"No Salvation outside the Catholic Church"

Peace be with you!

I am writing this in response to some things that USMC stated in the suicide thread. I see that you are a believer in the “no salvation outside the Catholic Church” teaching.

Your mistake in this assertion lies in not taking the teaching in context with its development. It has always been a teaching of the Church, true, and has not changed, but it has been developed to a better understanding. It was once taught that one had to be a part of the Catholic Church to be saved. It is now taught that one must be part of the catholic Church to be saved. Note the use of upper- and lower-case on the word “catholic”. While before it was understood as meaning the Catholic Church (the actual institution). Now it is understood to mean that to be saved one must be part of the UNIVERSAL Church (taking the word “catholic” at its true meaning).

This concept is based on the teaching of salvation by sola gratia, grace alone. Grace has two parts: faith and works. We have to be recieving of God’s grace to be saved, correct? Even if one does not hold the Catholic faith, they can still be recieving of God’s grace in their works, the way they treat others. So with that, they can still be saved. Read the Catechism starting with paragraph 836.

Your other posts were a little remeniscent of a discussion I once had with a Calvinist who believes there are very few people who are saved.

In Christ,
Rand

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

I am writing this in response to some things that USMC stated in the suicide thread. I see that you are a believer in the “no salvation outside the Catholic Church” teaching.

Your mistake in this assertion lies in not taking the teaching in context with its development.
[/quote]

OK, then, since you say I am mistaken, let’s begin with you quoting my error from the other thread. That way I will know exactly what you are speaking of. And please quote at least an entire paragraph so the context can be shown.

I will send this, then begin my reply to the rest of your post. But please post my “error” so I know what you disagree with.

Also please provide some magisterial documentation to support your teaching of the Univesal Church (catholic with a small “c”) being larger than the Roman Catholic Church.

USMC,

SEMPER FIDELIS!

JMJ

PS, You better be right here, the honor of the Corps is at stake! Right now I am on your side. Don’t make me regret sticking with comrades in arms.:thumbsup:

Why don’t we leave it to the professionals. It would seem that you’re both wrong in some aspects.

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

[quote=USMC]Also please provide some magisterial documentation to support your teaching of the Univesal Church (catholic with a small “c”) being larger than the Roman Catholic Church.
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Peace be with you!

I disagree with your notion that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. And so does the Church. Pope John Paul II did not go around preaching that everyone who wasn’t Catholic was going to hell. He didn’t write about that either.

The word katholikos means “universal” in Greek. Do you disagree with its definition?

Here’s a link you might find interesting. newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm

Like I said, read paragraphs 830-856 in the Catechism: scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm#III
Remember, Pope John Paul II personally approved this version of the Catechism. Does he not know what he’s talking about?

In Christ,
Rand

[quote=bear06]Why don’t we leave it to the professionals. It would seem that you’re both wrong in some aspects.

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

I did leave it to the professionals, and I wasn’t wrong about anything. That’s why I cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church for my main argument. Would it help if I quoted the Catechism word for word and then we can compare it to what I said?

In Christ,
Rand

I’m pretty sure that Rand has gotten this one right. I was taught that everyone who is saved is Catholic, whether they know it or not. Basically, people who are not Catholic through invincible ignorance can still become Catholic through baptism by desire. Well done, Dragon Reborn.

Rand Al’Thor,

So far you have provided not one magisterial document to support what you are saying. Neither did you provide the statement that I wrote, which you claimed was an error, like I asked.

Unlike you, who provided absolutely no magisterial documentation to support what you wrote, I will use the words of the Popes and councils as my authority.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor] Your mistake in this assertion lies in not taking the teaching in context with its development. It has always been a teaching of the Church, true, and has not changed, but it has been developed to a better understanding. It was once taught that one had to be a part of the Catholic Church to be saved. It is now taught that one must be part of the catholic Church to be saved. Note the use of upper- and lower-case on the word “catholic”. While before it was understood as meaning the Catholic Church (the actual institution). Now it is understood to mean that to be saved one must be part of the UNIVERSAL Church (taking the word “catholic” at its true meaning).
[/quote]

Let’s begin by once again repeating that you provided not one magisterial document to support this erroneous teaching. You have claimed that the Church now teaches that there are two Catholic Churches: There is the Catholic Church with a big “C”, and a catholic Church, with a little “c”. Please show me where the Magisterium has ever taught this, and then I will take the time to respond. If you cannot show me any magisterial support for these “two Catholic Churches” – one with a big C and one with a small c - then please admit that this is merely your opinion and not what the Church teaches.

In the meantime I will give two magisterial quotes to refute the error.

Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo: “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22): "Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith"

The first quote affirmed that there is only One Catholic Church, and the second confirmed that to be a member of that Church a person must have the true faith.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor] This concept is based on the teaching of salvation by sola gratia, grace alone. Grace has two parts: faith and works. We have to be recieving of God’s grace to be saved, correct? Even if one does not hold the Catholic faith, they can still be recieving of God’s grace in their works, the way they treat others…
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Sorry, but that is completely incorrect.

There are two kinds of grace. There is actual grace, which is a divine inspiration to do good and/or avoid evil (such as you described above); and there is sanctifying grace, which is an indwelling of the Holy Ghost that gives supernatural life to the soul. A person who is in the state of grace has sanctifying grace in their soul. A person in the state of mortal sin has lost sanctifying grace.

Baltimore Catechism:
*“Q. 459. How many kinds of grace are there?
A. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and actual grace.

Q. 460. What is the difference between sanctifying grace and actual grace?
A. Sanctifying grace remains with us as long as we are not guilty of mortal sin; and hence, it is often called habitual grace; but actual grace comes to us only when we need its help in doing or avoiding an action, and it remains with us only while we are doing or avoiding the action.

Q. 461. What is sanctifying grace?
A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.”*

Sanctifying grace is what justifies, and “saves”, the soul; actual grace does not. Someone who is not in the state of grace does indeed receive actual graces, and as such can do good; but these good works (which are referred to as “dead works” since they are not animated by supernatural charity) do not bring the life of sanctifying grace into the soul. It takes either an act of perfect contrition, or lesser contrition combined with the sacrament of penance to bring the soul back into the state of grace.

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Without faith a person can indeed, and does, receive actual grace and can even cooperate with that grace; but without faith, no one can have sanctifying grace.

The following is an infallible ex cathedra statement of the magisterium.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 8, Nov. 22, 1439, “The Athanasian Creed”, ex cathedra: “Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without a doubt he shall perish eternally.”

To be saved a person must die in the state of grace; and to be in the state of grace a person must have the Catholic faith. That is why, in the above quote, the Church solemnly declared that without the Catholic faith it is impossible to be saved.

And it should also be noted that if a person knowingly rejects even one dogma of the faith, they lose the faith. Faith is a supernatural virtue that help us to believe the truth that God has revealed. Just as a person who commits only one mortal sin loses all sanctifying grace and falls into mortal sin, so too, a person who refuses to believe just one divinely revealed dogma loses all supernatural faith, and becomes a heretic.

Pope Leo XIII: Satis Cognitum: “Faith, as the Church teaches, is "that supernatural virtue by which, through the help of God and through the assistance of His grace, we believe what he has revealed to be true… " (Conc. Vat., Sess. iii., cap. 3)… what the Apostle St. James judges to be the effect of a moral delinquency, the same is to be said of an erroneous opinion in the matter of faith. “Whosoever shall offend in one point, is become guilty of all” (Ep. James ii., 10). Nay, it applies with greater force to an erroneous opinion. For it can be said with less truth that every law is violated by one who commits a single sin, since it may be that he only virtually despises the majesty of God the Legislator.** But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith**… ‘In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are will not profit them’ (S. Augustinus in Psal. liv., n. 19) (Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII).

The error in you above statement stems from the fact that you have failed to distinguish between actual grace and sanctifying grace. All receive actual grace – even those without faith – but actual grace does not justify the soul. The soul is justified by sanctifying grace; and in order to possess sanctifying grace the person must hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate. If they do not hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate, then without a doubt, they will perish forever.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 13), Aug. 15, 1832: “They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate (Athanasian Creed).”

[quote=Rand Al’Thor] Your other posts were a little remeniscent of a discussion I once had with a Calvinist who believes there are very few people who are saved.
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Your Calvanist friend must have read the clear word of our Lord who said:

“How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there be that find it” (Mat 7:14).

Your Calvanist friend believes those words of our Lord. Why don’t you?

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[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I disagree with your notion that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. And so does the Church.
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Oh, really? Then why did the Church define the following as an article of faith at the council of Florence?

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that** all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives**; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

Remember, Pope Leo XIII said that if one “dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth they lose all faith”. The above statement from an infallible council is a divinely revealed truth. Anyone who rejects that loses all faith, and thus falls from grace.

That is why Pope Gregory XVI called the denial of the above doctrine a “deadly error”. For what is more deadly than that which destroys the life of grace in the soul?

Pope Gregory XVI (AD 1831 – 1846): “Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care”. (Mirari Vos).

The same Pope also wrote the following to some of his day whom he suspected doubted this dogma.

