Pope Eugene IV, Papal bull 1441 Cantate Domino
“[the Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart ‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have 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 fastings, 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 blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
Can anyone verify this quote for me? Is the teaching in this document an infallible statement?
I can only think of two explanations to make it consistent with the idea that those outside the Church through no fault of their own can participate in the grace of the Church and that’s these:
- This is merely personal opinion, not doctrine and Pope Eugene’s opinion is simply wrong in this case.
- This is not an accurate quote and does not reflect the teaching of the document (which I have not read in full or in context).
Anyone able to verify this quote and help me out?