I posted this in another thread but I wanted to explore it in a thread of it’s own. I have been examining both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches with hopes of joining one of the other.
One of the claims of the Catholic Church is that the Pope is infallible and that it cannot err in matters of faith and morals, with that in mind I wanted to explore the “No Salvation Ouside The Church dogma”
Here is an infallible an official declaration about it form a Pope:
Pope Eugene IV ( A.D. 1441 ) " The most Holy Roman Church believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatic’s cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart " into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" ( Matt. 25:21), unless before the end of life the same has been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fasting’s, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."
Seems to be very Clear doesn’t it? Now here is what the Catechism says about N Salvation Outside the Church:
[quote]Outside The Church there is no salvation
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
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.
847 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 nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.
848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”
This seems to be in direct contradiction to the declaration of Pope Eugene IV and the other declarations that were made by The Church prior to Vatican II. So what gives? Doesn’t this just blows the claim to infallibility out of the water?