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Daily Catholic Question

Who can be saved?

According to news reports, a cardinal recently said that only Catholics can get to heaven.

You are probably referring to the document Dominus Iesus [The Lord Jesus]: On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. Many news stories erroneously reported that, according to this document, only Catholics can go to heaven.

This instruction is directed primarily to those involved in interreligious dialogues (that is, with non-Christians). It denounces any downplaying of the unique and saving role of Jesus, any seeing him as one savior among many possibilities.

The document also addresses how Jesus’ Church is related to other Churches or faith communities. As Vatican II taught, the Church which Jesus founded “subsists” in the Catholic Church (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, #8).  “Subsists” is not the same as “is.” The bishops at Vatican II chose this word very carefully.

Nothing in this instruction contradicts the Church’s faith as expressed in one of its eucharistic prayers, “...and all the dead whose faith is known to you [God] alone.”

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Friday, February 8, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 2/7/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 2/9/2013


Catherine of Siena: The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time. 
<p>She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation. </p><p>She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374. </p><p>Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope </p><p>In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. </p><p>Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in <i>The Dialogue</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog The gates of hell cannot withstand the power of heaven. Gates of sin melt in the presence of saving grace; gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life; gates of falsehood collapse in the presence of living truth; gates of violence are flattened in the presence of divine love. These are the tools with which Christ has equipped his Church.

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