Second Vatican Council

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Question from Rick W on 5/13/2008:

Please help me...I'm very confused. Recently I read that according to the Second Vatican Council, as long as one lives a good moral life, one does not need any faith in order to obtain salvation. Furthermore, I've read that one can even belong to a false religion and still be saved. How can this possibly be? Clearly this begs the questions: why be baptized, why attend Church and why pray? I'm a baptized Catholic and have been attending Church for my entire life. I find this hard to believe.
Answer by David Gregson on 5/23/2008:

It's possible to be saved without being baptized, but it's less certain. Christ gave us the sacraments to put us on the right path and support us along the way. God can act outside the sacraments, and grant the grace necessary to be saved, even to nonchristians (if they cooperate with it), but they don't have the same grounds for assurance as Christians, and especially Catholics, who have the full Apostolic teaching to guide them. It's too easy to lose one's way, without a conscious faith and following of Christ, the only Savior.

See Dominus Iesus, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in August 2000. Also beware of accounts of Vatican II that oversimplify its teaching.

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