Can Only Catholics Be Saved? Really?

Can Only Catholics Be Saved? Really?

American Blogger, Margaret USA, is keen for us to discuss the following article, taken from One Peter Five blog…

“… thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matt 16:18-19)

It is a truth revealed by God that there is absolutely no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, instituted by Jesus Christ for the sanctification and salvation of the souls of men; how could there possibly be salvation outside the society instituted by Jesus Christ for our salvation?

The Catholic Church is not an invisible society, but a visible one, and there are not two Churches, one visible and the other invisible. It follows from this that it is necessary for salvation to be a member of the visible Catholic Church. There is no invisible Catholic Church. However, it is possible that a person could be, invisibly, a member of the Catholic Church, which is visible. Thus, a person in invincible ignorance of the true Faith who does not know of the necessity of membership in the Church for his salvation would not be held by the Almighty as guilty of a sin that he is not responsible for. Such a person might be, by grace, a member of the Catholic Church.

It is extremely dangerous, to say the least, to remain outside the Catholic Church, when the Catholic Church is the divinely instituted means of our salvation. One becomes a member of the Catholic Church either by baptism or by grace, and, visibly speaking, one becomes a visible member of the Catholic Church by baptism, because that is precisely the visible ceremony that makes men members of the Church. But Protestants, who do have a valid baptism, are not Catholics; for the Church is defined as the visible society of those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are united under the government of their lawful pastors under one visible head (that is, the pope). Protestants are, however, in an imperfect but real (or, to put it the other way, a real but imperfect) communion with us, and they are Christians, but they are not per se members of the Catholic Church. Catholics have used the phrase “separated brethren” to denote Protestants (and, I suppose, Orthodox and others) for two hundred years or so. The Second Vatican Council uses the phrase “fratres a nobis sejuncti” — the brethren separated from us. The word “separated” denotes the imperfection of the communion; the word “brethren” denotes the real communion that is, nevertheless, imperfect.

To state “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” does not mean that no Protestant, Jew, Muslim, etc., could be saved, but if he were saved, it would be by virtue of the Catholic Church and not his erring sect or religion. If he were saved, it would be because he was, by grace (or in the case of Protestants, by baptism), a member of the Catholic Church. Everyone who is in heaven is a member of the Church Triumphant and, ipso facto, a Catholic.

I do not think many people will deny that there are good and holy people in other religions. But this does not lessen the importance of the fact that all the graces in the world enter the world through the Catholic Church.

A person who knows that the Catholic Church is the true Faith, and refuses to enter it, cannot be saved. This is the perennial teaching of the Magisterium and is affirmed by the Second Vatican Council in the document Lumen Gentium.

The Catholic Church is the Church. It is not a part of the Church, or a denomination of the Church; it is the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, outside which there is no salvation. It is the only religion instituted by God Himself, and it is the only religion pleasing to God.

It is the duty of all men on Earth to enter the Catholic Church and to submit to her authoritative teaching. It is God who speaks to men, not through Scripture only, but also through the Sacred Tradition and the universal Magisterium of His Church. We must believe what Christ teaches us through His Church; faith that is at least implicit, in all that God has revealed, is necessary for salvation (and there are certain truths also that must be believed explicitly).

It is a great sin against charity to encourage people to persevere in their errors. Error will not save anyone. The truth of Jesus Christ — which includes the truth of His Church, which is His Immaculate Bride and His Mystical Body — will save people. People have a right to the full truth of the Gospel and should not be denied any part of it. They therefore have a right to know the truth: that Catholicism is the true religion; that the Catholic Church is the Church of God, which is endowed with authority, infallibility, and indefectibility, and will teach the true Faith and preserve the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ until the end of time. Membership in it is necessary for salvation.   Source

[Author] David Mitchell was born in England and lives there his wife, whom he married in December 2018. David was educated at the University of Durham and was received into the Catholic Church in 2008, while he was a student. He has a B.A. in music and an M.A. in performance and sings in his church choir, where he and his wife met. He has taught music and Latin and currently undertakes freelance music work.

Comments invited…   

Comments (44)

  • RCAVictor Reply

    Thank you, Margaret USA, for requesting this topic. Gratefully, RCAVictor USA…

    I think this is one of the key paragraphs in this excellent article:

    “To state “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” does not mean that no Protestant, Jew, Muslim, etc., could be saved, but if he were saved, it would be by virtue of the Catholic Church and not his erring sect or religion. If he were saved, it would be because he was, by grace (or in the case of Protestants, by baptism), a member of the Catholic Church. Everyone who is in heaven is a member of the Church Triumphant and, ipso facto, a Catholic.”

    The way I learned this truth is that while non-Catholics could be saved if God so wills it, only the Catholic Church has the means of salvation, i.e. the Sacraments.

