Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus and Protestants

If a protestant leading a good moral life, keeping all the commandments but is incredulous to the Catholic teaching, can they make it to Heaven?

I know those with invincible ignorance won’t be judged for not being Catholic.

Does it basically mean those that refuse to be Catholic? Those that have enough understanding and yet reject the church?


From an article on CA; hope this is helpful:

*Necessary for Salvation

As we have seen, God introduced salvation to the world through his chosen people, the Jews. God’s revelation to the Jews found its fulfillment in Christ, the Messiah, who established the Catholic Church. The grace necessary for salvation continues to come from Christ, through his Church. Those who innocently do not know and embrace this might still attain salvation but those who knowingly and willingly choose to reject it, reject salvation on God’s terms.

The Catechism (once again quoting Lumen Gentium) summarizes all this as follows:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)*

Jim Blackburn is a Catholic Apologist, Author, and Speaker. He holds a Masters Degree in Theology from John Paul the Great Catholic University and is the author of several books including 101 Quick Questions With Catholic Answers: Marriage, Divorce, and Annulment, 20 Answers:…

Your whole idea is a bit scrambled.

Sentence one is not correct because it doesn’t mention Jesus. You can’t just be leading a good moral life, trying to keep the commandments and not believe the catholic to go to heaven. This sounds like an atheist and I assume, instead, that you mean a protestant.
If you put belief in Jesus into that mix, then the answer is Yes.

Your second sentence re invincible ignorance is right on. As long as they were seeking God, somehow.

Those rejecting the catholic church are not lost. See CCC no. 846 - 848. Especially 848.
Pope Benedict wrote on this. One could be outside the catholic church but still belong to the Body of Christ. Thus they would be going to heaven.


Try reading CCC no. 848.

Plus, I doubt Mr. Blackburn is a better theologian than Pope Benedict!

Many church fathers asserted the concept that one outside the church is totally lost with no hope of salvation. Including Thomas Aquinas and Augustine.

The Catholic church no longer believes this and it makes no sense if you think of it. Continuing revelation would be the solution to the conflict. Or, if you just rely on the bible, this idea also comes through (that one would not be lost).


I think you lost me here. How is it you think “The Catholic church no longer believes this…” ?

I find it interesting how different experts translate church teachings. It’s no wonder there is so much differing opinion of these threads.

I mean, just logically speaking, do you really believe every protestant is going to hell?

I really dislike the CCC for how it’s set up and how it’s written, but anyway, it’s one of the only authoratative books we have to use. Read CCC no. 818 and 819. And, of course and I know it only too well, you’re going to find something that says the opposite. It’s too much.

Pope Benedict wrote on this but I can’t remember where. I remember thinking how much the church has changed in the past 50 years. I tried finding it on the net and cannot. He did what Pope Francis does at times. Makes a statement, then retracts it. I’m pretty tired of this since I teach in the church and have to be careful about what I say and many times I find conflicting statement and also different ways different priests understand things.

For instance, what is The Body of Christ? Do only Catholics belong to it? Do only baptized persons belong to it? I’m not getting into this - just something to think about.
I sometimes think we make things toooo complicated!


OO Hello , OF Course, Try reading John in the gospel, " They also hear my VOICE, VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE TEACHING`S OF MAN CAN reduce your view of god considerably but not always the zeal with …".

Our Master can as written give life too anyone he cares too, and also as is written there are some found in death at the end of time that will also be saved ( that also meaning baptism is for the sick not just the healthy, ) …

I’m not so sure about that second statement.

The first statement I can completely support. We need to base our beliefs on the Church … and the Church ≠ catholic.com.

Did you check out catholic.com?
How about the CCC as stated in my post no. 6?

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

I have to find that Pope Benedict statement but I have little time.


I see your new here, as am I.

Would you care to explain your second paragraph?

There are some churches that believe you can be saved after death. Is this what you’re speaking of ?


There really is no conflict, anymore than chapter 846 is in conflict with 848, the latter which does not address the original poster, as it refers to those ignorant of the gospel, not fellow Christians. In any case, the first poster asked a few questions and really good ones. She should not have been told that here thinking was scrambled for asking a question. That’s kid of what we do here.

I meant CCC no. 818.

The OP’s first pp is scrambled, and I explained it in my very first post, because Jesus is not mentioned - thus confusing the whole concept. I would have liked the OP to better explain hiim/herself. The question was not complete.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if one is protestant, it matters if he’s a believer.

But, alas, an OP disappearing act did take place!


I think I should a little addendum/clarification to my earlier post. I definitely believe that the internet has lots of great resources.

I honestly don’t know much about Mr. Blackburn, so I’m not saying anything against him. If his writings align with the Catholic Church, then that’s great. My point was simply against citing his writing as if that proves something. Or as an earlier post summed it up:

Originally Posted by frangiuliano115
Plus, I doubt Mr. Blackburn is a better theologian than Pope Benedict!


Hello frangiuliano, Some types living in places like Istanbul, Iraq … etc . really do, due too, the pressure of violence and expulsion of society have know opportunity too get baptised, but find grace with Our Lo_rd, but get know chance to exercise that grace …

The bi_ble would speak of being saved even without baptism, for it is only the sick that need a doctor,( the Protestant bible is a little more in depth and are the words of our Father )and when you understand that the Law is completed but not yet finished then with compassion i`m sure you could agree that that is a very healthy emotion to harbour … .

I agree about the internet having good sources. I was just wondering if you had checked out catholic.com.

God bless

Hello again,

I see what you mean in your first paragraph. Yes. One could be a believer and find it difficult to be baptized. There is the “baptism of desire”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church talks of baptism and is a good reference book to have for persons thinking of converting.

Jesus did say to his apostles to go out into the world and preach the good news and baptize. In other verses it says only to believe in the good news. Baptism allows us to die to ourselves and be reborn into Christ. I do think Jesus meant for all to be baptized. If they cannot be, they will not be damned for this. There is also emergency baptism. Read the CCC.

The only other thing I’d like to say is that both the protestant bible and the catholic bible are the same except that the catholic bible has 7 extra books in the Old Testament. And, of course, if it’s a study bible, the comments will be different. For instance, the protestant bible will have a different explanation for the passages that catholics take to mean puratory.

I not only believe the Law is completed, I think it IS finished! From the cross Jesus said “It is finished.” He also said that He came to fulfill the law. That means to complete, make more perfect, make it the way God had originally meant it to be.



I don’t get it! Must be getting slow!!

Are you sure about that? I mean… really sure?

I mean… there’s a world of difference between “one outside the church is totally lost” and “a Catholic outside the church is totally lost.” Can you show us any quotes from Aquinas and Augustine that say the former, rather than simply the latter? :wink:

The Catholic church no longer believes this

The Church believes what it has always believed. However, some would interpret what the Church said in ages past as if it said things that it really never attempted to say. Context and audience are critically important in this analysis; if one ignores one of these or both… then they start claiming things that the Church has never claimed. :sad_yes:

Hi Gorgias,

Yes. Your second pp is well known to me. Thus, much confusion. Of course we’d have to first understand what the difference even is in your question.

Anyone outside the church: Have they heard the gospel? Through no fault of their own are they ignorant of it? Are they seeking God?

A Catholic outside the church: He’d be lost because he’s heard the gospel and has decided to reject it.

However, yes, will do but it’s going to have to wait till tomorrow morning. It’s almost 11 pm here.


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