Faith and Morals - Salvation outside the Church


#1

I’d like to solicit thought of folks how the matter of Salvation outside the church (and the teaching on that from Vatican II) is NOT a change in faith and morals.

My thought, just to start things, is that its not really even a matter of faith and morals to say whether a person is saved or not. I think its pretty clear that we really can have no way of knowing who is saved and to make any clear line cannot be a matter of faith (which regards to revelations of God) or morals (referring to the way to live our life).


#2

The teaching hasnt changed—Vatican II stated it with “nicer” language. The position is that formal membership is normatively necessary to get to heaven–However if a person is invincible ignorant of the faith and would follow the truth if he knew it he can be saved----that is why it is important that WE CONVERT ALL PEOPLE TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH BECAUSE THEIR SOULS ARE AT STAKE----YES INCLUDING OUR SEPERATED BRETHERN PROTESTANTS!!!


#3

…you will know them by their fruits!

http://img.shopping.com/images1/di/61/65/54/33/71/6e7a5056497176746b68394b66424f6367-100x100.jpg
…but, beware of false prophets…:cool:


#4

[quote=marineboy]The teaching hasnt changed—Vatican II stated it with “nicer” language. The position is that formal membership is normatively necessary to get to heaven–However if a person is invincible ignorant of the faith and would follow the truth if he knew it he can be saved----that is why it is important that WE CONVERT ALL PEOPLE TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH BECAUSE THEIR SOULS ARE AT STAKE----YES INCLUDING OUR SEPERATED BRETHERN PROTESTANTS!!!
[/quote]

On the contrary, it hasn’t been put more nicely, it’s been clarified. It is explicated quite clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which clearly states that for our seperated brethren are in “certain, though imperfect” union with the Catholic Church. Also, note this, again from the Catechism:

**819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

This seems to clearly explain the Church’s teachings.


#5

THERE IS NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. That is a proclaimed dogma, therefore it is in the realm of faith and morals. Whether a particular individual is or has gone to heaven or hell is not however. Further whether an individual is joined to the Church is not something that can be judged by us. All who have not willfully and knowingly rejected the Church may be joined to it. This has always been Catholic teaching.


#6

Hello Gordon,

Here are some quotes so that people can see the past and present papal statments on salvation outside the Church.

Pope John Paul II and Vatican II tell us that if pagans are faithful to their pagan god they can go to heaven through Jesus. Pope Eugene tells us there is no salvation for pagans outside the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Pope EugeneThe Church Teaches 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 ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire “which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,” (Mt. 25:41) 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 from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsdeeds, and other works of Christian piety and 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 they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441)

Pope John Paul II:The following is a quote of Pope John Paul II’s statement in English to those gathered in St. Peter’s square on Wednesday, December 6th, 2000, in which he briefly summarized his message of the day, “FOR US, THE KINGDOM IS GRACE”:
“Dear brothers and sisters, the theme of Our general audience during this great Jubilee year, has been the glory of the Trinity, and today we ask what we must do to ensure that the glory of the Trinity shines forth more fully in the world. In essence we are called to be converted and to believe in the Gospel. We are to accept the kingdom of God in our hearts, and to bear witness to it by word and deed. The kingdom indicates the loving presence and activity of God in the world and should be a source of serenity and confidence to our lives. The Gospel teaches us that those who live in accordance with the beatitudes: the poor in spirit; the pure in heart; those who will lovingly [endure] the sufferings of life; will enter God’s kingdom. All who seek God with a sincere heart, including those who do not know Christ and His Church, contribute under the influence of grace, to the building of this kingdom. In the Lord’s prayer we say ‘Thy kingdom come’. May this be the hope that sustains us and inspires our Christian life and world.”

We confess with the Apostle Paul “that there is salvation in no other name” (Acts 4:12). The “Dominus Iesus” declaration, in the wake of Vatican II, shows that with this the salvation of non-Christians is not denied, but explains its ultimate source in Christ, in whom God and man are united. God gives light to all in a way appropriate to their interior and environmental situation, granting them saving grace through ways known to him (see “Dominus Iesus,” VI, 20-21). The document clarifies the essential Christian elements, which do not obstruct the dialogue, but show its basis, because a dialogue without foundations would be destined to degenerate into empty verbosity.