    This article, by the way, is a pointed response to the ridiculous arguments of one Karl Rahner, SJ, who, according to Malachi Martin, attacked and undermined every single dogma of the Church. There are at least two of his heresies addressed in this article: one, the nonsense of the “anonymous Christian,” and two, the nonsense of the “invisible Church.” Under the present Pontificate, tragically, we have Rampant Rahnerism, aimed, as Cardinal Muller put it today on LifeSite News, as a wrecking ball against the Church.

    That said, I’d have to disagree with one of the author’s statements, namely, that Protestants are Christians. How could you be a Christian if you reject the Papacy, the Magisterium, certain books of the Bible, the Mass and the priesthood – all divinely founded and inspired by Christ? Not to mention veneration of Mary and the Saints, Purgatory, etc. etc. I’m trying to think of an analogy, but I guess I’ll have to post one later,

    I’m also amazed that a musician wrote this, considering that, in my extensive experience with the denizens of the professional music world, most classical musicians are either ignorant homosexuals or insufferable, ignorant snobs, both types embracing whatever the latest PC insanity happens to hit their cell phones. May this exception soon become the rule….

    July 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm
    • Margaret USA Reply

      You’re welcome, RCA Victor. ☺

      I was totally blown away after reading this article. It was almost (emphasis on “almost”!) like reading the CT newsletter.

      July 28, 2019 at 1:54 am
    • Miles Immaculatae Reply

      Your comment about musicians made me laugh. However, I studied music at university and the department was among the more open-minded of the arts departments. I had freedom to write anything I wanted without provoking the wrath of secularist ideologues. That is, as long as what I wrote was well argued and supported by evidence. In fact, the director of a prestigious Scottish choir, who herself is not religious, once told me that she felt that Vatican II was to blame for the demise of Church music. That this was obvious to her, but not to most modern churchmen, is astounding.

      July 28, 2019 at 8:01 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Miles,

        Your experience is encouraging, but I’m afraid the Iron Curtain of political correctness has descended over the once-proud American university system….and is now in the clean-up phase. President Trump has put a major obstacle in their way, however, by threatening to cut off Federal funding for any university that violates freedom of speech.

        July 29, 2019 at 2:17 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Here’s my weak attempt at an analogy: for Protestants to claim to be Christians is like a man claiming to be a soldier, yet who:

    -Rejects boot camp and all other forms of discipline
    -Rejects wearing a uniform
    -Rejects carrying a weapon
    Rejects attending class and briefings and taking tests
    -Rejects taking orders from superiors, or even addressing them properly
    -Rejects going into battle

    But who….

    -Demands a military pension all the same.

    July 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm
    • Josephine Reply

      RCA Victor,

      As I have close relatives who are now Protestants, it was hard to read your posts, but I’m afraid you are correct. In fact, I couldn’t find anything by Googling which supports the opposite view. Instead, I found this article
      https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/m013rpProtestantsChristians.html

      We should pray for all those “separated brethren”, to find their way home, despite the awful state of the Church right now.

      July 27, 2019 at 9:35 pm
      • Petrus

        I think the article is excellent. It is hard reading when you have Protestant relatives, but I simply remind myself that God is infinitely just, so if a relative of mine is in Hell, it’s because they deserve it. Similarly, if I end up in Hell it will be because I deserve it.

        July 27, 2019 at 10:28 pm
      • TradCathKnight

        Yes, this article means that even many sincere and devout Greek and Russian Orthodox are all in the fires of Hell, even conservative sympathetic High Church/Anglo-Catholics too.

        Alongside countless billions of Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Hindus, Sihks, Buddhists and Atheists, divorcees, fornicators. Families, children and parents, all suffering eternal damnation, regardless of how much they loved people or how kindly they lived their lives. They are outside the Church!

        Meanwhile, the majority of semi-lapsed, modernist Novus Ordo Catholics are all enjoying eternal happiness in heaven, even those who receive the blessed sacrament in the hand while standing?

        Even all those new-church Catholics who now openly accept, promote and tolerate heretical teachings on sexuality and socialism, they are in heaven.by virtue of baptism and forgiveness of sins?

        Surely not! So logically then, this must mean that only a vey small number of traditional Catholics, are getting into heaven.

        Is that correct?

        July 28, 2019 at 7:52 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I don’t personally believe that socialism per se is to blame for the Crisis in the Church, nor are the Jews to blame. There are no socialist states in Europe, only liberal democracies. Liberalism is to blame for the downfall of the West, both economic liberalism and cultural liberalism. What and who exactly do you mean by socialists?

        Socialists and Jews are surely not ultimately responsible for the Crisis in the Church? Catholics are, specifically Catholic modernists who synthesised Catholicism with freemasonic philosophies of the Enlightenment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There is a tendency among some traditional Catholics (typically American) who misidentify any form of liberalism and secularism as ‘socialism’, but to me this simply betrays their McCarthyist tendencies. It’s a distraction from the real threat, and perpetuates conspiracy theories which undermine the intellectual credibility of Traditional Catholicism.

