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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Will all Catholics be Saved?
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No! It is not enough to be a Catholic to get to Heaven. One has to be a good Catholic. "Many Catholics will be lost, because they are only nominal, not practical, Catholics, and because they reject some doctrines of the Catholic Church, especially such as oppose their inclinations and passions. Remember, he who rejects even one doctrine proposed to our Faith by the Church will certainly be lost (James 2:10), even though he should lead a good life." (From THE PULPIT ORATOR, Volume VI.)

Our Lord said, "He who believes shall be saved" (Mark 16:16)~ But God said many other things as well:

"If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15); and "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt. 19:17).

"He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die" (Lev. 24:16).

"Keep you my Sabbath: for it is holy unto you. He that shall profane it, shall be put to death. Everyone that shall do any work on this day shall die" (Exodus 3l:1-15).

"Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither idolaters, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

"A thief is better than a man that is always lying: but both of them shall inherit destruction" (Ecclus. 20:27).

"Neither fornicators nor adulterers . . . shall possess the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9). "You have heard that it was said to the Ancients, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28). "Keep thyself chaste" (1 Tim. 5:22). "Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8).

"There is not a more wicked thing than to love money, for such a one setteth even his own soul at stake."(Ecclus. 10:10).

"If anyone lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination. Let them be put to death" (Lev. 20:13).

"Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil has power" (Book of Tobias, 6:1&22).

And Christ's Mystical Body on earth, His Church ("He who hears you, hears Me" - Luke 10:16), says:

"Each act of marriage must be left open to conception" (Pope Pius Xl's Encyclical "Casti Connubi", December 31, 1930).

"If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canon 18 on Justification).

"If anyone says that a man who is justified and however perfect is not bound to observe the commandments of God and the Church, but only to believe, as though the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life without the condition of obeying the commandments, let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canon 20 on Justification).

Therefore, although it is true that Catholics alone profess the true faith "without which," as St. Paul assures us, "it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6); nevertheless, as St. James concludes: "Faith, without good works, is dead" (James 1:22:27).

"Sometimes people say 'It is better to be a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.' That is not true. That would mean at bottom that one could be saved without the true Faith. No, a bad Catholic remains a child of the family - although a prodigal; and however great a sinner he may be, he still has the right to mercy. Through his faith, a bad Catholic is nearer to God than a Protestant is, for he is a member of the household, whereas the Protestant is not. And how hard it is to make him become one!" (St. Peter Julian Eymard, 1811-1868).

Source: Open Letter to Non-Catholics

20 comments:

del_button July 13, 2006 at 9:32 AM
antonia said...

really good.

thanks for posting

----

del_button July 13, 2006 at 10:56 AM
Sharon said...

This post is great timing, as I was just listening to a family member tell me they'd be a better Protestant than Catholic, b/c they don't believe all the Catholic Church's teachings. (being, of course, birth control & NFP in particular).
So reading this,
"Sometimes people say 'It is better to be a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.' That is not true. That would mean at bottom that one could be saved without the true Faith. No, a bad Catholic remains a child of the family - although a prodigal; and however great a sinner he may be, he still has the right to mercy. Through his faith, a bad Catholic is nearer to God than a Protestant is, for he is a member of the household, whereas the Protestant is not. And how hard it is to make him become one!" (St. Peter Julian Eymard, 1811-1868).especially made me think of that discussion. I wonder, though, how would you explain that w/o making it sound like "if you're not Catholic, you go to hell", or that Protestants are not as close w/ Christ as Catholics? I know many wonderful Protestants that are more "Christian" than some Catholics, and it'd be hard to believe they would be less likely to make it to heaven b/c they are not Catholic. Am I making my question clear? Sorry if I am not.

del_button July 13, 2006 at 11:37 AM
Juparis said...

Greetings, Moneybags. Long time-no debates, huh?

Frankly, this post distresses me. You say that faith in Christ Jesus will not gain one's soul into heaven. It seems you quoted a lot from the Old Testament--laws that no longer apply because of our LORD sending his son. But still, it would see that you believe that unless we perform all of these actions, we will not be with God in heaven. With no offense intended, don't you think that's being a tad conceited?

What you say, or rather what I've inferred, is that we have to do something to get to heaven. As if we had any part in our own redemption. Ney, I believe that our salvation does not come from anything that we do, because we are so sinful. But we will not go to hell simply because we didn't fulfill some good works. Why? I'm sure you know about the robes of righteousness, correct?