Normally, “it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Saviour (cf. Ad gentes, nn. 3, 9, 11)” (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue – Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples,


#7

Pope Eugene

The Church Teaches 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 ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire “which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,” (Mt. 25:41) 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 from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsdeeds, and other works of Christian piety and 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 they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441)

Can Outsiders be Insiders?
by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas

catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4085


#8

The Catholic Church makes claims about herself that are easily misunderstood, especially in the modern atmosphere of pluralism and ecumenism. Among these claims, the most fundamental is the doctrine of the Church’s necessity for salvation. Not unlike other dogmas of the faith, this one has seen some remarkable development, and the dogmatic progress has been especially marked since the definition of papal infallibility. It seems that as the Church further clarified her own identity as regards the papacy and collegiality, she also deepened (without changing) her self-understanding as the mediator of salvation to mankind.

ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ315.HTM


#9

OK, in the comparison between Pope Eugene and Pope JP II, I mean, I don’t think that statements like that go to saying a teaching has changed.


#10

As Pope Eugene said, unless someone unites themself to the Church before death, they will not be saved. It’s as simple as that. Now, non-Catholics can be united to the Church in other ways than professing the Catholic faith. If they do not know that the sacraments are necessary, through no fault of their own, and they would desire them if they had the chance, then they are united to the Church through baptism of desire.

I think it is Baptism that makes us members of the Church. Likewise, remember, it is formal (not material) heresy that excommunicates us. Also remember, damning mortal sin requires full knowledge. So non-Catholics who are baptised validly (with water or desire) are united to the Church. Since most are only material heretics and not formal ones, it is not a mortal sin. Obviously there are definitely obstacles to salvation without the sacraments, it is not an impediment. Of course, they also must follow the law written on all our hearts and not reject the graces God sends them which point them towards the fullness of the Truth.


#11

[quote=GordonBOPS]OK, in the comparison between Pope Eugene and Pope JP II, I mean, I don’t think that statements like that go to saying a teaching has changed.
[/quote]

The teaching hasn’t changed. The Church is still absolutely necessary for salvation. It is She that still mediates salvation on the earth. These teachings have been further clairified and refined. The Church teaches that our fellow Christians are just that: Christians. The Church teaches that their churches/ecclesial communities are used by Christ for their salvation, but that all those methods whereby they are saved in those communities are the possessions of, belong to, the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that these Christians are in “certain, though imperfect” union with the Catholic Church, whether they will to be or not. Should they become formally Catholic? Sure! Does their eternal salvation hinge on that? The Church seems to teach otherwise in saying that Christ uses those churches/ecclesial communities as means of salvation. Is this a contradiction? I don’t think so, merely an explanation of what is meant by “in the Church.” Now it is an entirely different story for one who has come to be convinced that the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church, containing the fullness of Truth, and fails to act on that conviction. The Catechism also clearly teaches that such a person is lost.


#12

Well said.


#13

[quote=thessalonian]THERE IS NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. That is a proclaimed dogma, therefore it is in the realm of faith and morals. Whether a particular individual is or has gone to heaven or hell is not however. Further whether an individual is joined to the Church is not something that can be judged by us. All who have not willfully and knowingly rejected the Church may be joined to it. This has always been Catholic teaching.
[/quote]

The problem we have with proclaimed dogma/doctrine is that some times we interptret the words as an Evangelical might interpret a scripture passage. We need to rely on what our Pope and Bishops are teaching today as to what these words mean. That is why they are the Magisterium(our teachers) we cannot rely on educated lay persons or even some priests to give us the true meaning. I think the CCC and the Vatican II documents make what this proclaimed dogma actually means quite clear.