        July 28, 2019 at 12:24 pm
      • Elizabeth

        I believe that we have to leave all this to the mercy of God who is a loving father and creator. We cannot limit Him or His mercy. What we have to do is work tirelessly for our salvation and pray tirelessly for everyone else. Jesus said that in His Fathers house there are many mansions. It is up to God who He puts in them. The enormous graces gained for mankind through the death of Our Lord on the cross are beyond human understanding. We do not know, and cannot know what happens to a soul on the point of death. Maybe they are given the choice of accepting God then. Who knows?

        July 28, 2019 at 1:31 pm
      • Therese

        TCK

        Did you not read RCA Victor’s initial post?

        July 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm
      • Petrus

        I think you are asking pointless questions. We cannot know for certain who is saved and who isn’t, canonised saints being the exception. No one can put a limit on God and His mercy.

        However, what we do know for definite is that salvation can only be assured by being in full communion with the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. It’s worth noting that if someone denies a doctrine of the Faith they place themselves outside of the Church.

        July 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm
      • TradCathKnight

        So just to recap =

        We cannot know for certain who is saved. However, we can say for certain that there’s no salvation outside the Church?

        Thanks for clearing that up Petrus.

        July 28, 2019 at 10:28 pm
      • editor

        TCK

        Well, with all due respect, it’s self-evident that “we cannot know for certain who is saved” (with the exception, as Petrus points out, of canonised saints.)

        It’s also an infallible dogma of the Church that there is no salvation outside the Church.

        Petrus really didn’t say anything new…

        https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4b/5b/8f/4b5b8f6b713103d281038c7f4b2e5cfb.png

        July 29, 2019 at 10:16 am
      • RCAVictor

        TCK,

        Your post sounds as if you are trying to be controversial, rather than factual.

        I think the essential truth here was spoken by Our Lord in Matthew 7:21: “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

        All the various categories of modern Catholics you cite, including traditionalists, are subject to Our Lord’s restrictions. As for those who are outside the Church, I suggest you read Elizabeth’s post below.

        July 28, 2019 at 7:53 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Josephine,

        I know what you mean, believe me, as I was removed from the Church at age 5 and raised Protestant due to re-marriage (which, incidentally, was invalid). Moreover, almost all of my surviving relatives are Protestant.

        There are, as the article points our, many good Protestants who sincerely love Our Lord, but their hearts are only pumping with 1 ventricle, or less, and they have no means of expiation of sin. And if they consciously reject the Catholic Church, rather than perhaps thinking of it as just another Christian denomination, then I’m afraid they will be in hot water when they face their judgement.

        Furthermore, since there is no liturgical sacrifice in any Protestant sect, they really don’t even qualify as a religion. I asked that question of one of our priests last year, and he said they are a faith, but not a religion. I’m not sure what the difference is, though, and i didn’t get a chance to follow up.

        As for the class of people known as “separated brethren,” the Church is in such a bad way now that I wonder if we could include much of the hierarchy in that group. After all, doesn’t “the Great Apostasy” mean separation?

        July 28, 2019 at 7:41 pm
      • Margaret USA

        “I asked that question of one of our priests last year, and he said they are a faith, but not a religion.”

        With all due respect, he has it backwards. There is only one Faith – the Catholic Faith. All other religions are false.

        Btw, “religion” comes from the Latin phrase “to bind”. Any good dictionary will have the etymology of “religion” in its definition.

        July 28, 2019 at 11:08 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        But many people have faith in false gods. Their faith is real, even if what they believe is false. Most atheists and secularists I know have a much stronger ‘faith’ than your average luke-warm Novus Ordo Catholic.

        July 29, 2019 at 6:44 pm
    • Margaret USA Reply

      RCA Victor,

      👍👍 for your awesome post! Totally spot on!

      Margaret 🇺🇸

      P.S. Where are you in the U.S.? I forget.

      July 28, 2019 at 1:17 am
      • RCAVictor

        Margaret USA,

        Politically, I’m far right… 🙂 Geographically, Greater Cincinnati.

        July 28, 2019 at 7:56 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Ok. I’m in southeastern PA (outside of Philadelphia). So are you on CT instead of EDT?

        July 28, 2019 at 11:02 pm
      • RCAVictor

        No, still EDT here. It changes in Indiana.

        July 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm
  • Margaret USA Reply

    Dear Madame Editor,

    Thank you very much for posting this article! When I first started learning about the crisis in the Church, I had a hard time accepting EENS.

    I boned up on good Catholic reading (e.g. The Catholic Church and Salvation by Msgr. Fenton – available from Angelus Press +1-800-96-ORDER) but still couldn’t understand it.

    This article distilled the Catholic teaching on EENS and made it comprehensible to my poor going-gray matter.

    I think it was GKC who wrote that you can look at something 999 times and the 1000th time you’re in danger of seeing it for the first time.

    Well, this article made everything click. The author may not be a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist but he’s still a brother-in-spiritual-arms.

