I saw a…CATHOLIC…on another website bring up the issue of changes in fundamental teachings, notably the issue on salvation outside the church. The person claims to be a Catholic, loves the Mass, the Eucharist and such, but finds the Church to be heretical in its teachings on Mary, the Saints, call no man “father” and the other typical Protestant-inspired arguments.
I’ll post just a sampling of the person’s argument:
The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.
Source: Papal Bull Cantate Domino, by Pope Eugene IV, 1441.
And she says the Church teaches differently now:
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2005 (Zenit.org).
Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith, says Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience, Nov. 30 2005.
1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."62 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church online at the Vatican.
It seems to me that she feels the Church taught for so many years that every single person not within the Roman Catholic church is doomed to hell. But, apparently, in recent times the Church changed its opinion, that even those same Jews, heretics and schismatics can have eternal salvation, even without the Gospel of Christ, without professing Jesus is Lord…she quotes Car. Arinze on this one.
If you’d like, I can forward her entire post to you, via private message. I’d appreciate some insight in how to defend this…TO A CATHOLIC no less. The simple answer is probably that, like the Catechism says, only those who sincerely believe the Catholic church is the Church founded by Christ, but still choose to not be a part of it, then those are without salvation.