Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS?
(08-01-2009, 07:43 PM)Valz Wrote: In a message forum you can see them debating Protestants and even Mormons, using Scripture and arguments to refute them and to try and show the validity of the Catholic faith. But as soon as they are asked by a Protestant whether they believe that only Catholics are saved or they see a non-Catholic say that The Church teaches EENS, they will at once deny this and start pussyfooting around it and making up excuses to exonerate non-Catholics from the necessity of joining The Church.

It is one thing to admit the possibility that God in a way known to himself may save a person who dies outside the faith. it is quite another to neglect proclaiming or affirming the EENS dogma for the sake of political correctness or just out of plain cowardice or lukewarmness.

Anyone else has seen the same? What use is all the effort in trying to convince them if in the end you tell them that they can be saved outside the faith?


Because it is a difficult subject to discuss without entering into personal opinions. On one side, you have the Feeneyites who believe if you are not in full communion with the Pope, you're going to Hell. On the other side, you have those who state that as long as the person is seeking Truth, then that is what counts (this was the argument put forth by Jimmy Akin). Even taking into account some of the harsh-sounding statements by earlier (i.e. Middle Ages/Pre-Protestant Reformation) Popes about no hope of Salvation, regardless of works, if you are not part of the Catholic Church, one then has to ask: what does it mean to be part of the Catholic Church?

Obviously, there are those who are formal members of the Church: Baptized, Confirmed and in full-communion with the Pope. What about Protestants who are validly Baptized? Are they not imperfectly connected to the Catholic Church? Then there is the "Baptism of Desire" issue. Fr. Feeney took a strong stand of rejecting that idea, but that is his opinion, not Catholic doctrine and the doctrine seems fairly vague to being with. Then "invincible ignorance" enters into play. Obviously, most people probably know the Catholic Church exists, but do they know it is the True Church founded by Christ? What does it mean to "know" in this case? Is it just they need to have heard someone tell them that the CC is the True Church or do they actually, at some level, have been convinced of this fact, yet they obstinately refuse or they are so stubbornly Anti-Catholic that their hatred for Catholicism supersedes their personal search for Truth.

Frankly, EENS is not an easy topic because only God knows who is truly a part of His Church. We can know who is formally Catholic (Baptized, Confirmed, etc.), but only God knows the state of a man's soul and whether they are somehow connected to His Church even if that connection is invisible to us. Thus, perhaps the best summarization to make is:

1) The Catholic Church is the True Church founded by Christ
2) Anyone outside the Church cannot be Saved, but in the end, only God knows who is part of His Church

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Re: Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS? - by nsper7 - 08-02-2009, 02:22 PM

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