Dear Father: Can non-Catholics go to heaven even if they don’t have Confession to go to? Can Catholics who left the Church and don’t go to Confession go to heaven?
Dear friend in Christ,
The short answer is yes. Nothing is impossible for God. God’s mercy is infinite.
However, we should remember that the safest and surest way to salvation is through the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church – the only Church that Jesus founded while He was on earth. The Sacraments are the natural manifestation of what faith in Jesus looks likes in real life. The Sacraments are the normal and ordinary road to heaven.
This is why it is so urgent that each of us do whatever we can to help the people we love return to the Church. If you are concerned about the salvation of a loved one, you can and should have a loving conversation with them about it. But we should remember the words of Saint Monica who prayed for the conversion of her son, Saint Augustine, for decades. She said “it is better to talk to God about Augustine than to talk to Augustine about God.” What she means is that people’s hearts are returned to the Lord more by our prayers, penances, sacrifices, disciplines and pleas than by our trying to convince them ourselves.