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Old 16th January 2015, 07:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,608

Originally Posted by OregonCatholic View Post
I would argue that although possible, it would be extremely rare for non-Christian believers and unbelievers to be saved. Meeting the requirements of obtaining a baptism of desire or blood, avoiding all actual mortal sin and repenting with perfect contrition just doesn’t seem likely, particularly for unbelievers. Each of those requirements calls for a deep love of God and/or neighbor. That kind of love just seems rare outside of Christianity. Perfect contrition isn’t possible without God initiating that type of grace within us. It’s much more human to experience imperfect contrition out of fear of Hell. Unfortunately, imperfect contrition outside of the Sacrament of Reconciliation doesn’t put us back into the state of grace.

At Medjugorje, Mary said: "The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to hell. A small number go directly to Heaven."

Your proposal that salvation is rare outside of Christianity is incompatible with the mercy of God, the universal salvific will of God, and the teaching of Vatican II on the good found in other religions. Also, note that prior to Christianity, persons were only able to be saved by a baptism of desire or blood.

Originally Posted by OregonCatholic View Post
I’ve always had a difficult time understanding and accepting the concept of “invincible ignorance”. Although I don’t doubt this teaching, I just think that if someone really prayed for truth that God would put them on the right path. When does one cross the line from invincible ignorance to stubbornness in accepting the truth?

God only can judge each conscience. Have you never met a non-Christian who was a good person, who truly cared for the sick and needy, who loved his neighbor? We cannot be certain who is in a state of grace, but there are enough examples of non-Christians who love others to say that salvation outside the visible structures of the Church is not rare.

Invincible ignorance occurs frequently among Catholics, when they are ignorant or have misunderstood a teaching of the Church on a matter of faith or morals. They might not be fully culpable for their refusal to accept that teaching.

Similarly, a Jew or Muslim might not be culpable to the extent of actual mortal sin, for refusing to convert to Christianity. Most Christians are not shining paragons of virtue, leading non-Christians to doubt that Christianity is the Way to Heaven.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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