23 – All, atheists or those of any religion, are children of God

When receiving news of a recent birth, it is not unusual to say or hear that another child of God has been born. Although this common expression, granted that it is not intentionally erroneous, is nonetheless profoundly imprecise. Just who can someone truly call their child? Can this title be given to the son or daughter of one’s neighbor? Or to one’s dog? Or even to a picture that one has painted? To really be someone’s son or daughter, it is necessary to have received the parents’ nature. That is why we call those who have transmitted human life to us our mother and our father. We also have an unsurpassable Father, our Heavenly Father, who wishes to transmit to us a much more elevated and invaluable life – the divine life, for He wants to be able to sincerely call us His children. This magnificent gift is granted to us by sanctifying grace. Consequently, at birth we cannot yet say that we are children of God. As Jesus said to Nicodemus: we must be born again! Nothing could be more excusable than this common theological inexactitude… Excusable, that is, for those who do not have the mission ex officio to teach the Truth…

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

Authors

Sacred Scripture

Unless One is Born Anew, He cannot See the Kingdom of God

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

Divine Adoption Cannot be Achieved Without Baptism

Saint Thomas Aquinas

All are Obliged to Receive Baptism

John Paul II

We become Children of God in His Only-Begotten Son
Baptism Produces Unity Among Christians

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Baptism and the Church are Indispensable for Salvation

Catechism of the Catholic Church

One Must be Born of the Water and the Spirit in Order to Convert
Baptism Distinguishes Us From All Other Religious Groups

Gregory XVI

The Death of the Soul is Worse than Freedom of Error

John XXIII

It is a Serious Injustice to Place the Catholic Church on a Level with Other Religions

Pius IX

No one May be Saved Outside of the Catholic Church
Dangerous Enemies of the Church

Pius XI

Meetings which Catholics May Not Approve

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Unbelievers Should Convert and do Penance

Pius XII

A Supplication to Those Who do not Belong to the Catholic Church: Seek to Withdraw from this State

Saint Augustine of Hippo

“Indignation Seizes Me Because of the Wicked Who Forsake Your Law”
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