Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus


** Outside the church there is no salvation is a doctrine of the Catholic faith that was taught by Jesus Christ to his Apostles, preached by the fathers, defined by popes and councils, and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the church.
A doctrine, or dogma, of the church, is a truth which has been revealed by God and must be believed by all Catholics. When the pope teaches “Ex Cathedra” ( From the chair of Peter), he invokes his highest teaching authority, thus assuring the faithful that such a declaration is dogma.
Here is how three popes solemnly defined “Outside the Church there is no salvation”.

Ex Cathedra: There is but one Universal church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved. (Pope Innocent III, Fourth LAteran Council, 1215).

Ex Cathedra: We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302).

Ex Cathedra: 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. 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. (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441)

All Catholics must believe this teaching. To reject it—or even to doubt it deliberately—is to sin mortally against the virtue of faith. Failure to hold and teach this doctrine has led to the present state of affairs in the church of God.
:slight_smile: :popcorn: **


All Salvation Comes through Christ

General Audience — May 31, 1995

The difficulties that sometimes accompany the development of evangelization highlight a delicate problem, whose solution is not to be sought in purely historical or sociological terms. It is the problem of the salvation of those who do not visibly belong to the Church. We have not been given the possibility to discern the mystery of God’s action in minds and hearts, in order to assess the power of Christ’s grace as he takes possession, in life and in death, of all that “the Father gives him,” and which he himself proclaims he does not want to “lose.” We hear him repeat this in one of the suggested Gospel readings in the Mass for the dead (cf. Jn 6:39-40).

However, as I wrote in the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, the gift of salvation cannot be limited “to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all.” And, in admitting that it is concretely impossible for many people to have access to the Gospel message, I added: “Many people do not have the opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions” (RM 10).

We must acknowledge that, as far as human beings can know and foresee, this practical impossibility would seem destined to last a long time, perhaps until the work of evangelization is finally completed. Jesus himself warned that only the Father knows “the exact time” set by him for the establishment of his kingdom in the world (cf. Acts 1:7).

Read the rest here.

  1. In the face of new problems and situations and of an exclusive interpretation of the adage: “salus extra ecclesiam non est”,[88] the magisterium, in recent times, has articulated a more nuanced understanding as to the manner in which a saving relationship with the Church can be realized. The Allocution of Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadam (1854) clearly states the issues involved: “It must, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only ark of salvation, and that whoever does not enter it, will perish in the flood. On the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who live in ignorance of the true religion, if such ignorance be invincible, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord”.[89]
  1. The Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston (1949) offers further specifications. “To gain eternal salvation, it is not always required that a person be incorporated in reality (reapse) as a member of the Church, but it is necessary that one belong to it at least in desire and longing (voto et desiderio). It is not always necessary that this desire be explicit as it is with catechumens. When one is invincibly ignorant, God also accepts an implicit desire, so called because it is contained in the good disposition of soul by which a person wants his or her will to be conformed to God’s will”.[90]
  1. The universal salvific will of God, realized through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, which includes the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation, finds expression in Vatican II: “All men are called to this Catholic unity which prefigures and promotes universal peace. And in different ways to it belong, or are related: all the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and finally all mankind called by God’s grace to salvation” (LG 13). That the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ is realized in the context of a relationship with the Church is further reiterated by the post-Conciliar papal magisterium. Speaking of those who have not had the opportunity to come to know or accept Gospel revelation – even in their case, the encyclical Redemptoris Missio has this to say: “Salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace … which has a mysterious relationship to the Church”.[91]

The Hope For Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized (source)


Well, OTCA has said it now - I’m going to Hell. No point of me even responding to her anymore - wouldn’t want to get in her way.


While Pope Pius IX is correctly cited your quotes do not convey all of what he said. Specifically in the Syllabus of Errors is listed “We must have at least good hope concerning the eternal salvation of all those who in no wise are in the true Church of Christ.” So explicity condemed is the belief that all peoples will be ok stricly because of ignorance. They absolutely must have a desire to be in the Church or they are damned, without exception.


That’s NOT what St Pius X taught in his catechism. Mind you - no-one teaches that ALL ignorant people are ok, so we don’t contravene the Syllabus of Errors.

