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Better to be sure than sorry


Henry IV, king of France, having fallen away from the true faith of the Catholic Church, was led to retract his errors in the following manner. Having called before him a conference of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers, he demanded of the latter if salvation were possible in the Catholic Church. “Certainly, sire,” they replied, provided the Catholic lives well.” “And you,” said the king, turning to the priests, “do you admit that the only requisite for salvation for a Protestant is that he live well?” “Certainly not,” they answered, “If God gives him the light to know the true Church, he is bound to submit himself to her infallible teaching authority, and discipline. Otherwise he will surely be lost.” “Then,” said the king, “prudence demands that I become a Catholic once more. By such a step I lose nothing, and gain much. If hereafter it shall appear that the Catholic is not the true infallible Church of Christ, I shall be no worse off than had I remained a Protestant. But if she is the true Church, I shall have gained everything, – my souls salvation.”

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