    Yours in Christ the King,

    Margaret 🇺🇸

    July 28, 2019 at 2:27 am
  • Miles Immaculatae Reply

    I am sure that false religions can positively lead a person to damnation. How many suicide bombers have there been who sincerely believed that they loved God and were destined for paradise?

    My understanding of EENS is not so much that the lack of knowledge of Catholicism leads to damnation, but rather that false religions (including atheistic materialism) delude people and give them licence to act against the natural law, whether it be Islamist terrorists or secular humanist abortionists, or pagans who throughout history have commited human sacrifice.

    July 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae Reply

      May I add that although there have been virtuous pagans who have obeyed the natural law and have been saved, almost everyone — except by an extraordinary grace — will have a faulty understanding of the natural law, and I know that I certainly would have had the Catholic Church not taught me the authentic interpretation of the natural law. Most man-made religions permit their members to deviate in some way from the natural law, for example, most Protestants accept artificial contraception.

      July 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I think it is futile to speculate, and/or try to predict on a case-by-case basis, who is saved and who is not – and not only futile, but an act of stubborn pride. The Church has given us the rule, and it is de fide. However, in favor of those outside the Church, God may will to save a soul who has been pleasing to Him, and who has not consciously rejected His Church, thus demonstrating an exception to the rule.

    Conversely, against those inside the Church – and again I cite Matthew 7:21 – God may condemn Catholics who merely gave the Faith lip service. So, another exception to the rule.

    July 29, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae Reply

      I agree with your distinction between faith and religion. Faith is merely a belief system, such as secular humanism. Whereas religion is a belief system AND a system of worship. Worship necessarily must include sacrifice. The concept of sacrifice seems to be written into our DNA, as even pagans sacrificed to their false gods.

      July 29, 2019 at 6:42 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I think there is a second fatal hole blown in the hull of Protestantism, possibly even worse than their lack of liturgical sacrifice. That is their rejection of Our Lord’s Mystical Body, the Church: according to them, He doesn’t have a Mystical Body, and thus there is no Ark of Salvation, no Treasury of Graces, no Sacred Deposit of Faith, no Heaven on Earth, no City of God.

    This elimination of an essential dimension of Christ has resulted, in part, in what Max Weber called “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.” That is, the Catholic worldview, before the disordered Luther provided an handy excuse for German princes to rebel against the Church, seize Church assets and adopt a false religion, was that we should lay up our treasures in Heaven, and remain detached from earthly things.

    The Protestant worldview, on the other hand, having dispatched, with endless lies and distortions, Our Lord’s Mystical Body, is exactly the opposite: lay up your treasures on earth, because you’re already saved or damned!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protestant_Ethic_and_the_Spirit_of_Capitalism

    July 29, 2019 at 2:34 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae Reply

      The heretical Calvinist doctrine of double predestination ceratainly encourages people to lay up their treasures on earth, as you say. Wealth was taken as a sign of being part of the elect. This contributed to what Weber called the Protestant work ethic. I suspect that the influence of historical Protestantism has warped the collective cultural mindset of Americans and has lead them to avarice.

      July 29, 2019 at 6:37 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    On the subject of the salvation of lip service Catholics, I meant to cite St. Leonard of Port Maurice’s famous – and very sobering – sermon, “The Fewness of Those Who Are Saved”:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/ecumenism/fewsave.htm

    July 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm
  • gabriel syme Reply

    Is this an accurate summary – most part are obviously accurate, really I just wish to query how a non-Catholic person might merit grace:

    – The Catholic faith is the true faith, and the Catholic Church the only Church

    – It is the source of grace in the world

    – The practice of any other (naturally false) religion has no efficacy as regards as persons salvation

    – A person who is not visibly a member of the Catholic Church might invisibly be so, through grace

    – Such grace may a result of desire, the prayer of the Church and/or others, or freely bestowed by God (?)

    The premise of the statement:

    A person who knows that the Catholic Church is the true Faith, and refuses to enter it, cannot be saved.

    Seems illogical to me, in so far as if a person knew Catholicism was true and necessary, why would they refuse to enter the Church? (or – perhaps better – how could they then refuse to enter it?)

    Of course a person would damn themselves by rejecting the truth, but I am baffled as to why/how someone would reject it – if they first had the grace to recognise it?

    I have various non-Catholic friends and relations and pray for them daily, that they might be converted by God’s grace. I prefer hope and prayer over worry, as regards their situation.

    I also try to give them good example, by actively trying to “live my faith” and showing the many ways in which my faith benefits me, in terms of my happiness, contentment, resilience etc.

    (I am sure there are various ways in which I give poor example at times also, but not – I hope – when it comes to the faith).

    Given the ongoing failure of the Church to properly teach and articulate its doctrines – and, of course, it’s unfortunate habit of preaching the exact opposite to its doctrines – I do think that culpability is much reduced (in modern times) for people who do not become Catholics.