I look forward to a healthy debate on the subject, since much of my family is Catholic, but non-practicing. (Please be patient with my responses as I will be very busy)

del_button July 13, 2006 at 12:08 PM
Eric said...

Any infraction?

"(7) Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. (8) For six days you shall labour and do all your work. (9) But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. (10) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it." - Exodus 20:7-10

What about all of the work that you have done on Sundays? Posting and updating this website would qualify as work, no?

del_button July 13, 2006 at 12:16 PM
Moneybags said...

Eric,

We can indeed work on Sunday. However, Sunday most be centered first and foremost on God. We MUST attend Mass on Sunday or it is a mortal sin. That is how we are to honor God on Sunday.

St. Therese of Lisieux taught that doing ordinary work with great love brings glory to God. I've tried it myself and it does work. We should honor God by striving for perfection in our work. So, we can work on Sunday - Jesus even did! He cured people on Sunday and the Pharisees accused Him of violating the Sabbath rule. But, the Our Lord said, "The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath".

If we are doing necessary work or work for the glory of God and the Gospel, then that does not violate the Commandment to keep Holy the Sabbath.

del_button July 13, 2006 at 1:11 PM
Sharon said...

Juparis- though it's not my blog, I wanted to share my thoughts.

God gave us the gift of free will. So in a sense, yes, what we do gets us to heaven. We decide our actions and words- He is not a puppetmaster playing us. It us up to us to decide whether or not we live moral lives or not.
Going to church- that is an action. Praying is an action; gossiping, stealing,-good or bad, we have the free wil to act a certain way and behave a certain way.
So imo, getting to heaven IS what we do or choose not to do. We are blessed because God did not leave us with no direction, but rather HE sent HIS son (Jesus) to teach us, gave us the 10 Commandments, and interceds with examples like the lives of the saints. If we look, we can see God's way all around us. But WE have to decide to follow HIS way. That is an action.
If a person has faith, why would they not act on tthat faith? Have you ever heard the expression "faith without works is dead"? It makes perfect sense. As we internalize our beliefs, it should reflect in our actions. If we SAY we believe in Christ, why then would we NOT go to Church every Sunday? (example)

Please no I am not nasty in this at all, just trying to share my thoughts as I understand it.
I know Moneybags is much more educated on this, and I look forward to that reply. I hope I wasn't too off course here!
You asked great questions, Juparis, ones I often hear from my own siblings.

del_button July 13, 2006 at 1:12 PM
Sharon said...

edited- sorry! I missed Moneybags reply above. My mistake!

del_button July 13, 2006 at 1:19 PM
Fredi said...

I have my own opinions on this topic, but rather than state what they are I think I should pose some questions for everyone to reflect on.

What does it mean to be a Christian?
What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?
What does it mean to be a Catholic?
What does it mean to be a good Catholic?
What does it mean to be a bad Catholic?
What does it mean to be a sinner?
What does it mean to be a hypocrite?
What does it mean to be a heretic?
What is meant by excommunication?
What is meant by excommunication latae sententiae?
What is meant by: "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."

del_button July 13, 2006 at 3:47 PM
Danny Garland Jr. said...

Juparis,
Are you saying that as long as you believe in Jesus Christ you can commit any sin you want (murder, adultery, fornication, etc.) and still get into Heaven?
Luther thought this that was the case.

Only thing is... the Bible doesn't teach that!

del_button July 13, 2006 at 3:58 PM
Moneybags said...

Sharon: "I wonder, though, how would you explain that w/o making it sound like "if you're not Catholic, you go to hell", or that Protestants are not as close w/ Christ as Catholics? I know many wonderful Protestants that are more "Christian" than some Catholics, and it'd be hard to believe they would be less likely to make it to heaven b/c they are not Catholic. Am I making my question clear? Sorry if I am not."

ME: That's something I struggle with on this blog each and everyday. I want to spread the Gospel and let people know that the Catholic Church is the one Church that is founded completely on Jesus Christ. I don't want to offend anyone, so I try to do it with love. I try my best and pray that I might spread the Light of Christ without offending too many people. After all, many were offended by Jesus. I should just teach the truth like He did and hope for the best.

del_button July 13, 2006 at 4:12 PM
Moneybags said...

