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Old May 2, '12, 11:54 am
steve b steve b is offline
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Join Date: June 27, 2004
Posts: 10,458
Religion: Cradle Catholic
Default Re: No Salvation Outside the Church, Cantate Domino, and Sacred Tradition: A Question

Originally Posted by Fone Bone 2001 View Post
In short, the answer is that nowhere did the Fathers of Florence - that is the context of Cantate Domino - define what it means to be "outside the ecclesiastical unity" of the Catholic Church.

The article Steve linked to demonstrates that there is, in fact, a difference between "being inside the Catholic Church" and "being a visible member of the Catholic Church." The former is absolutely necessary for salvation, while the necessity of the latter for salvation is not absolute.

As the article puts it:

That last assertion, then, is the key: the maxim “outside the Church there is no salvation” does not imply, as it seems to at first sight, that “only inside the Church is there salvation”.

In support of this argument, Harrison takes another look at the quote from Cantate Domino and basically asks, "What about catechumens?"

They have not yet been received into the Church; indeed, they've not yet received any Sacraments. They are not yet "members of the Church," yet they're not "outside" the Church either. Conspicuously, Cantate Domino does not list "catechumens" in its list of people who cannot benefit from grace. It lists, rather:

(1) Pagans
(2) Jews
(3) Heretics
(4) Schismatics

The fact that "catechumens" are omitted suggests that the document does not intend to exclude from them the possibility of salvation. Since they are not yet members of the Church, therefore, it follows even by the standards of Cantate Domino itself that "visible membership in the Church" is not necessarily a prerequisite for salvation.

Likewise with Unam Sanctam: one can be "subject to the Roman Pontiff" in other ways than visible membership in the Church. Say someone, if he knew of the papacy, would desire to submit to the pope. It seems Tradition says that can be sufficient.

Harrison makes this very point in this article: if in danger of death, it is lawful to baptize someone even if they only know about and profess (1) the Trinity and (2) the Incarnation. Such a baptized person on his deathbed would certainly be "subject to the Roman Pontiff" without knowing it.

In short, I now feel I know how Cantate Domino fits within Sacred Tradition.

If anyone is still confused or uncertain, then for the sake of context and comprehensiveness I wholeheartedly urge you to read the entirety of Harrison's article.

How does everyone else feel? Are you satisfied by Harrison's explanation?
I'm glad it helped.

in addition to what you wrote here are some other points he makes

being truly separated from the Church of Christ – being outside her in the sense that excludes from salvation – is essentially an inner spiritual condition (though of course it can be outwardly manifested with words and deeds).

For example, If asked Are you a (Roman Catholic?”)

For some who answer ‘Yes’, even without consciously lying, will in God’s sight and in objective reality be outside the Church, namely, those who have lost supernatural faith, or who refuse to allow papal authority any impact on their own behavior, but who still identify to some extent with Catholicism for merely natural reasons (social convenience, family or cultural tradition, nostalgia, etc.). Conversely, some of those who truthfully answer ‘No’ to our opinion poll question will not really be outside the Catholic Church. Some of these explicit nay-sayers, unbeknown to themselves, will actually be in porticu Ecclesiae rather than extra Ecclesiam.

2 sufficient conditions for extra Ecclesiam
· Lack of (whether culpable or inculpable) supernatural faith
· An explicit and culpable will not to be subject to the Roman Pontiff

1 necessary condition for extra Ecclesiam
· Lack of supernatural grace

My only exception is his use of "Roman". As we know, ALL rites in the Catholic Church are equal in dignity. I suspect that's what he ultimately meant
To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.[St Padre Pio]

Last edited by steve b; May 2, '12 at 12:09 pm.
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