    August 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm
  • John Reply

    An excellent sermon by a Fatima priest it is a long sermon but worth the effort.
    I watched it over two days in about 20 minute segments, in the second half of the sermon he tells some very good true stories.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IV3WmTADnyE

    August 5, 2019 at 9:29 am
    • editor Reply

      Thank you for this John – it’ll be a while before I can watch it, but looks to be very useful. I’ll be interested to read some concrete example from you and others who have viewed it – “tasters”, so to speak – which always motivate viewing!

      August 5, 2019 at 10:22 am
  • John Reply

    Editor

    This priest has a talent for preaching and touching people’s hearts.
    I posted a sermon by the same priest general discussion July 18th ( the power of a mothers prayers)
    The story how he became a priest thanks to his mothers prayers .

    The above sermon reiterates it is never to late to pray or do sacrifices for your loved ones who have died God does not view time as we do.

    August 5, 2019 at 4:53 pm
    • Nicky Reply

      John

      That puzzles me about never too late to pray for loved ones because the Church teaches that the Sacrament of Extreme Unction is for the living not the dead, so it is not to be administered after death. You’d think if “God does not view time as we do” in the matter of prayer, then the most important prayers of all – the prayers of the Church for the dying – would be applicable after death, at least for a few days before the funeral and burial. So, that part of your comment puzzles me.

      August 5, 2019 at 5:03 pm
      • John

        Nicky

        I would suggest you listen to the sermon.

        August 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm
      • John

        Nicky

        What Fr seems to be saying ( at about 1hr 15 mins ) because God knows everything, he knows what prayers and sacrifices people do for their loved ones after they die which could help them immensely at their moment of death.

        From memory I believe St John Vianney has preached similar.

        August 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm
  • lambrem1 Reply

    My question on this matter is if God created us to love and serve in this world and the next ..Is it possible in God’s Magnificent plan of love and salvation that those who do not deliberately ignore the church because of how they were raised as a child and certain other circumstances not of their doing and die before they have a chance to know or understand the Catholic Faith ? I have been a Catholic for 69 years and follow the Catholic Church but there still must be compassion and love for them also! How do we help them even Christians who are strong in their Faith but still fail the light of Christ through the Catholic Church! Marcel

    November 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm
    • editor Reply

      Lambrem1

      I’ve just seen this – apologies for the delay in responding.

      I’m pretty sure your question will have been answered above, but I don’t have time to read the thread again right now;

      Suffice to say that God is totally just and thus, not unreasonable – if someone genuinely does not know the claims of the Church to be the sole means of salvation, and they seek to live according to their lights in the knowledge that they must try to live a life pleasing to God, then they will be saved AS members of the Church.

      The Fathers taught that those who KNOW the Church’s claims and either refuse to enter or to remain in her, cannot be saved.

      I hope this helps.

      December 5, 2020 at 11:59 pm
  • Ken Reply

    Oh the loyalty of devout Catholics!! “I was born a Catholic and I will die one”, the cultic trumpet call of patriotism to a mortal, human institution that a few hundred years ago burned hapless victims alive at a stake once the verdict of “heretic” was pronounced for nothing else than a man writing a bible in the vernacular of anyone wanting to read the gospels in their own language and learn from, or digressing in anyway from what she teaches. This whole article reeks of anti semantic bias and attacks towards God’s original chosen people that were a shining light for all nations to be led by but unfortunately were led astray by variations of idol worship, unrepentant sin and hypocrites that loved traditional legalistic teachings that they gleefully added to the words of the law.

    What do you do with the words of Christ in (John 4: 22) when He states that salvation comes through the Jews. Let me guess…you replace it with The Church, Sacraments, Mary, Purgatory, the broader meaning of Justification, an infallible leader who rests in the luxury of pomp and splendor that all secular world leaders think they deserve, intercessory prayers to the dead and the list goes on. As gentiles we, meaning you, were all excluded from God’s people of Israel, branches from the wild olive tree that had to be grafted in to God’s special holy olive tree.

    How dare you think so highly of yourselves that you feel you can redefine the line between what is evil and good by condemning a man or woman to hell by kicking God from His throne and putting your own self righteous and subjective level of righteousness in His place. I wonder what Pope Francis would think of this article? With his objective focus on ecumenical unity among all people including, God forbid, Protestants, imagine that, he would be quick to quash your little gathering of hate filled diatribe towards people that were created in God’s image.

    Shame on you!! I personally didn’t think that people like you still existed. I go to a Baptist Church that adores Father, Son and Holy Spirit and strives to live a blameless life through our period of sanctification while here on earth. No doubt we all fall, for we still battle with the flesh but we have faith in what Christ accomplished for us on the cross, we are His adopted sons and daughters who have put off the world and focus on Heavenly treasures.

    Yes our doctrines differ from yours but in my years of going to various evangelical churches I have never heard once a pastor trash talk the Catholic church. These are people with their masters and PHD degrees who have studied the bible and theology all their adult lives and go by the command of loving their neighbours like ourselves.

