Pope Francis Says Christians Do Not Exist Outside The Roman Catholic Church
In the midst of general confusion, what is one to think about this?
Is it a deliberate attempt to further confuse people? throw the occasional bone at conservatives? the result of more ambiguity? a genuine advance in the right direction of EENS?
In any case, Protestants are not happy about this one.
He is right. True Christianity cannot exist outside of the Catholic Church.
This is something I have been contemplating a lot about lately. On one hand, it seems that protestants are Christians if they receive a valid Baptism. I say this because anyone can Baptize. So a protestant minister's Baptism would be valid and the person being Baptized would become apart of the Body of Christ. Do you agree at this point?
The thing i am not so sure about is whether or not a protestant makes it to Heaven upon dying. We know that not all Christianized people make it to Heaven, and that a protestant does not have a valid Sacrament of Reconciliation. So my question is, is confession necessary for Salvation if someone has committed mortal sin after Baptism? If so, how do you know? Also, what if a protestant never commits a mortal sin after Baptism?
Secondly, I know that we are required to go to confession and receive the Eucharist one time per year. But is that really expected of a protestant? I am wondering if a protestant would be culpable of a mortal sin for not receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist at least once a year. Remember that for a person to be fully culpable they must meet all of the requirements for a sin to be mortal. Also, if they are not aware, scripture tells us they will be "beaten lightly" for it.
Furthermore, if a protestant were to commit a mortal sin and then ask God for forgiveness then it seems he would have perfect/imperfect contrition. I understand that, as Catholics we are supposed to go to confession after committing mortal sin even if we have already received a perfect/imperfect contrition. How would this concept relate to a protestant who does not believe in confessional? Would he/she go to hell for the mortal sin without a confession? Or would they not be fully culpable for missing reconciliation for a mortal sin since they were not aware they needed it?
Lastly, I am aware that heretics go to hell (as taught by the Early Church Fathers). What exactly is a heretic? Would a normal layman in a protestant Church be considered a heretic? he may not even try to preach heresy himself. It may just be a matter of him listening to it. Not to mention, for a heretic to be fully culpable for the sin of heresy, he/she must meet the requirements for it to be a mortal sin.
So I am thinking it is possible for a protestant to go to Heaven under certain circumstances. Although, I am not sure.
I am confident, that if a protestant is given the privilege to enter into purgatory, then the soul would have to pay back each and every sin since Baptism for the full duration. I say that since there would not exist any partial or full indulgence that could possibly be granted to the soul outside of the Catholic Church.
This has been my understanding of all of this up to this point. I could be wrong, but I don't know.