Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
back
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Martin Badger wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a few questions about Catholicism as I am considering converting.

I am currently non-religious and investigating multiple churches such as Anglican and Mormon.

  • First, in Catholicism do all good people go to Heaven, or just Catholics, or just Christians?
  • If the latter two are true, does everyone get a chance to receive the Gospel, such as people who came before Jesus?

Secondly, I need help understanding indulgences and Purgatory.

  • First, does the Catholic Church still practice indulgences?
  • If so, what are the details, divine origin, and purpose of indulgences?
  • Second, what exactly is Purgatory, and again what are the details, divine origin, and purpose of Purgatory?
  • Also, what makes the Catholic Church the one true church?

Please provide some advice. I know it's a lot.

Martin Badger

  { Can you answer a few questions from someone considering converting to the Catholic faith? }

Paul replied:

Hello Martin,

No one goes to Heaven without grace. Grace can be understood as God's Divine Life dwelling within us, creating a bond between us and God. This is called being in the state of grace. The alternative is being in a state of sin, which is alienation from God. If one dies in the state of sin one cannot enter Heaven.

  • Can only Catholics in the state of grace enter Heaven?

We know that Christ established the seven Sacraments for this purpose — to impart His divine Life to us for the sake of our salvation. This seems to mean only Catholics (and Orthodox) can be saved, since they are the only ones receiving this grace through the sacraments Christ has established however, the Church asks the sensible question:

  • Can God work outside of His sacraments to impart grace on those who, through no fault of their own, are genuinely ignorant that Christ established them for their salvation?

The Church answers yes. If He does and how He does this, is a mystery. The bottom line is the Church is open to the possibility that people of all faiths may attain salvation through the gift of grace won for them by Christ on the Cross, if they are invincibly ignorant that the fullness of Truth and Life subsists in the Catholic Church.

Your last question is simple. The Church is both divine and historical. Christ the God-Man established His Church on Earth for the sake of all men's salvation upon Peter and the Apostles.

In an unbroken line of succession the authority from Christ continues to be present from Peter and the Apostles to today's pope and bishops. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church and has been since Pentecost (Acts 2),

I'll let my colleagues tackle questions two and three.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Martin,

Let me take up where Paul left off.

You said:
Secondly, I need help understanding indulgences and Purgatory.

  • First, does the Catholic Church still practice indulgences?
  • If so, what are the details, divine origin, and purpose of indulgences?
  • Second, what exactly is Purgatory, and again what are the details, divine origin, and purpose of Purgatory?
  • Also, what makes the Catholic Church the one true Church?

These are great questions and ones that we have already provided some good answers to.

You can find answers to these and many other future questions you may have in our searchable knowledge base:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

Just type in the appropriate keywords, like Mary, worship, Rosary, etc. There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found these web postings that should answer your remaining questions:

Here is a whole set of questions with answers on indulgences from our database; just scroll down a bit.

Here is my favorite Question and Answer on Purgatory:

Here is a whole set of questions with answers on Purgatory from our database; just scroll down a bit.

If you have any more questions, just ask. You can use the shortcut web address:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/AskUs

You said:

  • Also, what makes the Catholic Church the one true Church?

The historical fact that it was the only Church Jesus founded when He was on Earth.
(Matthew 16:13-19)

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

Matthew 16:13-19

We believe Jesus is True God and True Man who proved He was such by rising from the dead. Since Jesus is Truly God, He can never deceive, nor be deceived though mere men, who founded their own version of Christianity after 33 A.D. can be deceived and, sadly, do deceive.

Finally, many erroneously call the Catholic Christian faith a denomination. It is not!
Calling our faith a denomination implies Catholics are just a part of the whole Christian faith which is a grave error.

The word Catholic, means according to its totality. So the Catholic Christian faith is the Christian faith according to its totality. It's all here, at least for faithful Catholics.

This is unlike Protestants or dissenting Catholics, who pick and choose what they wish to believe. Check out the quote from St. Pacian of Barcelona, (c.310-375 A.D.) on the home page of AskACatholic.com.

You also may be interested in my Favorites page.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.