October 26, 2007

Outside the Fold

Robbo has a lovely post about the teachings of the Catholic Church on what happens to those souls who are not part of the universal church.

One of the most beautiful things that drew me to the Church was this teaching. The church I grew up in and the church I left recently, both taught that if one was not part of that organization, one was lost. No ifs, ands, or buts -- just lost. If you read the Bible and didn't see what they saw, you were dishonest. If you didn't have a Bible, well -- hmmm...I don't know. Probably your tough luck.

For several years as I watched people earnestly striving, but reaching, in my opinion, incorrect conclusions, I could not see how that teaching of my church could be so. Surely not everyone was acting in bad faith. Could I really ascribe dishonesty to so many people?

Discovering a new concept, the visible church (that I'd always believed in) linked with other Christians not fully in communion, but not necessarily damned, was a revelation. It fit the world I'd been looking at and trying to understand. It made sense and brought relief as we came to realize we would be blazing a trail upon which the likelihood of our families following was not great.

We pray for the conversion some day of our friends and family to the Catholic Church. We would love for all to find Christ in His fullness within the Fold, but we take great comfort and solace from the fact that they can indeed be part of the Church, whether they come all the way in or not.

Like Robbo, you may feel free to comment, but uncharitable comments will be removed.


My very first crisis of faith, which happened in fifth grade, was about this very thing.. I had come to a Dutch Reformed parochial school after a catholic school (of sorts, it was at the German school) and all of the sudden I had these hell and damnation things being presented to me... It was shocking and very distressing to my rather global mind.
I think it is why I remain faithful as a friend though not as a follower... though who knows, maybe someday... I am not the one who is to know what the Lord may bring.

Posted by: Blair at October 26, 2007 03:09 PM

It's complicated, isn't it? I'm glad you have found peace with some of your questions and that you seem to have found your home in the Catholic church.

Posted by: dcrmom at October 27, 2007 03:56 PM

I'm just curious; why did you choose the Catholic church over Eastern Orthodoxy? The latter is more ancient than the former.

Posted by: A at October 29, 2007 10:19 AM

A, you state a premise which I do not grant. The Barque of Peter is of equal antiquity.

Posted by: Jordana at October 29, 2007 02:26 PM

I've always found A's to be a curious argument. If one believes that Christ divinely commissioned St. Peter to be the Prince of the Apostles and our first Pope, as Catholics do, then the Catholic Church was there from the very beginning, and claims priority in time.

Posted by: Christine at October 30, 2007 12:24 AM

Well, then I'll withdraw the premise and just leave the plain old question; Why did you choose Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy?

As I said, I'm just curious. I'm not bothered by what anyone else does as long as it makes him or her happy, or at least holds his or her interest.

Posted by: A at October 31, 2007 02:22 PM