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John McFann wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If you are brought up as an atheist or live in a far-off land in a culture, that does not know Christianity or any religion, and you have never known of the Ten Commandments, how would you be treated when you die?

Are you breaking a commandment:

    • by a little white lie verses a lie?
    • by knowing a sports call was wrong and not saying anything to reverse the call?
    • if one person is slower because of their skills, another person slower because of their age, or another just lazy?
  • Is the lazy person breaking a commandment?
  • If you don't work as hard as you could have, are you cheating?

John

  { If you never knew Christianity and never knew the Ten Commandments, how will you be treated? }

Eric replied:

John —

Someone who dies, as a non-Catholic or as one who had never heard the Gospel, is judged according to the dictates of their conscience and how they followed God as they understood Him. The Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach,

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace try, in their actions, to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too, may achieve eternal salvation.

CCC 846

Note, however, that it says may and not will. This is not the normative way of salvation and someone who hears and fully comprehends the Gospel but refuses to accept it is culpable and will not be saved.

This is rooted in Romans Chapter 2:14-16:

14 Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place 16 on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Romans 2:14-16

As for all the intricate questions you ask, I cannot answer them, chiefly because it depends on the knowledge and intent of the person committing them, not the externals of the act.

Only God knows the intent of the heart and only He can judge. I can say that generally it is accepted that all lies, even white lies, are wrong, and sloth — or laziness — is one of the seven deadly sins. It's stealing to deprive your employer of an honest day's work. I don't think you have to necessarily work as hard as you could have which could be damaging to your health, but you should put in an honest day.

Eric

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