Why don't non-catholic christians convert?

I have a question concerning non-catholic christians. I know that the catholic church is the one true church, because Jesus instituted the sacraments. I think there’s more reasons to why the catholic church is the one true church but can’t seem to remember. (Reply if you have any more please!) So, if the catholic church is right, why don’t more non-catholic christians become catholic? I’ve met and seen non-catholic christians who are on fire for God and are sometimes, living more faithful than some catholics. However, it seems like if they know so much about God’s word, or they’ve experienced so much having to do with God, that they should know that their church is not the one Jesus himself founded. I’ve also wondered about non-catholic christians in overcoming sin. They don’t have the sacrament of reconciliation/confession, so they just confess to one another or to God directly. The catholic church says reconciliation is needed for the forgiveness of sins, so are non-catholic christians unforgiven, even if they believe in their heart that they are forgiven?

  1. Free will
  2. Ego
1 Like

Also, if we do meet these very confident non-catholic christians and, for example, they start talking about how they spoke directly to God and were forgiven, are we to just tell them that their belief is wrong and to be saved they have to convert?

People have different ideas, views, interpretations regarding religion, politics, the arts, and just about everything else. You never win an argument by simply saying you are right and they are wrong, and in some/many cases even what you present as evidence cannot persuade others, who cite their own evidence. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is leave others alone to believe what they will, while behaving yourself as a role model of your own faith.


Some of them do convert. Like me. However you have to get past being told a whole lot of false teaching about Catholicism


I think your words answer your question .

You say , “I’ve met and seen non-catholic christians who are on fire for God and are sometimes, living more faithful than some catholics.”

The main issue about Catholicism shown on the media today is hardly going to attract people to the Church .

1 Like

First, I note you posted this in Catholic Living/ Spirituality which means you’re going to get mostly opinions from Catholics on here, not views from actual non-Catholic Christians. If you want to hear responses from non-Catholic Christians then you should move this to Non-Catholic religions subforum.

Second, in my experience most non-Catholic Christians don’t convert because

  • They believe their church is the right one, that the Catholic Church basically went off track along the way and their own church is carrying on the true tradition of Jesus.


  • They have a universalist view that it doesn’t really matter which church you reach Jesus through as long as you follow him. So they pick a church based on other factors; might be because it was where their father went, might be because they like the preacher and it has fun activities for the kids. They don’t choose a church by comparing doctrine. Some of them choose to just follow Jesus without joining an actual church, so any church-going they do is kind of on a drop-in / optional basis. I’ve even seen people who think participating in organized religion gets in the way of properly following Jesus, and they point to various scandals and hypocrisies as evidence of that claim, and don’t join any church, just read the Bible at home.


  • They aren’t going to church out of true belief but rather are seeking to make a family member happy (so they go to their spouse’s church to keep the peace) or to make business contacts (so they go to the biggest church in town to meet the most people, or to the “prosperity gospel” church to meet rich people) or for entertainment (so they go to the church that has Christian rock concerts and a light show and a televangelist) etc.

Also, people just looking to join some church aren’t likely to pick Catholicism unless they’re super-serious about studying the faith or they’re called by God in some way. Catholicism is a difficult faith. It’s like Judaism in that respect. There’s a ton of stuff to learn, rules to follow. You don’t just show up with your Bible, accept Jesus and poof, you’re in.


The answer to your question (at least for me, and I am not alone) is that we have serious doctrinal disagreements with the Roman Catholic Church that have not been addressed. Until those issues are addressed, I cannot in good conscience covert to Roman Catholicism. We also have a different view of ecclesiology than the Roman Catholic Church does. While we lament the fact that schism exists in the Church, unity cannot be built on a foundation other than Jesus Christ preached and taught faithfully. My hope is that we continue dialogue to try to come to a point of reconciliation that is substantial in doctrine and practice, but we aren’t there yet.


Because they don’t agree with you that the Catholic Church is the one true church. You’re basically asking “why don’t people who disagree with me just agree with me?” Uh, because they disagree with you. This is kind of circular.



It’s amazing some of the things that many non-Catholic Christians are raised to believe about the Catholic Church. Why would you convert to a church that worships Mary, worships the Pope, thinks you have to do penance to earn forgiveness for sins, thinks you have to earn salvation, doesn’t believe the Bible is true, etc.?


