Why be Catholic if Non-Catholics can be saved?


This isn’t me asking this question - but its a question I get asked – The issue is that, if one CAN be saved without being Catholic, why bother? In terms of official Church teaching - we have the “No salvation outside of the Church” doctrine - but we understand the idea of Church more broadly now (because the doctrine was stated prior to the Reformation). For a relativistic and minimalistic world, I find myself without doctrine to really show them how dangerous it is not to convert! Just like some thoughts and how folks handle this…

  1. It is God’s will

and if that does not suffice…

  1. the idea that non-Catholics can be saved is presuming that non-Catholics are ignorant by no fault of their own. If someone says, “I know Christ founded the Catholic Church, but it really doesn’t matter. I’m more comfortable worshiping Christ at [name your church].” then may God have mercy on that person’s soul.:crossrc:


Why be a priest if you can remain a lay person, why become a monk when you can remain a secular person, etc etc.

I’m here because God pointed me in this direction


Pretty helpful – but, I see the problem is that its not going to compel evangelization - i sort of wonder how many non Catholics though take a serious look at the Catholic Church to the extent that they do incur eternal liability…


I think that would help folks who are motivated to reach higher - but I’m finding many people are wanting the minimalist easy road… :frowning:


:crossrc:If one believes in absolute truth then why would one settle for something less than the fullness of it? In my mind this smacks of wanting to find out just how little I can do and still get into heaven and it is a very carnal and dangerous mindset.

Biblically, I am reminded of the passages where Our Lord says, [FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]13 Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. 14 How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! (Matthew 7, and Luke 13) 23 And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: 24 Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.

Also Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. 26 For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? and Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him: No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Indeed! If I sought and easier path then I would have chosen some other way, but I found I had to say with Our Lord, “…but yet not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)[/FONT]


Because a non-Catholic gaining salvation is an extraordinary thing - an exception. The notion pre-supposes invincible ignorance and freedom from mortal sin - a rare thing indeed.

The Catholic Church isn’t simply the “best path” to salvation. It is the only path. It is only through her that anyone can have salvation.


There is a river that I have to cross. I am capable of swimming it, but it is far and the current strong. I can wear a life jacket, too, but still the water is cold. I can use a canoe but if I paddle with my hands I may not make it. I can use oars too, but the way is long and i may get tired. There is a motor boat, but the fuel may not make it. I am not sure what to do. If that stupid bridge wasn’t in the way, I could see better to the other side.

See, life is hard. Sin makes it harder. God, in his wisdom, gave us the church and its sacraments to make the journey easier. If I know the bridge is there, it is silly ot use a boat and downright crazy to swim.


But how to respond to folks who are in the process of converting, as they talk about their relatives who may be of X or Y denomination. I know they are good people…they pray to the same God.


Tell them that by converting to the Church that Christ founded, they are accepting Christ wants all members to belong to that Church. Likewise, so should they. In the meantime, they should pray FOR their relatives.


Again… the appeal is to the fullness of absolute truth and nothing less. It is those who are willing to seek truth regardless of where it leads who are honest seekers. One has to remember the words of Our Lord when He tells us, [FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) If Jesus IS the truth then to pursue that truth is to pursue Him! Where can that be proved to be wrong?

Use the same appeal that they hear all the time in their own n-C communities. “If this is the greatest thing that god has done for you then why are you not sharing it with everyone?!” They are well familiar with the push to evangelize (something that we can borrow and feel good about!), so this should make sense to them.[/FONT]


I like that – I don’t think it works on those who convert or go through the RCIA process for reasons other than “Ive found the Truth” – Many I find convert (and for very noble reasons) to unify the faith of their family (and indeed be in accord with Jesus’s expression for unity) — however, I think that they are somewhat ambivilent to start with about which “denomination” they belong to. Not all folks, but some. How to erase the ambivilance is the challenge.


“Good people” as measured by what standard? They’re “nice” to everyone, even though they may be pro-abortion? They’re generous, even though they live unmarried with their boyfriend/girlfriend? They pray to “the same God” for guidance, though they may turn up their noses at the idea of Papal authority? What moral code can be used to determine how “good” a person is if there isn’t one that’s absolutely right?

We’re not called to be “good people” – we’re called to seek holiness, to strive for the truth, and to obey God’s law – all of which are found in His Church. If the Catholic Church isn’t the one Christ founded, what is? Oh, there’s not “one”? Then we’re flung into moral relativism, with no objective way of determining who is and is not a “good person” other than observing how “accepting” they are of others.

Yeesh…anything goes.



That’s brilliant. :thumbsup:

See, life is hard. Sin makes it harder. God, in his wisdom, gave us the church and its sacraments to make the journey easier. If I know the bridge is there, it is silly ot use a boat and downright crazy to swim.

Well said!!


It’s a funny thing, this faith thing. It’s kind of like a little paradox. I’ve met many many people that have read the bible from cover to cover, know the stories very well, and know there is a God, know about Jesus, etc etc. BUT they just can’t believe it. No matter how hard they try they can’t make that commitment. And that reminds me of something that a nun said to me a while ago, that no one can say “I love God and have faith in him” without the grace of God!

Like with me, if things had happen any differently, like say a week earlier than they did with my conversion, I would have totally discounted it as coincidence and shrugged it off as “nonsense”.

It’s for this reason that I think converting people over to catholicism isn’t like normal evangelisation, where you pass around a clipboard and everyone signs up. If there’s one thing i’ve learned it’s that the RCC is some serious business here, and God will let you in when you’re ready and willing to hear what he’s got to say. Plant the seeds in people and they will work through it eventually…maybe only until the very last moments of their lives.


In my case conversion was a matter of living my faith in Christ on HIS terms.

We know that non-Catholics MAY be saved but the only true certainty we have of being fully in conformity with God’s plan is through His Church. Once you see that the Catholic Church IS that Church, there is no other option.

On HIS terms. In HIS Church.


Would God forgive a person who did commit mortal sin if he asked for pardon outside of the sacrament? outside of the church? even if this person snubs the catholic church?

'Tis my brother…he snubs the catholic church and thinks he knows everything. Uses the Spirit as leading in everything he does…even not inviting me to his duaghter’s wedding.


Why eat nutritionally-balanced meals from the Four Food Groups when theoretically you could survive on nothing but bread and water?

Because there’s no reason to settle for the bare minimum when we can have so much more.


Why walk and risk injury and possible death through the wilderness, when you can take the well lit, well marked highway, with all kinds of safe rest areas and travel information along the way. Some might say because it’s more of a challenge???


Well, those people are in serious danger of salvation be they Catholic or non-Catholic. They need to remember what Christ said about those who are neither hot nor cold.

For such people, the “advantage” of Catholicism is that one may have actual assurance of salvation from day to day by partaking of the sacraments. Non-Catholics have no such assurance, despite what they may claim.

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