#14

jkirk you are misleaing sir----THE CCC SAYS THEY ARE IN IMPERFECT COMMUNION----WHATEVER THAT MEANS !!! (ITS UNCLEAR WHAT THAT MEANS)THE BOTTOM LINE IS PIUS XII EMPHATICALY TEACHES THAT NON-CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS ARE NOT INSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH–HESITATE TO CALL YOU A HERETIC BUT YOUR GETTING CLOSE—Pius XII states in the Mystical Body of Christ–denzinger 3802 “Only those must be considered members of the Church, who hae recieved the bath of regeneration, WHO PROFESS THE TRUE FAITH, AND HAVE NOT MISERABLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE UNION OF THE BODY NOR HAVE BEEN SEPERATED BY LEGITAMTE AUTHORITY.” ----also Pius IX explicitly states that non-catholic christiansare not members of the Catholic church—Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes Denzinger 2997----so kirky your wrong if your saying or even implying Protestants are members–THEY ARENT–I ALSO ASSERT ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT CAN CAUSE SOULS TO BE LOST BECAUSE YOU PROMOTE A SPIRIT OF INDFFERENTISM—IT SEEMS YOU WOULD RATHER BE LIKED BY NON CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS THEN REALLY LAY IT ON THE LINE AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THEY MAY BE IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR SALVATION-- TO ME ITS DISPICABLE THAT PEOPLE CAN CRITICIZE ME FOR BEING "HARSH " OR “RUDE” BUT YOU CAN SPEW THAT STUFF ON HERE AND NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING -ITS RIDICULOUS–ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO HAVE CAUSED PEOPLE TO BEIEVET HE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOESNT REQUIRE CONVERSION–I THINK YOU NEED TO EXAMINE YOUR SOUL SIR—


#15

[quote=marineboy]jkirk you are misleaing sir----THE CCC SAYS THEY ARE IN IMPERFECT COMMUNION----WHATEVER THAT MEANS !!! (ITS UNCLEAR WHAT THAT MEANS)THE BOTTOM LINE IS PIUS XII EMPHATICALY TEACHES THAT NON-CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS ARE NOT INSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH–HESITATE TO CALL YOU A HERETIC BUT YOUR GETTING CLOSE—Pius XII states in the Mystical Body of Christ–denzinger 3802 “Only those must be considered members of the Church, who hae recieved the bath of regeneration, WHO PROFESS THE TRUE FAITH, AND HAVE NOT MISERABLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE UNION OF THE BODY NOR HAVE BEEN SEPERATED BY LEGITAMTE AUTHORITY.” ----also Pius IX explicitly states that non-catholic christiansare not members of the Catholic church—Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes Denzinger 2997----so kirky your wrong if your saying or even implying Protestants are members–THEY ARENT–I ALSO ASSERT ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT CAN CAUSE SOULS TO BE LOST BECAUSE YOU PROMOTE A SPIRIT OF INDFFERENTISM—IT SEEMS YOU WOULD RATHER BE LIKED BY NON CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS THEN REALLY LAY IT ON THE LINE AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THEY MAY BE IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR SALVATION-- TO ME ITS DISPICABLE THAT PEOPLE CAN CRITICIZE ME FOR BEING "HARSH " OR “RUDE” BUT YOU CAN SPEW THAT STUFF ON HERE AND NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING -ITS RIDICULOUS–ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO HAVE CAUSED PEOPLE TO BEIEVET HE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOESNT REQUIRE CONVERSION–I THINK YOU NEED TO EXAMINE YOUR SOUL SIR—
[/quote]

“Taking our time machine up to the 19th century, we find no less a stalwart defender of Catholic orthodoxy than Pope Pius IX making this most nuanced statement in Singulari Quadam: '. . . it is also a perfectly well known Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church, and that those who are contumacious against the authority and the definitions of that same Church, and who are pertinaciously divided from the unity of that Church and from Peter’s successor, the Roman Pontiff, to whom the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior, cannot obtain eternal salvation.'
The operative words, to be sure, are ‘contumacious’ and ‘pertinaciously.’ No surprise, then, that in the very same document, we find a clear expression of the possibility of salvation for those outside the Church through no fault of their own. And so, we read: ‘It is known to Us and to you that those who labor in invincible ignorance concerning our most holy religion and who, assiduously observing the natural law and its precepts which God has inscribed in the hearts of all, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life can, through the working of the divine light and grace, attain eternal life.’ Pius IX obviously took seriously the theological discussions of the previous centuries and encapsulated them in his letter.” (…)

"In 1943, Pope Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis was released. Eighty years after Pius IX’s encyclical, Pius XII made this important contribution to the issue: ‘We urge each and every one of [those outside Catholic unity] to be prompt to follow the interior movements of grace, and to seek earnestly to rescue themselves from a state in which they cannot be sure of their own salvation. For even though, by a certain unconscious desire and wish, they may be related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they remain deprived of so many and so powerful gifts and helps from heaven, which can be enjoyed only within the Catholic Church.’