Juparis,

"You say that faith in Christ Jesus will not gain one's soul into heaven. It seems you quoted a lot from the Old Testament--laws that no longer apply because of our LORD sending his son. But still, it would see that you believe that unless we perform all of these actions, we will not be with God in heaven."

We will not be saved on our faith. Our faith is the first stepping stone to salvation - we must have it. But, we are not saved on faith alone. We are saved by grace alone. Not only must we have faith, but we most follow Christ and the Commandments. We must pray. We must be baptized and receive the Sacraments. Faith demands action.

Look to James 2:22, "You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works." Just as Christ spoke of in the Gospel of Matthew, “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father,” (Matt 5:16 NAB) so must we, with a sincere heart, have works that glorify God.

Jesus never said that we just have to believe. He said that we must take up our cross and follow after Him. He said that unless one is born of water and spirit, they shall not enter the Kingdom (Jn 3:5). Clearly, we must act in a certain way to remain in God's grace - we must follow the Commandments.

James 2:24: “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (NAB).

del_button July 13, 2006 at 5:24 PM
Moneybags said...

Juparis,

You also said, "It seems you quoted a lot from the Old Testament--laws that no longer apply because of our LORD sending his son"

The things that are posted still apply. Remember the words of Jesus: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place" (Mt 5:17-18)

Jesus didn't drop any law. He tightened up the law. The few laws that did change (ex. dietary laws) are not the basis for this post. All references to Old Testament laws still apply

del_button July 13, 2006 at 7:29 PM
Fredi said...

Becoming a Catholic
From The Catholic Faith by Rev. Robert J. Fox

In becoming a catholic one must profess the faith, which the Catholic, Apostolic Church teaches. One must believe that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, which Jesus Christ founded on earth and to which one must submit with all his heart. One must believe in those truths contained in the Apostles’ Creed. Also, one must believe that seven sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind; namely, Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.

In making a profession of Catholic faith, one must believe that the pope, the bishop of Rome, is the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth; that he is the supreme visible head of the Church while Jesus Christ is the invisible head, and that the pope teaches infallibly in matters of faith and morals what we must believe and do to be saved.

One must believe everything that the holy, catholic, apostolic Church defines and declares we must believe. One must accept all the ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church. One must reject every error and schism that the Church rejects.

Having taken a course of Catholic instructions to become a Catholic, one must have faith that the Holy Eucharist is both Sacrifice, perpetuating the Sacrifice of the Cross in Holy Mass, and a Sacrament, containing the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. One must believe that the priest, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, has the power to forgive sins. One must intend to receive the sacraments of the Church worthily.

One is not ready to become a Catholic until he believes all that the Church believes and teaches. To deliberately reject what one knows is a dogma of Catholic faith is to place oneself outside the Catholic Church, or, if one has not yet joined, such rejection will keep one from honestly making a profession of Catholic faith.

Jesus did not command the apostles to teach part of what He had taught them, but all. He did not give his Church some of the authority He had received, with each one being free to pick and choose what to believe and what to do. Jesus rather gave his Church full authority. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” Matthew 28:18-20).

The Church is identified with Jesus Christ as his Mystical Body. In placing oneself under the authority of the Catholic Church, therefore, one is placing oneself under the authority of Jesus Christ. To embrace the Church is to embrace Jesus Christ in the fullness of true faith. One who joins the Catholic Church, having been previously nourished in some other Christian community, rejects nothing that is good and true of the faith he possessed before. All is kept. In the Catholic Church, however, one comes to the fullness of true faith, with the fullness of the authority and powers of Jesus Christ as given to his Church, which Scripture calls repeatedly, “the body of Christ.” If one possessed a beautiful bud of Christian faith before discovering Catholicism, he now discovers that that bud has come into full bloom.

While it is true that not all Catholics understand or live their faith fully, and membership in the Catholic Church is not assurance of automatic salvation since one must live the faith, responding in supernatural love, yet, the fullness of true faith is in the Catholic Church, which Jesus Christ himself founded. He promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against it. While some who call themselves “Catholic” may obscure the true face of Catholicism, they cannot destroy the reality, which Jesus, himself, promised to keep in the truth through the Holy Spirit unto the end of time. One who knows that the Catholic Church is the ancient Church, which Jesus founded, and that it possesses the fullness of true faith, has a serious obligation in conscience to join it and to live its teachings.

