Catholic Church Teaching Universalism?

I'm discovering more and more that the Catholic Church has some serious PR problems. This Earnestly Contending post is representative of the many Protestant (mostly Evangelical) gross misunderstandings of Catholic teachings and teaching authority that I've encountered. My responses are drawn from comments I made at Weapons of Warfare.

" The title of this post [The Anti-Christianity of Catholic Leaders] might seem a little insulting to roman catholics. That is not the intent of the title or this post. The purpose of this post is to show, albeit not extensively, the betrayal of Jesus Christ and Biblical truth being perpetrated by Catholic leaders. While I believe the roman catholic church falls under the anathema of Galatians 1:6-9 – and while I believe strongly that the totality of roman catholic teaching disqualifies it as being Christian – I think the majority of congregants of that church do not understand the full scope of their church's departure from biblical authority."


"I would like to demonstrate that many catholic leaders – while perhaps wearing the sheepskins of 'Christian' piety – are nothingmore then religious pluralist wolves. There has been, for quite some time now, a growing spirit of ecumenism within the halls and walls of the roman church that seeks to unite the adherents of many faiths under the cold shadow of the vatican's dark umbrella. Catholic leaders have been, and are now, promoting an interfaith unity to bring together many different religions that have previously been separated by the tenets of their respective teachings. Having at one time been the monstrous tyrants of the inquisition and the innovators of unmentionable torture, the once exclusive roman church is now embracing anyone willing to reciprocate religious courteousness. The church that killed millions of true Christians throughout the centuries is now opening its arms to embrace her 'separated brethren'. Not only is she willing to extend a religious courtesy to evangelical Christianity but the roman catholic church is also bridging gaps between herself and religions such as judaism, islam, and buddhism – to name a few. In the process they are abandoning the traditional Biblical understanding of salvation (at least their previous distortion of it) for an all-inclusive approach and they are departing from objective biblical truth to a universalist position that implies God gives His blessing to idolaters and 'Jesus-haters'."

"Before we have a look at some of the things Catholic leaders and thinkers are saying regarding salvation, Jesus Christ, and other religions, lets take a look at some primer verses from the Word of God that point to salvation ONLY through Jesus Christ:"

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'.
Acts 4:12 – 'Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.'
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
Matthew 10:33 – 'But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven'
John 10:19 – I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture

The Catholic Church does not deny these in the slightest. She does, however, have a view of God's abundant mercy such that even those who have not explicitly accepted Christ may be acting with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Like I said in an earlier comment, no good comes from man except by the grace of God. If a nonbeliever consistently acts in a manner pleasing to the Lord, are we to consider it coincidence? Those who are not against Christ are for Him, knowingly or unknowingly. That said, their salvation is far from assured. The Church knows of only one sure way to salvation, and that is faith in Christ Jesus and the following of His commands. Though we hope and pray that the God who is Love would have mercy on righteous souls not in our fold, we know for certain only the salvation of those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and die in His graces.

Comments 4

  1. Steve N wrote:

    I think this all boils down to a very simplistic and wrong-headed view of grace among my Evangelical (and esp. Calvinistic) brethren. They often draw (a completely ficticious) line between “general grace” and “salvific grace,” all the while ignoring that, since it is God’s perfect and unambiguous will that all be “saved” and come to the knowledge of the truth, that ALL grace is inherently “salvific.”


    Posted 26 Jan 2005 at 6:01 pm
  2. Tom Smith wrote:

    Untitled document This guy doesn't seem to understand that, if He wanted to, Christ could save as many people who don't accept Him as he darn well pleases. No one is saying that Christ isn't the one who saves, they're saying that it's possible (though far, far less likely) to be saved by Christ without acknowledging Him.

    Also, this bit irked me: "The church that killed millions of true Christians throughout the centuries is now opening its arms to embrace her 'separated brethren.'"

    Millions? Really? I'd like to see some evidence for millions. And unless he really is an Albigensian or something, he doesn't really understand the ramifications of calling early heretics "true christians." "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not apply here.

    Also, this dude thinks that the Pope said that every prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Pope actually said that every *true* prayer is inspired.

    Anyway, I agree that, perhaps, some within our hierarchy have gone a tad too far with ecumenism, though not so far as to preclude an orthodox interpretation of things. I don't have a problem with understanding between religions, but we don't have to be syncretistic, either, like it seems the Anglican and liberal Protestant ecumaniacs have.

    Posted 26 Jan 2005 at 4:38 pm
  3. Jeremy Pierce wrote:

    Usually the complaint regarding the Galatian heresy has to do with salvation by works. As someone who fully endorses the Reformed view of salvation, I don’t think Roman Catholicism commits the Galatian heresy. I think some Catholics add something to the gospel, but the Galatian heresy replaced the gospel with something else. The official Catholic view has never been that works themselves save. It’s always been that true faith will result in works and that for many people those works will confirm that process of salvation over time. It amazes me how many Reformed people will take the same view in response to libertines but then accuse Catholics of heresy for saying the same thing.

    Posted 02 Feb 2005 at 4:00 am
  4. Rodger Tutt wrote:

    Google up Catholic universalist theologian’s book
    Hans Urs Von Balthasar
    Ignatius Press

    for an interesting “unorthodox” point of view

    Posted 19 Jun 2010 at 2:58 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Salvation, Discipleship, and Priorities on 20 Feb 2006 at 11:08 pm

    […] Don’t get me wrong. I’m not endorsing universalism. There are plenty of uncertainties in this parable, such as how different charitable acts balance against failures to act charitably, to leave more than enough rope for man to hang himself. There’s also the matter of explicit rejection of Christ, which seems to be pretty…well…condemned. […]

  2. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » A Wicked and False Religion? on 30 Mar 2006 at 12:09 pm

    […] Like I said, the Church has PR problems. Rand, of A Pattern of Sound Words, asserts: […]

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