All sacraments necessary for salvation?

The catechism say thay are necessary for slavation. What about Holy orders and matrimony? I have had this thrown up in may face by a prot. This guy seems to point out a contradiction. What do I say?

The Council of Trent taught this:

Canon 4. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification,[2] though all are not necessary for each one, let him be anathema.

The Sacraments in general are necessary for salvation in general, but we as individuals don’t have to receive them all to be saved.

One problem you are probably dealing with is the general Protestant understanding of salvation. Sanctification is something separate and distinct, but in Catholic teaching, it is intrinsically a part of salvation. The sacrament of matrimony provides graces for the sanctification of spouses and their family and Holy Orders makes reception of the other sacraments possible because without a ministerial priesthood through whom God gives the sacraments,we would have none.

We partake of the Sacraments according to our state in life.

Baptism (in some form - water, blood, or desire) is necessary for everyone.

If we live to the age of reason, we then need the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion, at their appropriate times (determined by your parents, in consultation with your local Bishop - most parents do for their children according to how the Bishop likes it done, but some parents perceive that their children have unique needs, and obtain the Bishop’s advice on how to do it in a way more appropriate to the particular child).

If we live to adulthood, we may choose to be married, or (if male) choose a vocation to the priesthood. These are not required, and some people are called to the religious life, or simply to remain single but in the world.

When we are extremely ill, we may request the Anointing of the Sick.

I have a more thorough series of articles on this subject HERE.

Hi Jay,

I’m not extremely knowledgeable about our faith, but this is what I was able to find for you in the Catechism. The answer concerning Holy Orders can be found in paragraph 1546 of the Catechism. It specifically states, "Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.” The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be…a holy priesthood.” So while we don’t directly receive holy orders, I guess it could be said that we receive it indirectly by being baptised and confirmed Christians.

In regards to Martimony:

“From the very beginning of the CHurch there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.” (1618:113-114)

“Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace, a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away.” (1619:116)

"Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will. Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom and the Christian understanding of marraige are inseperable, and they reinforce each other:

Whoever denigrates marraige also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparision with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good." (1620:117-119)

I hope those can help you. I got them all from the Catechism, with an appropriate reference. From what I understand, Christ himself invited people to practice celibacy. By doing so, not only do they honor God, but they are also honoring Matrimony.

I could also be completely wrong, especially on answering the question about Holy Orders. I’ve been out of the Church since I was perhaps 14 and have only been back for the past 3 years or so. (I’m 23 now) So there could be a very obvious answer that I’m just not aware of yet. :stuck_out_tongue: I hope this helps.

The thing is this:

Catechism states the sacraments ARE NECESSARY FOR SALVATION.

The prot states what if you don’t get married?
What if you don’t become a priest?
Do I still have salvation?
Me: Yes you do.
Prot: But it says the sacraments are necessary for salvation. What if I am lacking one?

The writers of the catechism should have seen this coming.

This is what the prot said:

I have a question about these two…

There are seven Sacraments of the New Law.
The Sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for the salvation of mankind.

One of the seven Sacraments is marriage, right? Does this mean you have to be married in order to be saved? It seems that way to me…

They were writing it for the Bishops: not for the Protestants.

Our job as apologists and catechists is to explain the meaning of it to our Protestant friends and to our students.

Let’s look at the paragraph in question:

**1129 **The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.51 “Sacramental grace” is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature52 by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.

51 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1604.
52 Cf. 2 Pet 1:4.

As you can see, it cites Trent, which I provided you in my post above. The sacraments are necessary for salvation because the grace necessary for salvation is received through them. This does not mean that each person must receive every sacrament. Why would it?

I really don’t see the conflict and I’ve never come across a Protestant who raises a stink about this being a contradiction.

I don’t know what you should say, but I think the guy is either a bonking idiot or he’s grasping desperately for some reason to say “no” to God’s call to him to become a Catholic.

If he thinks about it even for a few seconds, he must realize that if Catholics themselves don’t partake of all seven sacraments, (ie: when in doubt of the meaning of a teaching in someone else’s religion, observe the behaviour of the interpreting community with respect to the teaching - he should easily observe that the interpreting community is celibate, and does not partake of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony) then obviously, we do not teach that all seven sacraments are required for salvation.


Or would that be too easy? :rolleyes:

In addition to what others have said you might try this angle…

Most protestants see salvation as a very individual matter. And of course it is. But we Catholics hold a more communal view of salvation. We are not saved apart from the Church.

All the sacraments are necessary for the salvation of the Christian community. But not all every sacrament is necessary for the salvation of the individual.

Thank you for all your enlightening responses. :slight_smile:

You are not reading the Catechism correctly.

By saying that the Sacraments are necessary for Salvation it’s not saying that it is necessary for every person to receive every Sacrament. It’s saying that Christ established the Sacraments for the Salvation of Mankind. Holy Orders is necessary to provide for Bishops and Priests. Bishops are necessary for Conmfirmation and Ordaining Priests. Priests are necessary for the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick. Marriage is necessary for building up the Kingdom.

Baptism is the only Sacrament necessary for Salvation for every individual able to receive it.

This is why the Church permits ANYONE to Baptize in case of emergency, validly and licitly.

Actually, receiving all seven would be possible if a married man became a permanent deacon. He would not be a priest, but he would still be ordained to the Diaconate.

they did, if you explore the catechism in the section on the sacraments you will see that they are not private events. they are sanctifying events which through the person receiving them sanctify the whole Church. There is no such thing as a private sacrament. Even in confession, the priest represents not only Christ in absolving the penitent, but the whole Church in reconciling the penitent to communion. The sacrificial priesthood is necessary for salvation because it is through the Eucharist, the actual once-for-all sacrifice of Calvary present on all the altars of all the Catholic churches of the world throughout history that Christ is present on earth, that he conforms Christians to his Mystical Body and that he sanctifies the world. Matrimony is necessary for salvation because it is through families that new members of the Body of Christ are brought into the world, initiated into the sacramental mysteries and build up the Church.

Okay Jay, here’s one more shot in addition to some of the really great replies you’ve recieved. Our Lord instituted seven sacraments, knowing the average person would not recieve them all. You, or I, on an individual basis, will not recieve all seven sacraments. Let’s look at the Priesthood. At the time of Baptism, we recieve a Baptismal Priesthood, which is distinct from the Ministerial Priesthood conferred by Holy Orders.Most males do not become Deacons or Priests. You should, of course recieve the remaining Sacraments of Initiation, which are Penance ,The Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation. You will recieve Baptism and Confirmation only once, but you will recieve, or should recieve, Penance and Holy Communion frequently. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, the couple being married are the actual minsters of the sacrament, with the Priest or Deacon essentially acting as a witness. Annointing of the sick, can take place anytime a person is ill or hospitalized. Imminent death is not a requirement. At the end of the day, we need to recall that Christ instituted seven sacraments. The Protestants neither had, nor currently have the authority to add to or subtract from that number. So, while the Sacraments are indeed necessary for Salvation, the reception of all seven by every Catholic is not required, and in the case of Holy Orders for Females, not possible.

That is not a infallibly defined dogma.Dogmas a very few & they must reception by the whole church

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