A reader puzzles about ecclesiology

He writes:

I’ve heard all kinds of theories about the eternal fate of Protestants ranging from the universalist and inclusive “everybody makes the cut” to the more traditional “No salvation outside the Church”. Given that the rest of my family consist almost entirely of Protestant, I’m very interested in determining which position is correct. Which do you think is right?

Here’s my take.

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  • Pavel Chichikov

    I bookmarked your essay, Mark. Very helpful.

  • PNP, OP

    Good answer! Good answer! (with “Family Feud” noises). . .

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  • johnnyc

    Hey…how come your hiding that?! I bookmarked that baby too! I have been struggling with that. I’m not all the way there to understanding because I still have questions. Especially in practical terms when it comes to evangelizing. Like…..Does truth matter in salvation? And what to say to protestants when they do ask the question…’then why do I need to be in the Catholic Church or why do I need the sacraments if the Church believes I can be saved without belonging to it. I think they , and I, look at it as there is only one truth.

  • Hahah- I ran into a bunch of Fr. Feeney followers a few months ago. I wasn’t used to that kind of dissent, since I’m usually rolling my eyes at people who say things like, “Everyone is going to Heaven! The Church is just one of many and it doesn’t matter which one you’re in!” Great analysis, MArk. Thanks.