Note the critical lines, ‘they cannot be sure of their own salvation,’ and, ‘they remain deprived of so many and so powerful gifts.’ What was he saying? Well, at a minimum, he was acknowledging that although they cannot be certain of their eternal salvation, neither they nor we are certain of their eternal damnation. And further, that while they are deprived of ‘many’ gifts leading to salvation, they are not deprived of all such gifts. Six years later, this encyclical formed the basis for the response of the Holy Office to the teaching of Father Feeney. And so, the following paragraph gives an official interpretation to the teaching of Pius XII: ‘With these prudent words [of Pius XII], the Pope censures those who exclude from eternal salvation all men who adhere to the Church only with an implicit desire; and he also censures those who falsely maintain that men can be saved equally well in all religions’ (Letter of the Holy Office to Archbishop Cushing, 1949). Judged unacceptable were both a facile condemnation of those outside the Church through no fault of their own and a facile religious indifferentism."

Source : catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4085


#16

[quote=Genesis315]As Pope Eugene said, unless someone unites themself to the Church before death, they will not be saved. It’s as simple as that. Now, non-Catholics can be united to the Church in other ways than professing the Catholic faith. If they do not know that the sacraments are necessary, through no fault of their own, and they would desire them if they had the chance, then they are united to the Church through baptism of desire.

I think it is Baptism that makes us members of the Church. Likewise, remember, it is formal (not material) heresy that excommunicates us. Also remember, damning mortal sin requires full knowledge. So non-Catholics who are baptised validly (with water or desire) are united to the Church. Since most are only material heretics and not formal ones, it is not a mortal sin. Obviously there are definitely obstacles to salvation without the sacraments, it is not an impediment. Of course, they also must follow the law written on all our hearts and not reject the graces God sends them which point them towards the fullness of the Truth.
[/quote]

Gen - I think you said it all. Afterall, Catholics do learn that people can receive forgiveness of their sins if they are incapacited (like Terry Schaivo) and he/she WOULD have gone to confession and would have wanted to confess their sins. This is the same theory that would apply to non Catholic Christians. Unfortunately, many of them are so against the Cath Church, that they won’t recognize God’s forgiveness and will, by their free will, choose something other than eternity with God.


#17

This is in response to Marineboy’s last post to me.

Do not refer to me again as Kirky. You may call me JKirkLVNV.

You still fail to deal with the following statement from the Catechism: Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

You posted this:*** “Only those must be considered members of the Church, who hae recieved the bath of regeneration, WHO PROFESS THE TRUE FAITH, AND HAVE NOT MISERABLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE UNION OF THE BODY NOR HAVE BEEN SEPERATED BY LEGITAMTE AUTHORITY.”*** I reply with this: 818*** “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.” ***

I am not a heretic. I fully accept all that Holy Mother Church teaches and submit to it. You’ll find that all I’ve done is quote the Catechism and in context, too. I have not denied EENS, nor any other dogma of the Church. If it is a dogma of the Church, it is by definition unchanging. I do, however, deny that the Successor to Peter and the Bishops in communion with him cannot further explain, illuminate, clarify, and explicate those unchanging dogmas. Otherwise, we would be as well to do away with the Teaching Church, the Magisterium.

I am not saying that Protestants have the same fullness of Truth, because they don’t. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t convert, because they should. I’m not saying that they aren’t deficient, because they are. I’ve no idea why anyone would want to go to one of their worship services when one could go to Mass. I wouldn’t bother getting up on Sunday morning if a long lecture was all I had to look forward to. I’m simply stating what the Catechism says, that Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation. It seems you have trouble with what Pope John Paul taught in the Catechism. You said I verged on heresy, yet all I’ve done is quote from it. You aren’t suggesting that the old Holy Father was a heretic, are you?

