Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
back
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History


Michael wrote:

Hi, guys —

My question is one that has been asked many times. Nevertheless, here it comes.

John Doe is a member of the Assembly of God down the road. He loves God, has an active prayer life, fasts, attends worship services, serves with a glad heart, tithes, and is a faithful husband and father.

He sins, he confesses his sin. He repents, and sometimes fails.

There is a Roman Catholic Church across the street from the First Assembly of God where Mr. Doe is a member, and Mr. Doe is well aware of the neighboring Church, as he passes it three times a week on the way to his church.

Mr. Doe has chosen to not to worship in the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Is it correct interpretation of Catholic Doctrine that Mr. Doe will spend eternity separated from God in Hell?

According to my understanding of the clear teaching readily available in the Catechism,
the answer is, Yes, based solely upon his choice, Mr. Doe will not enter Heaven and will spend eternity in Hell separated from God.

  • Is this a correct understanding?

Michael

  { Given this hypothetical scenario and person, is John Doe saved according to the Catholic Church? }

Mike replied:

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the question.

It depends.

If one knows the Catholic Church to be the one Church founded by Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and has sought to understand with [his|her] mind, Her Divine Teachings, yet refuses to enter:

Yes, that person gravely risks [his|her] salvation and cannot be saved. (CCC 846)

No man or woman can damn anyone to Hell. Only Jesus, the True Judge and Lord of all, judges and allows others to damn themselves through their free will.

In your situation, if John Doe was an active member of the First Assembly of God, but was unaware that Jesus founded one Church on St. Peter and His successors before ascending into Heaven, he would not be culpable for what he didn't know. 

Through the Church, he would receive many graces that would encourage him to investigate and look into the Church's Teachings, doctrines and history.  If he refused to follow these suggestions of the Holy Spirit, he would be more culpable, but we can't say whether his degree of culpability is worthy or unworthy of his salvation.  Only the Lord can decide this at his particular judgment, a judgment we will all receive.

If John Doe was an active member of the Catholic Church, but has left and is now an active member of the Assembly of Gods, he gravely risk his salvation, if he knows that the one, true Church Jesus founded is the one he has left.

Church scandals or no scandals — the gates of Hell will not prevail, Matthew 16:17-19, on issues of faith and morals.

He has an obligation to develop his conscience and knowledge on an ongoing basis, even as a Assembly of God minister or lay person and be open to returning to the Church which is wounded by his leaving.

Being a minister of a false Christian Church doesn't ensure salvation, like the ark in the
Old Testament.  Only the Catholic Church can save from the flood as it is the New Testament symbol of the Ark of the Covenant.

Some of our previous replies may give you a better understanding of what we believe:

I hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.