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Carmen Martinez wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is there salvation outside of the Catholic Church?
  • If someone is, let's say, a Mormon, when they die, can they still be saved?
  • If someone was raised Catholic and joins another church, can they still be saved?
    . . . Even if they fully believe their new church is the true church?

Carmen Martinez

  { If someone is a Mormon or a lapsed Catholic, when they die, can they still be saved? }

Paul replied:

Carmen,

There is no salvation without Christ. Since the Church is His Extended Body, there is no salvation without Christ through His Church.

It is necessary to choose to be part of His Body if one is aware that the Catholic Church is what God has established for man's salvation. However, for those who are genuinely ignorant of this truth through no fault of their own, it is possible that Christ can give salvific grace through His Church in mysterious ways known only to Him to those open to God according to their conscience.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi, Carmen —

Just to expound on the first part of Paul's answer from the Catechism:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door.

Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14; cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5)

Hope this helps,

Mike

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