Lumen Gentium 16

Non-Christians get a look by the council bishops, starting with Judaism:

Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(Cfr. S. Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. 8, a. 3, ad 1.) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(Cf. Rom. 9, 4-5) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(Cf. Rom. 11, 28-29);

… then those who share belief in the same God:

But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge (hu)mankind.

The bishops remind us that God’s initiative is present among those who do not profess belief in the Creator:

Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all (people) life and breath and all things,(Cf. Acts 17,25-28) and as Saviour wills that all … be saved.(Cf. 1 Tim. 2, 4) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(Cfr. Epist. S.S.C.S. Officii ad Archiep. Boston.: Denz. 3869-72.)

The living of a good life is groundwork for the Good News:

Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(Cfr. Eusebius Caes., Praeparatio Evangelica, 1, 1: PG 2128 AB.) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all … so that they may finally have life.

Most troubling are those believers who have forsaken God for other gods, as well as those who have given in to a “final despair.”

But often (people), deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(Cf Rom. 1, 21, 25) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair.

Nothing we’ve read exempts any believer from missionary effort, no matter where they live or what their state of life may be:

Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”,(Mk. 16, 16) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Lumen Gentium 16

  1. Mary says:

    As a cradle Catholic, I am infuriated and horrified to read, “In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge (hu)mankind.”
    Islam is a barbaric, totalitarian system of repression, torture, anti-Semitism, female hatred, murder and idolatry. Anyone who has read the Quran, the Sunna and the Hadiths plus has an understanding of the beginnings and the history of Islam, knows that Christianity has NOTHING in common with this hateful, so called religion.
    This Lumen Gentium, along with the late Pope John Paul the 2nd kissing the Quran, the church currently hosting soup kitchens with halal food for Muslims in Italy, along with other pronouncements, incidents, etc… (calling for a 1 world organization or government to control the worlds wealth) I am forced to rethink my life long commitment to Catholicism, I am on the brink of repudiating my Catholic faith. Islam is EVIL, its goals, and methods of enforcement are evil. To agree with and tolerate this most intolerant of religions is therefore evil. After 58 years of love and devoted service to my church, I can NOT support the Roman Catholic Church any longer.
    I will not financially support any institution I find to be evil.

    • Todd says:

      Unfortunately, Mary, all of those evil qualities have been perpetrated by Christians as well as individual Muslims. Non-Christians have labelled us barbarians, torturers, misogynists, murderers, and idolaters. Applying your standard, they would be correct.

    • Liam says:

      Well, for most of the Middle Ages, Islam was considered by Christian theologians as a Christian heresy – rather than as a completely different religion.

      However, if you’re listening to Fox News too much, you might be prone to think more American than Catholic.

  2. Todd says:

    “However, if you’re listening to Fox News too much, you might be prone to think more American than Catholic.”

    A few things here …

    Corporate propaganda is very powerful indeed. That’s why it’s important to be a skeptic, especially on matters where one’s own opinions and biases are comfortably reinforced.

    And regarding Fox News, I would disagree they are the voice of things American. Fox News embraces plutocracy, not American democracy.

    And regarding the very serious situation of apostasy, it’s important to have a balance with a good spiritual director and a life of prayer. That’s not to say that people–even believers–can’t invoke fury in others. But it’s important to reflect on where such a reaction wells up inside of us, and explore the reasons why.

  3. ish says:

    Romans 3:28…..

  4. Pingback: SACRAMENTS | gchapelcc

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