I’m not interested if any non-Catholic Christians like me. I’m 43, I don’t go in for popularity contests. I’ll tell you straightforwardly what I am interested in: My 88 year old grandfather has been a faithful Christian all of his life. He’s a Southern Baptist deacon. He has loved Christ and followed Him. He has constantly sought to do His will, prayerfully and earnestly. He and my grandmother (she died in 1997, so I assume, according to you, that she is already burning in the pit of hell for all eternity) taught me to love Christ and to commit my life to Him. It was they, I firmly believe, who unwittingly set my feet on the path to the fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church, yet she died, and he will die, outside of it. They have been and are more Christian in their daily walk and witness to Jesus Christ than any Catholic, priest or lay, that I am personally aquainted with (I’m obviously not personally aquainted with the likes of the saints, or the old Holy Father or Pope Benedict). I have NO intention of saying to my old grandfather, whom I love and reverence,“By the by, old man, convert to Catholicism or you’re doomed, doooooomed I tell you!” I don’t believe that he is and I don’t believe that the Catechism teaches that he is. I’ve managed to clear up some of his misconceptions about the Church, but he’s still got a lot that he doesn’t believe. He has, however, been baptized, followed Christ, and lived a life of near heroic charity. I’m not worried about him.

Finally, I’m touched by your concern for the state of my soul. I examine my conscience every night and I go to confession once a week. I take nothing for granted, but I hope in Christ’s Grace.


#18

I HAVE DEALT WITH THAT SIR–IT SAYS THAT pROTESTANT CHURCHES ARE USED BY GOD AS MEANS OF SALVATION–I REALLY dont know what tha means-=—i do now what the Church has through Pius XII and PIUS IX(go look up the refernces --especially PIUS IX) it emphatically states that non catholic CHRISTIANS are not members up the Catholic church- SO GET OVER IT-----------YOUR WRONG-----


#19

[quote=marineboy]I HAVE DEALT WITH THAT SIR–IT SAYS THAT pROTESTANT CHURCHES ARE USED BY GOD AS MEANS OF SALVATION–I REALLY dont know what tha means-=—i do now what the Church has through Pius XII and PIUS IX(go look up the refernces --especially PIUS IX) it emphatically states that non catholic CHRISTIANS are not members up the Catholic church- SO GET OVER IT-----------YOUR WRONG-----
[/quote]

A) It means what the Catechism and the Teaching Church (the Magisterium) says it means. In English, once again, Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."
This is not a denial of former teaching, merely an expansion upon it.

B) Some Protestants are in “certain, though imperfect,” union with the Church. It’s clear that it means what it means, if one is able to understand English, as I am sure you are able to do. It is you, in fact, who are wrong. You have taken an isolated snap shot of a time in the Church’s history and made it the whole of Her teaching, eliminating any further need for, as I’ve said numerous times, or ability for, the Successors of Saint Peter to expand upon, explicate, explain, clarify, shine the light on, illuminate or distill any further what is the timeless dogma of the Church.


#20

[quote=GordonBOPS]I’d like to solicit thought of folks how the matter of Salvation outside the church (and the teaching on that from Vatican II) is NOT a change in faith and morals.

My thought, just to start things, is that its not really even a matter of faith and morals to say whether a person is saved or not. I think its pretty clear that we really can have no way of knowing who is saved and to make any clear line cannot be a matter of faith (which regards to revelations of God) or morals (referring to the way to live our life).
[/quote]

The Church still maintains that there is “no salvation outside the Church”. The question is who is part of the Church. The [Catholic] Church has never defined who is part of the [Catholic] Church because that is only known by God.

The Church has defined that Baptism brings a person into the Church, but God is not limited by the sacrament. He can do as he wills, and if he wants he can make someone a part of the Church without baptism. Eucharist brings us into union with the rest of the Church in faith. It makes us more a part of the Body of Christ.

It is understood that formal membership in the [Catholic] Church is required, but if someone is completely and invincibly ignorant of the truth of the Catholic Church, they may be saved, even though they are not a formal member. If they truely seek God with all their heart and they are invincibly ignorant, then they will most certainly be a part of the Church.


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