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Catholics/question on the state of grace


In order to have a clean soul you have to go to confession (and then you would be in the state of grace). Then one could say that non-catholics have dirty souls since they do not go to confession. Then the church would be judging people. But I hope that's not the case.
What is the official teaching on this?

I've also hear that if you're getting baptised (even by a non-catholic) you could be in the state of grace. What is the official teaching on this?

Tack,Hank, for your understanding and patience.  God Jul.

You seek "official" teaching on sanctifying grace and the necessity of baptism.  For that  teaching, I must refer you to "The Catechism of the Catholic Church," available on the Internet at

Allow me to present my summary of the most relevant, important data.
Baptism by desire, or "blood" (Christian martyrdom), or by water is necessary to obtain sanctifying grace. For a valid administration of Baptism, any person with proper intention pours water on an unbaptized person while saying "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

State of sanctifying grace a person must at the time of death be in a state of sanctifying grace in order to attain heaven (eternal life -- complete and perfect happiness).  
If a baptized person commits a mortal sin, forgiveness is necessary to regain sanctifying grace.  For forgiveness, repentance is a requirement one has offended God's infinite dignity and goodness by instead preferring an opposing created good.
Usually, Catholics obtain forgiveness through the sacrament of Penance (confession) [or with the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick] penance requires sorrow for sin and a resolution of future avoidance.
God does not predestine anyone to hell (eternal punishment). On the contrary, God wills that all humans "be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." [1 Tim 2:4]. How that works out with each individual is beyond the limited knowledge of our limited human minds.  We leave that to the infinite, just, merciful, good God. To apply the conditions for mortal sin to each and every act of every responsible human being is most difficult. Even those with non-culpable ignorance of Christ and His Church but sincerely seeking God and trying  to do His will according to their conscience may attain salvation -- see Catechism, page 224, paragraphs 846-847.

So, I ask you to consult the "Index" of the Catechism on pages 753ff.  Here are the most relevant titles in alphabetical order:
Baptism: page 758 759; Conscience: 776; Death: 780 781; Evangelgelization: 788; especially FORGIVENESS: 794; Heaven, Hell: 803; Morality: 825; Original Sin: 828; Penance and Reconciliation: 830 832; Sin: 848 849 (especially MORTAL SINS, page 849).
Also check "Contents" of the Catechism: Sacrament of Baptism: page vii; Sacraments of Penance and Anointing: viii; Dignity of the Human Person: ix.

The amount of material is overwhelming. If if you desire clarification or further information, please feel free to write again.   It's important to remember that all humans are in the hands of a wise God.

Again, God Jul.  


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Edward Bode


Catholic dogma, especially as related to Scripture. I have a doctorate in biblical theology [University of St. Thomas, Rome]. I do not answer questions concerning personal moral situations -- ones dealing with right and wrong [sin].


I have taught Catholic thought in grade and high schools, and in college and universities.

Catholic Biblical Association

Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Bible Today.

Graduate degrees in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, in scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas; all in Rome

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