The teaching is merely about the INVINCIBLY ignorant - those who through no fault or doing of their own don’t even hear of the Church, and so have no opportunity to explicitly form the desire to be in it. Or who through no fault of their own don’t HEAR of such a person as the Roman Pontiff and so have no opportunity to subject themselves formally to him.

THAT was taught in the Catechism of St Pius X, following Popes and magisterial consensus - whose interpretation I would trust far more than those who argue the contrary.

Invincible ignorance is not a ‘new doctrine’, merely an elaboration on the definition of what it actually MEANS to be ‘in the Church’, ‘joined to the Church’ or ‘subject to the Roman Pontiff’ even - that such things can be done implicitly and informally.


A) I don’t see how what you said disagrees with what I said, but ok.

B) Some do claim all ignorant people go to Heaven automatically and I was just trying to show that is not true.


First of all, look at that latin word. What is the meaning of ecclesiam? It means the congregation of those who are being called, correct?? It does not said anything about being a roman catholic, nor even being a christian.

All people who is called by God, by definition is chosen by God regardless of anything. The question is whether or not such person decide to answer the call of God.


Ecclesiam means Church. We have always translated it that way. The only Church we consider to be the true Church is the Catholic Church. So yes it does say you must be a Catholic. Also it is a dogma that those seperated from the Bishop of Rome (pope) can’t attain salvation. So even had you been right the other dogmas clarrify the issue.


You are right that Ecclesiam means Church. Does it means a physical building? or even a denomination?? For sure, the true Church is the “Church” originated from the teaching of Jesus who is the only way to God.

If we take further. Who is Jesus. Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1). God has revealed Himself to human being, which also means that God has sent His word to communicate to human being. Anything comes from God means also comes from Jesus, agreed?? How can we limit on how and even who the target of God when He decides to communicate to? God has the right to choose out of His own will of how and to whom He would communicate to.

For sure, the easiest way to get to the correct God, is to come to God’s own word which is Jesus. Since Jesus time on earth was over, then we come to the disciple of Jesus who was appointed and empowered by Jesus Himself. Others may follow the word of God in another way, and may come to God too. How and Why? it is not our right to determine.


The belief that other religions can lead you to God is an error condemend over and over again. If a heathen is saved it is despite his religion not because of it.

You can believe what you want, but don’t call it a Catholic belief. The Church is very clear, outside the Chruch there is absolutely no salvation. It has been dogmatically defined 3 times at least. The Catechism also says it.


If that is so, what is the Vatican II council documents of Lumen Gentium and Nostra aetate means? Do you think the catechism disregard those two documents? Do you see any word “Christian” or even “Catholic” in Mat 25:31-46??

Since the Church is also established by Jesus, and if you said there is no salvation outside the word of God, then I agree with you.


Vatican II never denied the dogma as it has always been understood. It can’t. The Church can’t just change her mind. If we didn’t beleive something before Vatican II we don’t believe it now. If you have a specific quote you think denies the dogma please show it.

No salvation outside the Word of God. That is a true statement, but it is also incomplete. All salvation comes from Christ through the Church. The Church can’t be removed from the equation. To emphasize this point here is a Quote from the Council of Florence (approved by the pope and thus infallible because of the council and because of the pope)
"…and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church". Above this quote was one mentionioning that Jews, pagans, heretics, and schismatics are damned. So it is quite clear what the Church intends the faitful to believe on this issue.


How many times does this dead horse have to be beat?


Until it gets up :smiley:


Common sense says that beating anything while it’s down only does one thing: it keeps it down. A helping hand is much more effective than a wooden stick.


But it’s more fun poking things with a stick :smiley:


I guess. Seems akin to pulling the wings off of flies to me.


How do you know extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is stated in ex-cathedra? It seems only two doctrinal statements have been considered spoken thus. And neither had to do with no salvation apart from the church.


"All salvation comes from Christ the Head through the means of the church which is his body. 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 as through a door. Hence they could NOT be saved who, knowing the Catholic church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, do not know Christ and his church, those who, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his church, but who never the less seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace try in his actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their CONSCIENCE–those too may acieive eternal salvation.**


I’ve just discovered that because something is in a Papal Bull doesn’t necissarily mean its stated ex-cathedra. Though an Ex-Cathedra statement is communicated in papal bull. The only agreed upon statments that are ex-cathedra are the immaculate conseption and the assumption of Mary.

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