    The road doesn’t start at Rome folks, it starts on the road to Calvary. Like each one of us we will all stand before Him, each one knowing Jesus is our own personal way which brings Him glory and praise. . He takes us by the hand and leads us to the bottom of the cross where we leave our sins and begin a new life through and in Him. There is no one else with you, no parent, best friend, lawyer, priest, it’s just you and Christ.

    Next step is to go repent and confess your sins, better yet, confess your sins to each other or your priest so those who are alive in Christ can pray for you.

    Editor: I was prepared to add commentary throughout your lengthy attack on the Church, assuming that you must be a disenchanted baptised-but-fallen-away Catholic. After reading that you are a Baptist, however, I realised there was no point. There are just so many errors in your comment (not least that the Church is a “human institution” which contradicts Scripture – ironic coming from a self-confessed Bible Protestant) that it would take me into the New Year to answer each one, and here in Bonnie Scotland we like to keep the New Year for singing, dancing, eating and drinking (lemonade)… Oops! I forgot about our ongoing imprisonment due to that highly dangerous virus from which 99.98% recover… New Year will be cancelled, no question about it. And I’m not booking a summer holiday either – this “virus” is here to stay. But I digress.

    Look, Ken, you don’t like Catholicism. That dawned on me a few sentences into your post, and so I’m going to ignore the import of your comment which is, essentially, that we are bad people -that’s fine. I’ll merely respond briefly to three things in your comment:

    (1) Of course “salvation comes through the Jews” – Christ was a Jew.

    (2) You are absolutely correct to say that “the road doesn’t start at Rome [but] on the Road to Calvary.” Absolutely correct. But – as many converts to the Faith have said, “all roads lead to Rome.” I guarantee that if you launch a genuine and honest investigation into the matter, you will realise the truth of that claim.

    (3) You are also correct to say that Pope Francis would not approve of us – not one bit. He’s a full blown Protestant-cum-Marxist. Future historians will identify him as easily the worst ever pope in the entire history of the Church, so enjoy him while you may. We will, in God’s own good time, be given another good and dutiful, if not saintly pontiff to rule the Church and give true moral and religious leadership to the world, as so many previous popes have done. And the central fact about the Francis pontificate is that, for all his un-Catholic, and indeed anti-Catholic rhetoric and scandalous actions, he has never once used the power of the papal office to change any Christian teaching or to formally approve immorality. He’s come close, that is true, but the promise of Christ was not that we would ever have a perfect pope or that popes would not make serious errors in their private words and writings. Pope Francis has been guilty of all of that – but as the famous English Catholic convert, G.K. Chesterton wrote, notwithstanding all the turmoil, having avoided falling into any of the many heresies throughout the ages, the Catholic Church still possesses “the wild truth reeling, but erect.”

    OK, I’ll leave you now, Ken, wishing you well, albeit very sad at your hatred for Christ’s Church. He only established one Church, remember – the others trace their history back to the dissident Catholic priest, Martin Luther, not to Christ. You’ve listed some Catholic dogmas which you obviously reject. I won’t do that with Protestantism; allow me merely to address one key Protestant teaching, and to offer this page to read, because it just might make you rethink that key Protestant doctrine that the Bible alone is sufficient to know Christ and be saved. Click here to read a challenge to that belief. I would acknowledge that Baptists (probably) believe that baptism as well as Scripture is essential to salvation but I was hearing only recently that a Baptist friend of mine isn’t… well… baptised. It’s a funny old world…

    Thank you for stopping by, Ken – we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    December 5, 2020 at 10:29 pm
  • Ken Reply

    Mr. Editor, please reread my commentary. I don’t attack the Catholic Church, you have voiced a rhetorical response which is typical of Catholics defending their faith. Anyone who voices discontent with anything the church teaches is automatically labelled as anti catholic. You are correct, I did leave the church 10 years ago for many reasons which I will not go to lengths to discuss here, you and I aren’t going to cover any ground that hasn’t been already argued.
    Editor: Ken, it’s simpler if I try to respond to some of your points within your own comment; hope you don’t mind. It’s difficult to know what you mean by a “rhetorical response” since we are dealing with words and rhetorical is defined as one of the arts of discourse, usually with the aim of persuading. Since I specifically acknowledged that there is no point in trying to persuade you of the truth of unique position of Catholicism in God’s plan of salvation, I honestly don’t see how I can be accused of a “rhetorical response”. I’ll take it as a compliment, that I can persuade even when I’m not attempting to do so! 😀

    The church, as Baptists and most Protestants believe, is both visible and invisible, not sure where the idea comes from where we look at it as being just invisible.
    Editor: I’ve never suggested that, it is not what the Church teaches, so you’ve lost me there…

