Can Sikhs be saved? - Catholic News Service

Can Sikhs be saved?

Full Question

Can Sikhs be saved?

Answer

Sikhism, which began as an outgrowth of Hinduism, started in the late 1400s/early 1500s. It’s possible that Sikhs can be saved, although they wouldn’t be saved on account of their distinctive Sikh beliefs. All salvation comes by Jesus Christ and—in way or another—through his one Catholic Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church elaborates on the possibility of eternal salvation for non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians:

How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

“Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men" (CCC 846-48, emphases added; footnotes omitted).


By Tom Nash













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3 comments

  1. thomraff Reply

    Please answer this question: does “no fault of their own” include atheists who were devout Catholics for decades, who understand Church teaching deeply but reject them in good conscience because there is no evidence for any interventionist god and science has falsified the basis of the Abrahamic religions, Genesis?

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Great question, Tom..
    .
    We know how it goes… Catholics, Catholics ring the bell. Everyone else – goes to Hell!
    .
    Consider an all-powerful being who presumably can’t be hurt, sending mere humans who live but a handful of decades to eternal torture for failing to be baptized, or to believe say and do the right things as dictated by unnatural, disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes. We live let’s say 7 decades, but we are to be tortured for millions and billions and trillions of endless years, by a god we can’t possibly hurt. What could possibly be more evil than that?
    .
    And people wonder why Satan turned away from Yahweh! Duh! Count up how many people Satan kills in the bible and compare it to the number Yahweh kills. Look who told the truth (the talking snake) and who lied (Yahweh) in the mythical garden… It’s a good thing this god, Yahweh has been debunked by having his foundation washed out from underneath him. There was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt and no conquest of Canaan. What pillar remains to support Yahweh’s foundation?

  3. Peter Aiello Reply

    Isn’t the Body of Christ broader than the Catholic Church. Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium 8 says: “This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,(13*) although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure”. This doesn’t sound as firm as what the catechism says.

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