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Gerard Dlima wrote:

Hi, guys —

My friend who is a Catholic told me that the Church believes all people at the end of the world will go through purgatory and then to heaven and no one will go to hell no matter what sin they have committed.

  • Is this true?
  • Also, if non-Christians will also be saved depending on how they respond to the Grace,
    is there a need to evangelize?
  • Thirdly, does the Church believe non-Catholics i.e. other Christians who believe in Christ and the Bible etc. are saved or not?

I am a Catholic by the way.


  { Does everyone have to go through Purgatory and is there really a need to evangelize? }

John replied:

Hi, Gerard —

Thanks for your question.

The Church does not teach that everyone will be saved in the end by going through purgatory. Purgatory is not a place where salvation is earned. Purgatory is a place where the "saved" go through final purification before entering heaven. I'd encourage you to search our data base, especially our Purgatory section, for a further understanding of:

  • what purgatory is
  • why it is necessary
  • and so on.

Regarding your second question.

We evangelize because that is the commission given to the Church by Christ. Salvation, on the other hand, is a matter we leave up to Christ. We know that God is just, merciful, and desires all men to be saved. Therefore, we always have hope that God can save those who are not evangelized in ways known only to Himself. He alludes to this in Matthew 25 when those being judged don't even know who He is. Beyond entrusting everyone soul to the love and mercy of God, we can go no further.

Finally, the Church doesn't go around saying anybody who is alive is saved or not, whether they are Catholic or not!! God knows the condition of their souls; it is up to Him to judge.

The Church does teach that The Church of Jesus Christ fully subsists in the Catholic Church and other Christians are in an imperfect communion with the Church. We recognize that the grace of baptism is at work in all Christians, not just Catholics. Since judgment doesn't happen until the end on a person's life, it is really not possible for us to know who is saved and who is not.

Again, we've covered this topic extensively. I encourage you to search our data base, especially our "No Salvation Outside the Church" section.


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