    Obviously the physical church holds both the chaff and the wheat, we just don’t always know who they are and that includes the Catholic Church. Just because you take part in the sacraments and go to church doesn’t mean that Christ will put you on His right side when you face Him.
    Editor: absolutely correct. The “just” is the clue there…

    There are many reasons why people go to church, we judge on an empirical basis where God is more causative and forensic. I’m not convinced that God rests His judgment on so much what we do as why we do what we do.
    Editor: the trick for us here on earth is to pray and work to realise God’s will for us in our lives. That is “what” we have to do, and it is also the “why”. Why do we pray and work to seek to fulfil God’s will in our lives? Because that is what God asks of us… Otherwise, we could all settle for being good, altruistic humanists. Nice people trying to do good in the world. Remember, there were plenty of nice people trying to do good in the world before Christ came on earth to teach us that that is NOT all that is required of us. Just ask Abraham.

    To say that Pope Francis will be labelled as the worst pope in history is a bizarre statement, I’m not sure what the basis of your vote is but history tells us there were far worst, as well, there were good ones too. And I don’t enjoy Pope Francis, he’s not my pope, I suspect you are a pre Vatican II Catholic, just asking?
    Editor: it is, you are correct again, bizarre, but since Pope Francis does not hold and teach the Catholic Faith, as it has been handed down to us from Christ and the Apostles, but has done his best to re-shape it to fit his personal evidently Marxist beliefs, I’m sorry to say that, bizarre as it is, it is also true. Just because (as far as we know) he doesn’t have a wife and children, doesn’t mean he’s not the worst-ever pope. Just trust me on this one, Ken. As for “pre-Vatican II Catholics” – no such thing. There are only Catholics who accept the teaching and authority of the Church from the beginning and there are some who have fallen into the condemned error of Modernism, corrected by Pope Saint Pius X who sought to stamp it out, but which has taken on a new lease of life since the Second Vatican Council. I haven’t changed my beliefs at all – I believe all that the Church teaches; I use the litmus test of the Fathers of the Church, adhering to what Christians have always believed, everywhere and at all times. That is how we can be certain that we have not fallen into any of the popular errors and heresies. Unfortunately, the Church is undergoing an unprecedented crisis in these times, with a majority being misled by false teachers and preachers. So, it’s not really about being pre-Vatican II – it’s about being a fully believing (or not) Catholic.

    Sola Scripture: this has been argued for several hundred years and most people really don’t know how to define it. Simply stated, I look at the Bible as the highest court of appeal, the final tribunal to which faith and life is measured. It has no peer group, it has no equals and all articles of faith are subservient to it including the church.
    Editor: the problem with that theory is that it is the Church which gave us the Scriptures in the first place, and it was several hundred years before bibles were available to the people at large, thanks to the introduction of printing presses. In those intervening years, where did the faithful look to find the “highest court of appeal”? We have the answer within the Scriptures, where, for example, to cite but one piece of evidence, we find St Paul teaching that “The Church [not the Bible] is the pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

    The church is the body of Christ which He is the head, comprised of all believers who have been moved by the Holy Spirit and realized their spiritual poverty, mourning their sins (repentance), walking humbly and seeking righteousness between the time of redemption and when we are called away. The Church is indeed the pillar and foundation of the “truth” not the truth in and of itself. You as a teacher, or whatever position you hold, are fully responsible for what you teach. Don’t ever think that you are free to teach articles of faith that are outside the walls of scripture and not answer for them.
    Editor: firstly, I hadn’t noticed that you quote St Paul yourself, so you know that “The Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth”. We agree at last! I have to say, every time I debate with a Protestant, they come up with a totally fresh argument – ingenuity they lack not! So, this is a new one on me, the idea that the Church is “not the truth in and of itself.” Now, that would depend on what you mean by both “truth” and “Church”. Since the Catholic Church is the “spotless Bride of Christ”, that is to say, Christ and His Church are one, then your argument, framed a little differently from the (old!) normal, does, in fact, fit in with the “old theology” so to speak. Here’s the Anglican convert to Catholicism, John Henry Cardinal Newman: “Christ has so willed it that we should get at the truth, not by ingenious speculations, reasonings and investigations of our own, but by teaching. The Holy Church has been set up from the beginning as a solemn religious fact… as a picture, a revelation of the next world, as itself, the Christian dispensation.” (Sermon, 1833).

