Is faith in Christ necessary for Salvation?



I ran across this in Dr.Alan Schreck’s book (Professor of Theology at Steubenville) when I was researching my paper on the Church dogma “no salvation outside the Church” for masters in theology:

“Catholic Christians must avoid two extremes in considering the salvation of non-Christians. THEY SHOULD AVOID PRESUMING THAT THOSE WHO DONT BELIEVE IN JESUS AND HIS GOSPEL WILL NECESSARILY BE CONDEMNED, but neither should Catholics presume that these people will be saved without accepting the gospel.” (p20 Catholic and Christian)

Doesn’t the Catholic Church teach though that FAITH IN CHRIST IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION (at least implicitly)?
Is Alan Schreck in error?


It seems to me what the good doctor is trying to impart is what the Church teaches. There is no salvation without going through Christ. As Catholics, we believe that all of the means of salvation are found in the Church Christ gave to humanity; however, simply having faith does not automatically give one the sanctifying grace needed for salvation. That is Christ’s to give in what ever means He determines. We know the sacraments to be conduits for this sanctifying grace. Which is why, faith alone is not a guarantee of salvation and never being exposed to the faith is not a guarantee of damnation. The hope is that by ways known only to God, those who have no exposure to the Gospel in this life might hear it after death and have the choice to accept or reject it.

Bottom line, as Catholics, we cannot presume to know the destination for anyone’s soul, including our own, but we can avail ourselves of the sacraments Christ gave to us that bestow upon us the sanctifying grace necessary for our salvation, and we have an obligation to share this good news with world.


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