The Catholic Church teaches infallibly, “extra ecclesiam nulla salus,” or, “outside the Church there is no salvation.” But as with all dogmas of the Faith, this has to be qualified and understood properly. The Catechism of the Catholic Church lays out the truth of the matter succinctly in paragraphs 846-848, but I would recommend backing up to CCC 830 for a context that will help in understanding these three essential points concerning this teaching:
1. There is no salvation apart from Christ and his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Again, this is an infallible teaching and not up for debate among Catholics.
2. Those who are “invincibly” ignorant concerning the truth of #1 above will not be culpable for this lack of knowledge before God.
What we are trying to establish here is a situation where a man divorces his wife and marries another while the first wife remains unmarried and in a state of grace, can this first wife recieve communion?
Or a situation where a woman divorces her husband and marries another while the first husband is still unmarried and in a state of grace, can this first husband recieve Communion?
At 101 years old, Dońa Penha has seen quite a bit of life. But the centenarian experienced something new on September 28, as she received her First Communion during Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel nursing home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For those who witnessed the occasion, it was a great testimony to the love of God.
“It was a very beautiful moment that showed us that it is never too late to receive the Eucharist, which for someone seeking God, neither time nor shame can prevent,” said the administrative assistant of the nursing home, Josiane Ribeiro. She added that occasions like this help “reaffirm faith.
Our Catholic faith is so rich, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start if we want to learn more about it. Should we sit down and read the Bible? Read the Catechism? Discover more about the saints?
The Institute of Catholic Culture-a free adult faith formation platform offering live seminars on a myriad of topics-says that there are any number of ways you can approach increasing your knowledge of the faith. Whether you consider a certain subject area at a time or immerse in topics as you encounter them, as you grow in knowledge, you will increase your capacity to grow in your spiritual life as well.
Here are just 7 paths you could take to continue your faith education:
What springs to mind when someone mentions “witchcraft”? Three hags sitting about a cauldron chanting “Double, double, toil and trouble”? A pretty housewife turning someone into a toad at the twitch of her nose? Or perhaps you think of Wicca and figure that it is witchcraft hidden beneath a politically correct neologism.
Witchcraft has become a hot topic in recent years. From J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books to self-described witches agitating for political and social parity with mainstream religious traditions, Christians have had to re-examine witchcraft and formulate a modern apologetic approach to it.
Q. What do we mean by the “Church Triumphant”?
A. By the “Church Triumphant” we mean all the faithful now in heaven, rejoicing with God that they have defeated their spiritual enemies and attained their salvation.
Q. Explain the “Communion of Saints.”
A. The “Communion of Saints” means that the members of the three branches of the Church can help one another. We can assist the souls in Purgatory by our prayers and good works, while the Saints in heaven intercede for us.
Q. Does the “Communion of Saints” mean anything else?
A. The “Communion of Saints” means also that we all share in the merits of Our Lord and in the superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin and of the Saints, as well as in the prayers and good works of the Church and of the faithful.
When we SIN, we bring evil and suffering not only to ourselves but to those around us. We offend not only God but our neighbor, and the body of Christ, which is the Church. We ask for forgiveness so we can be healed and so we can be restored to the body of believers who make up God’s people. Jesus Christ has already died for our sins, but we must accept His sacrifice so we can avail of His forgiveness. Jesus has also conferred authority to carry out this mission of forgiving sins to His disciples who in turn passed this on to others whom they sent. At the present time, this authority is conferred to priests that belong to His Church. It is true that we can ask for forgiveness directly from God. But it is also true that God, in His wisdom and in His goodness and mercy, has created all things in their proper order. He uses instruments and people to be channels of His love and forgiveness.
Q. Why is it a work of mercy to pray for the living and the dead?
A. It is a work of mercy to aid those who are unable to aid themselves. The living are exposed to temptations, and while in mortal sin they are deprived of the merit of their good works and need our prayers. The dead can in no way help themselves and depend on us for assistance.
Q. Which are the chief corporal works of mercy?
A. The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive, to harbor the harborless, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead.
Q. What were these severe Penances of the First Ages of the Church called?
A. These severe penances of the first ages of the Church were called canonical penances, because their kind and duration were regulated by the Canons or laws of the Church.
Q. How can we know spiritual from corporal works of mercy?
A. We can know spiritual from corporal works of mercy, for whatever we do for the soul is a spiritual work, and whatever we do for the body is a corporal work.
Q. Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?
A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.
Catholic (Universal) in Means and in Mission (830-831)
The Church is Catholic (meaning “universal”) in two ways. First, the Church is universal because Christ is present in her. She receives
from him “the fullness of the means of salvation.” In this fundamental sense, the Church was Catholic on the day of Pentecost and will be so until Christ returns.
Second, the Church is Catholic because she has a mission to the whole world. The new People of God (while remaining one) must
spread throughout the world. God made human nature one and now he decrees that all the scattered people be gathered
Q. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.
Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.
Q. Why is it foolish to conceal sins in confession?
A. It is foolish to conceal sins in confession: (1) Because we thereby make our spiritual condition worse; (2) We must tell the sin sometime if we ever hope to be saved; (3) It will be made known on the day of judgment, before the world, whether we conceal it now or confess it.
Q. What must he do who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession? Continue reading
Q. What do you mean by the “kinds of sin?”
A. By the “kinds of sin,” we mean the particular division or class to which the sins belong; that is, whether they be sins of blasphemy, disobedience, anger, impurity, dishonesty, &c. We can determine the kind of sin by discovering the commandment or precept of the Church we have broken or the virtue against which we have acted. Continue reading
Q. Should a person stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess?
A. A person should not stay from confession because he thinks he has no sin to confess, for the Sacrament of Penance, besides forgiving sin, gives Continue reading
Everything you need to know about the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
Q. What is Confession?
A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.
Q. Who is a duly authorized priest?