Being Catholic

del_button July 14, 2006 at 11:34 AM
Deo Juvante said...

Moneybags, this is a really good post!

I just want to take a quote from the late Pope John Paul II The Great: He mentioned in the year 2000 that both Protestants and Catholics will receive the Kingdom because we all profess our faith in Jesus Christ. However, he went on to say that only Catholics have the fullness of salvation; this means that because we have the 7 Sacraments. The Sacraments are a bounty of graces waiting to be poured onto our unworthy souls on death to bring us to eternal life with the Father. (Of course, one has to first accept the Church's teaching on Purgatory in order to fully accept the former.)

del_button July 15, 2006 at 12:35 PM
Anonymous said...

Grace is a gift; it does not come because of what we do, or how much we do. It is given to us from God no matter what, because we are his children and he loves us unconditionally.

del_button July 15, 2006 at 12:37 PM
Anonymous said...

"only Catholics have the fullness of salvation"

How can you be "more saved" than someone else? If Protestants receive the Kingdom as well as the Catholics, then that's it. They are saved. They are not 'less saved' than the Catholics.

del_button July 15, 2006 at 2:07 PM
Moneybags said...

Anonymous,

We are given more Grace (defined as God's friendship) when we ask for it. When we pray and receive the Sacraments, we are given more Grace.

Also, Jesus told His disciples they would merit some of the highest glory in Heaven. Heaven is not the same for everyone. All are saved but some are closer to God. St. Teresa of Avila said that Heaven is made up of many chambers - some are closer to God than others.

del_button July 19, 2006 at 12:50 AM
Juparis said...

I will be honest. Moneybags, I am somewhat angered at what you posted. Not that I am mad at you personally, but it has dawned on me why people become atheists, and why others are more inclined to believe Islam. Your posts have shown me that much, and it is sad.

It is the self-righteous attitude of Catholics that drive many people away. It is understandable from your own perspective--you believe to have the one true faith. From an outside view, however, it's downright arrogant to proclaim favoritism in God's eyes.

You must understand where I'm coming from. From your posts, everyone in my entire denomination is going to hell--my whole family and their entire struggle to find God's true faith has been in vain and they are going to hell. I must admit I took it a little offensively because it is a serious problem for me and my family.

What's to say Islam isn't the one true faith? It would make sense, seeing as how much the Catholic church has changed the Bible to better suit man's desires (in the past). Muslims (from what I've discussed and learned) believe that God has had three chosen people: First the Jews, but then they rejected his son. Then the Gentiles, but they changed his word (seems to fit thus far). Then the Arabs, as a final attempt to save as many people as He can.

I'm sorry if that comes across as offensive, but again, from your previous posts, all I can smell is arrogance and the predictable Christian response. "We're right--we're more deserving. By not being us, you're wrong and are going to die." Sorry if that sounds a bit atheistic, but that's what I feel like right now...

del_button July 19, 2006 at 6:38 AM
Moneybags said...

Juparis,

I'm sorry if it offended you. I just want all of us to be saved. I want you and myself and everyone here to be together in Heaven. I want us all to be able to praise Our Lord Jesus forever together.

Don't you think I have family that isn't Catholic? There are plenty of my family members that are not Catholic. And it's not easy thinking about the end - will they be saved. I just have to trust in God.

I hope you realize I am not here to sound arrogant AT ALL. I'm here to help other people see the truth in the Catholic faith so that as many people as possible get to enjoy eternal peace.

del_button July 19, 2006 at 5:35 PM
Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but I did not know Saints knew what heaven was like. Do they vacation up there?

I thought I'd share something with you that I learned recently:

In the Original Lord's Prayer, that is, in Aramaic, the word that is often translated into 'heaven' is 'shemiyah' (of course that is spelled phonetically). The root 'shem' directly translates to 'vibration', and the suffix 'iyah' translates to 'movement'. To recap, while we say 'our father, who art in heaven', we really mean 'our father, who is everywhere, all around, in all we see, hear, and feel, flowing within us and around us.

My opinion (although I bet you won't consider it valid anyway) is that in a world that is absolutely saturated with God, there are no borders. There is only one, united, flowing eternity. Borders divide, and if what we're striving for here is unity, then there certainly shouldn't be any barriers in the perfection of heaven. Cruzando. Crossing borders.

And I learned that grace was divine love and protection bestowed freely upon us by God.

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