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To: HarleyD
Number 16 says no such thing. It merely calls it an error to suppose that men may be saved through the tenets of religions outside of Catholicism. It says nothing at all about the possibility that a sovereign God can choose to save whom He will.

Number 17 comes a little closer to what you are trying to imply. But, here again, the wording is not as exclusivist as you might suppose. Another way of expressing the same thought is to say something like: "It might be possible (though not so well-founded in any given individual's case as to merely presume) that people in other faiths have some possibility of salvation, if they are in some way connected with Christ's Church." This is what Vatican II says.

Number 18 simply points out that Protestantism is not the system of belief that Jesus personally founded, and therefore is not on an equal footing with the Church He did found. Membership in those bodies, therefore, is not as pleasing to God as is membership in the particular body of belief He did authorize.

This is quite logical, as the roots of Protestantism only go back to the 16th Century. And it makes perfectly good sense from the standpoint of the Catholic Church, which does, in reality, claim to be founded by Christ personally. If such a claim is true, then, of course, one should belong to it and embrace its doctrines. You obviously don't agree with that, but, if the Church does, in fact, believe it can make a solid case for the claim, what else would you expect it to say?

15 posted on 12/29/2009 12:31:23 PM PST by magisterium
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To: magisterium
Please explain #15:

15. Every man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of reason.

Do you believe Muslims to be saved? How about Hindus? What is the Church's position on Protestants with Vatican II? How about Anglicans?

19 posted on 12/29/2009 12:39:26 PM PST by HarleyD
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