church is both a religious and a political entity.

Unlike some evangelicals and others, Catholics realize that part of their duty is to make the world a better place in which to live and to operate. This is why the Pope must continually speak out on world issues.


#14

[quote=4 marks]Jesus never baptized or married anyone that we know of. Jesus established a Church that would do this in His behalf. The Pope is Christ’s Vicar on Earth. The Catholic Church is both a religious and a political entity.

Unlike some evangelicals and others, Catholics realize that part of their duty is to make the world a better place in which to live and to operate. This is why the Pope must continually speak out on world issues.
[/quote]

Hello 4 marks,

Have you ever seen the Pope hold up a picture of the poor starving to death and then say to one billion Catholics, “See, I told you so. You did not tithe and now people are starving to death”. No! the Pope will not treat Catholics the way he treats the world.

If you ask the Pope, he will tell you it is the world that has caused the Church to crumble. Has he ever even considered that it could be poor leadership in the Church which is causing the Church to crumble? Is our world really that much different from the world of the Apostles where the Church prospered?

Should not Catholics be the first ones the Pope should run when he wants money to pay off third world debt to help the poor? Should he not demand Catholics pay their God commanded tithe to keep the poor from dying before he ever resorts to Caesar? Can you quote where the Pope has demanded that Catholics tithe to pay of third world debt?

First lead people to Jesus. Second, make sure that one billion Catholics are doing what Jesus tells them to do to enter eternal life. Third go talk to Caesar. We need a Pope who has his priorities straight.

Jesus constantly focused on leading people to His teachings rather than trying to convince Caesar about his wars. Moving Mountains

Jesus makes it clear what He demands of Catholics. I do not think our Pope has made Jesus teaching to one billion Catholics absolutely clear to them as to what happens when they do not feed the poor. The Pope should make teaching Catholics to avoid the path to eternal death an infinitely greater priority than getting the world to help the poor avoid physical death because one billion Catholics refuse to do so. Eternal death is infinitely greater death than physical death.

NAB MAT 25:41

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (ISA 58)

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#15

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]I think our time would be better spent on praying for conversions and honest dialog on our Faith. God Converts.God Bless
[/quote]

I agree.

God converts souls. That is true. But there remains a serious responsibility on all of us. There are people out there who God has worked with. People with faith who need somebody to reach out to them to provide practical help so they can grow in their faith. Sometimes it is transportation to church. Sometimes it is a need of Christian education. Prayer is important. In the US, we have such a lack of Priests and religious (I think of now and compare it to 30 or 40 years ago). And so many religious are not as religious as they were 30 or 40 years ago. So we also must pray for Christians who are willing to use their feet to go to those unchurched souls who God is working with.

Romans 10:13-21 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring (the) good news!" But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?” Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, did they not hear? Certainly they did; for “Their voice has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” But I ask, did not Israel understand? First Moses says: “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a senseless nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah speaks boldly and says: “I was found (by) those who were not seeking me; I revealed myself to those who were not asking for me.” But regarding Israel he says, “All day long I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contentious people.”


#16

Hi,

FEW will find the road to heaven. Don’t get mad at me, those are not my words.

John


#17

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello 4 marks,

Have you ever seen the Pope hold up a picture of the poor starving to death and then say to one billion Catholics, “See, I told you so. You did not tithe and now people are starving to death”. No! the Pope will not treat Catholics the way he treats the world.

If you ask the Pope, he will tell you it is the world that has caused the Church to crumble. Has he ever even considered that it could be poor leadership in the Church which is causing the Church to crumble? Is our world really that much different from the world of the Apostles where the Church prospered?

Should not Catholics be the first ones the Pope should run when he wants money to pay off third world debt to help the poor? Should he not demand Catholics pay their God commanded tithe to keep the poor from dying before he ever resorts to Caesar? Can you quote where the Pope has demanded that Catholics tithe to pay of third world debt?

First lead people to Jesus. Second, make sure that one billion Catholics are doing what Jesus tells them to do to enter eternal life. Third go talk to Caesar. We need a Pope who has his priorities straight.

Jesus constantly focused on leading people to His teachings rather than trying to convince Caesar about his wars. Moving Mountains

Jesus makes it clear what He demands of Catholics. I do not think our Pope has made Jesus teaching to one billion Catholics absolutely clear to them as to what happens when they do not feed the poor. The Pope should make teaching Catholics to avoid the path to eternal death an infinitely greater priority than getting the world to help the poor avoid physical death because one billion Catholics refuse to do so. Eternal death is infinitely greater death than physical death.

NAB MAT 25:41

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (ISA 58)

Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
[/quote]

The responsibility for the well-being of the Church rests with every baptized Catholic, not merely with the leadership of the Church. I find that you are being far too hard on Pope John Paul II, who is, in my humble estimation, a sincerely holy and good man. God has chosen the Pope, and not you and not I, to lead the Catholic Church as he sees fit.

Neither you or I are Pope, nor will we ever be. Saying that the Pope should do this, and he ought to be teaching that is as nonsensical to me as Michael Moore or Barbra Streisand telling President Bush how he should be running the country. http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif


#18

If someone commits a crime against the civil law in a state of ignorant, he will not face penalty this time but it’s up to everyone who isn’t ignorant to let him know his fault. so that he won’t continue his ignorant(unless he’s insane)


#19

4 Marks: Without prejudice to the supreme authority of the Holy Father, one can still be respectfully critical of his actions. The Popes are not impeccable…and recall that St. Paul opposed the Prince of the Apostles to his face. (Though it is true that St. Paul and St. Peter are together proclaimed the “Princes of the Apostles”).


#20

JKirkLVNV,

Most of these people, placing their faith in Christ, go on to live lives of great charity almost naturally, thus fufilling our belief that it’s Faith working through Charity). Consider this: why do you believe what you believe about the Church? Can you help it?

I enjoyed reading the story that you posted. BUT here comes the BUT!

T When you add thye word MOST to your statment above, it becomes absolutly false and against the very word of God. Most people are not going to Heaven, acording to Jesus Christ anyway.

I live in the “Bible Belt”, Nashville Tennessee. I am around Protestants ALL the time. This is lip service country. it reminds me of my catholic Church in California. Everyone is going straight to heaven because they believe it their heart. You may bellieve what you said in your heart about most people living a life of charity, BUT you would just be sincerly wrong.

THANK GOD your grandfather is cooperating with the grace he received at baptism!

John


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