I used to be Southern Baptist. Then I started going to Mass with my best friend. I was called to the Catholic Church so strongly, I couldn’t resist not going. I felt overwhelmed with Christ’s love in the Catholic Church, so I spoke with Faith Formations at my Roman Catholic Church. Since I was already Baptized I just went through 1:1 class. I learned a lot from the faith, and attended mass weekly. I eventually got confirmed, received the eucharist, and participated in reconciliation.

I was so lost and confused as a Southern Baptist. I knew a lot about the Bible…however, I was never held accountable for my sins. I would sin and before bed ask for forgiveness, but then almost immediately sinned again…I never had accountability…now by going to reconciliation, I am a lot less likely to do the same sin, and if I fail and do it, I can make amends with God and have the PRIVILEGE to have accountability

Also, a lot of Protestant churches are like a concert and you never really feel like you are in God’s house. Those churches make it out to be that you can be whoever you want and its all okay because God loves you. Yes, God does love you, no matter what, BUT he desires for you to follow commandments and to repent and do that sin no more.

Also the Protestant churches have misconceptions about Mary. I have heard so many times that we worship Mary. I try to explain to them Mary was chosen, she is a female example and an example of a Holy Mother. She is OUR mother and she too loves us.

I love the Catholic Church. I couldn’t imagine ever straying.


I agree with halogirl about what people wrongly perceive about the Catholic Church, but I also I know that some people do know about the Catholic Church and simply disagree with all* our ideas. Stands to reason that it’s not all about misconceptions I think.

*meaning disagree with some of our ideas of course.
@wannano thank you

1 Like

Change “all” of our ideas to “some” of our ideas and you have a balanced outlook!


I meant all of our ideas, meaning not all, not everyone of them.
I’m a Catholic myself by the way.

Edit: I forgot, thank you for pointing out the possibility that someone would misunderstand me though. Very important, my error.

The Op was asking why don’t some Christians become Catholics, if they’re Christians then they believe in at least God and Jesus therefore if they’re not Catholics they don’t believe in all our ideas. I hope that explains my use of the word ‘all’.

I suspect there are a number of reasons. You seem to infer from your question that Protestants are simply rationally going to say the Catholic Church is correct we should become Catholics. That will not work. Protestants believe as fervently as we do that their form of Christianity is right. Why don’t you convert to a Protestant denomination? That’s the same reason they don’t.

It is also not just thinking you belong to the right group. Very often different religious groups have, at best, been taught to be wary of others, and, at worst, to hate other groups. Here in the UK there are parts of the UK where Catholics and Protestants are brought up to hate each other from birth. It is not as bad as it was but it will take generations for that to fully disappear.

We Catholics are also often seen here as the pope’s fifth column. It’s as if we were preparing an outright attack from Rome to forcefully convert everyone to Catholicism.

So, it’s not as simple as getting Protestants to see Catholicism is the true faith. Its rather more complicated and is further complicated by messy human psychology.


The biggest stumbling block I’ve encountered in my overwhelmingly Evangelical patch of America is that they don’t hold your views on the infallibility of Catholic magisterium - particularly the portions of it that are not clearly and explicitly echoed in the 66-book canon of scripture.

This goes doubly-so for many Catholic teachings about sex, marriage and family as well as the visibility of the Church.

I suggest:
In order to convert them, you have to appeal to pathos rather than logos. You can’t argue them into your view by brute, cold logic. You don’t share the necessary common premises required to do so.


That’s tough cos that’s literally what I experienced but I think that’s coz I wasn’t baptised and had no other way into church

When I saw your post I checked when you joined and was very surprised that you have been here a while.

Have you followed any threads since then. Sorry but it is a fair question?

Have you followed any threads concerning your “questions”?

What you ask there have been discussed many times.

But I guess the main part. Some actually studied the history ( especially the history! I do not think many actually check this) and read the Catechism and checked it all out in detail. Yet, it doesn’t add up and seems pretty divisive (obviously never would be admitted) and contradicting as well.


I can personally say that ego in no way is a reason my family or any Protestant in my old church is not Catholic. The main reason in my church is because many people either one don’t completely understand it or have false information of the church. Or two they have had bad run ins in the past with the church. I am currently going through RCIA and find people who just assume all non catholics have huge egos and won’t join the church out of pride is a really horrible thing to do and can push people from Christ’s real church. So I ask that you po18guy would try to keep that in consideration and try to understand how others who aren’t you feel and show grace and love to those who have been wronged or have been shown the church in a bad light.


This is probably the best post I have seen in a while from someone taking some time to think about it all!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.