    I have nothing against tradition, we all practice it in every facet of our lives. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ fell three times while He carried His cross. This is not taught in the bible, do I reject it, absolutely not, makes perfect sense to me that He would. Most experts state that He never even should have been alive to carry it. However, if this teaching was regarded as an infallible doctrine by way of the pope speaking ex cathedra I would have an issue with it. Since it is not taught in the bible we have no authority to state that anything that comes from human teaching has the same force and effect as if it is taught in the bible, that is putting tradition and the magisterium on the same level as God’s word, hence my earlier definition.
    Editor: well, there’s a stack of things to say about this part of your comment but I’m running out of time. Suffice to say that your assertion is based on the assumption that nobody has the authority to teach “with the same force and effect as biblical teaching” which is, ironically to ignore Christ’s appointment of Peter to the work of being the head of the Church on earth, with the power from Christ to rule and teach: Peter, the first head of the visible Church on earth, to whom Christ gave that very authority which you deny. The power of the “keys”, the power to “bind and loose”, with the assurance that this papal rule would be binding in Heaven. Now, of course the Church Fathers have studied and refined what that means in practice, but there can be no denying that this authority is recorded in the Gospels. Perhaps this book would be helpful because it explains the nature of Catholic teaching and how to identify the (as per title) Crucial Truths To Save Your soul… There’s a link to the pdf here, or you can buy it in hard copy if you are interested.

    Sorry to hear you think I hate the church. There are many items that the church teaches that are true, for the most part, most of what she teaches. By way of one example the refining of the person and identity of Christ, (Council of Nicaea) and her stance on abortion which most real Christians will support, as well as the sanctity of marriage etc. We do not trace our church back to Luther, Luther was a great theologian, that doesn’t mean that he was correct in everything. He was the little darling of the Catholic Church until he was excommunicated. He is an embarrassment to the reformation for his hatred towards the Jews but Christianity as a whole is responsible for that aren’t they.
    Editor: I’m glad to learn that you don’t hate the Church. I’m delighted to have been wrong about that. However, let’s not play the blame game to let Luther off the hook. Like the rest of us, he had free will and he chose to use it to leave the Church and to lead others astray by his false teaching. Even by his own biographer’s account, his arrogance knew no bounds to the point that, by the end of his life, he would “brook no opposition from any man.” Whatever qualities he learned in his Catholic days, the virtue of humility does not appear to have been among them!

    There is only one church, and, there is also one gospel which scripture teaches. I follow the man that died on the cross for me, I believe in His finished work, I believe He is the King of Kings and will follow Him, and only Him, while I am on this earth. Again, nothing against tradition unless it contradicts what is written, then I will measure it up against the scriptures, Christ did many times.
    Editor: well, that same Gospel, that title of King of Kings, are given to us by Christ’s Church. You say you believe in “His finished work”, and since I’m not sure what that means, I’ll take your word for it!

    Sorry to hear of your friend that isn’t well, thank you for your prayers.
    Editor: I think I said that I had a Baptist friend who is not… well… baptised. That was me being facetious. A Baptist who is not baptised? Get it now?

    Well, Ken, I’m not sure I’ll have made a dent in any of your Protestant beliefs, but I hope you appreciate that I just cannot respond in such detail all the time. I wish I could – I love discussions, especially theological discussions, but time and tide etc…

    Having said that, feel free to comment here, and one of us will be happy to engage with you – when we get to the “going round in circles” stage, however, we call it a day. I’m sure you’ll understand.

    Keep praying – especially to Our Lady. Did you know that Martin Luther had a great love of Our Lady, to the point where he is known to have shed tears when speaking of her? She’s very powerful, Ken, ask her to help you – she will. She never fails to win graces for us all. Our Lord cannot refuse her. Think “Cana” 😀

    December 6, 2020 at 4:00 am
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      Ken,

      If that wasn’t an attack on the Catholic religion, then the Democrats didn’t try to steal the American election, 2020.

      Your first comment was jam packed with anti-Catholic propaganda which you presumably got from Protestant pamphlets. I’m sorry, but your hatred for the Church just flows through that first comment. The second one is a different tone, I grant you, but you’re not a fan of the Catholic Church, that’s very clear.

      There are things that are not taught in the Bible, as such, but which the Church teaches because it was something believed from the beginning by all Christians. That’s why Jesus gave his own authority to the Church at the start, “whatever you bind on earth or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in Heaven” is one proof that Christianity is not “a religion of the book” like Islam. It’s when the Church actually defines a teaching that we are bound to believe it, that way, we don’t all end up interpreting the Bible to suit ourselves.

      LOL, I don’t think Editor was saying that her Baptist friend isn’t well, she was saying that he wasn’t baptised!

      December 6, 2020 at 5:02 pm
      • editor

        MM,

        You’ve just reminded me about Father Gruner’s book which explains that key to understanding Catholicism – i.e. the importance of defined teachings. His book is entitled Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul – I will go now and add it into my comment above, responding to Ken. and It’s available to purchase in hard copy or to read in pdf, online here
        https://fatima.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Crutial-Truths-to-Save-Your-Soul.pdf

        December 6, 2020 at 10:44 pm
    • Athanasius Reply

      Ken

      Your comments are quite typical of one with a bad conscience seeking to project his guilt onto the Church. Best thing to do if you want to be happy again is to confront whatever it is in your life that is causing you such distress of conscience, then go to confession and return to the true faith. There’s no point in rambling on here and there’s no point in anyone trying to reason with you in your present state. You know what needs to be done, all apostates do.

      December 7, 2020 at 3:50 am

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