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Alexis Victoria wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question:

If Outside the Church there is No Salvation, what happens to the millions of
non-Catholics around the world, including:

  • Protestants
  • Anglicans, and
  • Orthodox?
Alexis
  { If there is — No salvation outside the Church, — what happens to the millions of non-Catholics? }

John replied:

Alexis,

If it were not for Christ, no one would be saved. The Church is His Body, and thus, the means of Salvation. This does not mean that God can't save those who, through no fault of their own,
do there best to follow the grace that God gives them.

Every individual must make an effort to form his conscience and seek the truth. Nevertheless, there are those who either by circumstances, not of their own, or by invincible ignorance do not enter the Catholic Church. The Catechism and the Bible make it clear that God wants all men to be saved.

So we leave the final disposition of a man's soul in His hands, relying on His Mercy and Grace.

The Church does not teach, now, nor has ever taught, that only "Card Carrying Catholics" can be saved, but if non-Catholics are saved, they are saved because they responded to what ever grace and Catholic truth they may have had been exposed to.

Further, the only reason that they received this grace is because of Christ's Church (His Body); which is the vehicle through which, and from which, all graces flow.

Hope this helps,

John

Mike replied:

Hi, Alexis —

My short and simple answer that I believe represents the Church's answer is found in the following three statements together:

  • those who no fault of there own don't know the Gospel or have not been presented with the Gospel through no fault of their own, "can", not will, but can be saved.
  • those who know the Church is the True Church yet refuse to enter it, can not be saved.
  • all men and women are bound to form their consciences and grow in the knowledge of Christ, the history of their current denomination, and be open to learning about the Catholic faith: the only Church Our Lord established on St. Peter and his successors.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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