Catholics/Fallen away Catholics
This will be my third attempt at getting an answer to the same question. For some reason, I can seem to find anyone interested in this subject.
My Question Is:
"What is the church's stand on people who were raised Catholic, but have strayed, and now call themselves "non-denominational".
Basically, they have dropped the Catholic religion, and now only profess to have "accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord, and Savior". But, they no longer go to Holy Mass, or Confession, or Communion. Are they living in mortal sin, and will the be condemned to hell when they die?
the only way to know the official position of the Catholic Church is to refer to the official teachings of the Catholic Church.
The official teachings of the Catholic Church are given in the Cathechism (you can find the Cathechism on line at www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/ccc.html )
Nobody can give you an answer such as "Yes they will go to Hell or "No they will not go to Hell"; I think this kind of answers would not express the official position of the Church.
Only God can judge us and only God knows who are those who will go to Hell.
We can only hope for our and other's salvation.
You must instead consider the official teachings of the Church about mortal and venial sins.
I report below some verses from the catechism about mortal sin:
IV. THE GRAVITY OF SIN: MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN
1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture, became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.... But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother." The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."
While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.
1864 "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.
V. THE PROLIFERATION OF SIN
1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.
1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.
1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.
1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.
1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."
You can find many information about mortal sins in the Catechesim for verse 2052 to verse 2557.
I hope this may help you,
Your brother in Christ,
PS I think that faith cannot come only from logic, because to have faith in God means to trust and love God.
I think however that logics and science prove the existence of our soul and the existence of God and that there are many rational arguments strongly supporting the christian faith.
Basically, science has proved that the state of the universe is determined by some specific mathematical equations, the laws of physics; the universe cannot exist independently from such equations, which determine the events and the properties of such events.
However we know that a mathematical equation cannot exist by itself, but it exists only as a thought in a conscious and intelligent mind. In fact, a mathematical equation is only an abstract concept, which existence presupposes the existence of a person conceiving such a concept.
Therefore, the existence of this mathematically structured universe does imply the existence of an intelligent God; this universe cannot exist by itself, but it can exist only if there is a conscious and inteligent God conceiving it according to some specific mathematical equations.
Since the universe cannot exists by itself, but only because God conceive it, God certainly knows everything in every instant. God knows everything becuase eberything is under His control and everything exists only because of Him.
There are some other arguments, which explanation is rather long and Allexperts allows only to give short answers. You can find such arguments in the following site
where I analyse the incongruencies of the materialistic conception of the mind, on the basis of our present scientific knowledges about brain and matter.
This analysis points out how the laws of physics prove that the brain cannot generate consciousness, which existence implies the presence in man of a unbiological/unmaterial element. The problem of consciousness is then strictly connected to the one of the existence of the soul and, consequently, the existence of God.
In the first article entitled “Mind and brain...” you can find a general discussion of the mind and brain problem from a scientific point of view.
In the second article entitled “Scientific contraddictions in materialism”
you can find an explanation of the fundamental inconsistencies of the typical arguments used by materialists, such as the concept of emergent, macroscopic or holist property, complexity, information, etc.
In the section called “FAQ: answers to visitors' questions” you can find the answer to many typical questions, such as "Are there any scientifically proved miracles?", "Does the existence of the universe imply the existence of God?", "Can science explain God?", "Can science establish which is the true religion?", "Can science explain consciousness in the future?", and many others.