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life… You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation… Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise St. Gregory the Great who expressly testifies that THIS IS INDEED THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC Church. He says: ‘The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.’ Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma. Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of Lateran IV, these things are written: ‘There is one universal Church of all the faithful outside of which no one is saved.’… We thought you were ignorant of that article of faith and in need of Our instruction. Far be it from Us to have such an absurd and insulting suspicion about you. But We are so concerned about this serious and well known dogma, which has been attacked with such remarkable audacity, that We could not restrain Our pen from reinforcing this truth with many testimonies.”

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Since the denial of an article of faith causes a person to lose all faith and thus fall from the state of grace, we can understand why Pope Pius IX, writing to the Bishops of his day, spoke of “a devilish system of indifference between the different religions”. He condemned those who “maintain that the haven of eternal salvation is open to sectarians of any religion.. Therefore, he commanded the Bishops to denounce the pernicious error. “You see, dearly beloved sons and venerable brothers, how much vigilance is needed to keep the disease of this terrible evil from infecting and killing your flocks. Do not cease to diligently defend your people against these pernicious errors. Saturate them with the doctrine of Catholic truth more accurately each day. Teach them that just as there is only one God, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, so there is also only one truth which is divinely revealed. There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the community of His children. There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord, outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father…” (Singulari Quiden, Blessed Pope Pius IX)

The one who knowingly rejects the dogmatically defined doctrine of “outside of the Church there is no salvation” had denied an article of faith and fallen from grace. Those who denied it, not knowing what the Church teaches, may not be in formal heresy unless, and until, the truth has been shown them. Those who have just read this are no longer excusable.

And let them not follow those who seek to persuade them that the doctrine is now to be interpreted in a “new way”, due to a “deeper understanding”; for that has been explicitly condemned by the extraordinary magisterium:

First Vatican Council, Sess. 3, Chapter 2, on Divine Revelation, A.D. 1870, ex cathedra: “Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding. ” (Pope Pius IX)

Pope Pius IX (A.D. 1846 - 1878): "It must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood." (Denzinger 1647)

What the Pope wrote above is exactly what St. Augustine taught in his day:

Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): “No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.” (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem).

Vatican I: that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding".

“For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine… they will turn away indeed their hearing from the truth and follow fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

Here’s a helpful suggestion, USMC: don’t make lengthy post after lengthy post full of quotations. It’s a sure way to guarantee it won’t be read, and makes it more difficult to answer for those who do.

But you asked for a “magisterial document” to support the concept that those who are not formally Catholics may (“may”, not “will”) be saved: Here are the relevant quotes from the Catechism, which is Magisterial teaching:

“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846
How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 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.336

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.337

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"

Rand AlThor is right but not for the reasoning cited in his original post. USMC you are following a common error that is based in a poor translation of the Dogma of Extra Ecclesia Non Solus. will try to explain later but I have an appointment that I have to go to right now … more on this in a few hours.

[quote=Sherlock]Here’s a helpful suggestion, USMC: don’t make lengthy post after lengthy post full of quotations. It’s a sure way to guarantee it won’t be read, and makes it more difficult to answer for those who do.
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In a day when the doctrine is denied by many, it is necessary to provide many quotations from the magisterium to counter the error. The quotes were provided for those of good will, who sincerely desire to know what the Church has always taught, and defined infallibly.

[quote=]But you asked for a “magisterial document” to support the concept that those who are not formally Catholics may (“may”, not “will”) be saved: Here are the relevant quotes from the Catechism, which is Magisterial teaching:

“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846
How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 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.336

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.337
[/quote]

How is this possible? The next paragraph tells us:

[quote=]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”
[/quote]

Indeed, God can and does lead those who are ignorant of the truth into the Church. Who has ever questioned that? Also notice that the quote correctly says that these invinvibly ignorant people are led to “the faith without which it is impossible to please God”.

This “faith” is, of course, as the Council of Trent defined, the Catholic faith: “Without out Catholic Faith, without which it is impossible to please God,…” (Session 5, The Decree Concerning Original Sin ( June 17, 1546 ).

Pope Gregory XVI: “Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” (Mirari Vos).

The Catechism does not say that a person without the Catholic Faith can be saved. Quite the contrary, it says that without the faith it is impossible to please God. What the catechism says is that God can lead those who are invincibly ignorant of the truth, into the Church.

[quote=USMC]In a day when the doctrine is denied by many, it is necessary to provide many quotations from the magisterium to counter the error. The quotes were provided for those of good will, who sincerely desire to know what the Church has always taught, and defined infallibly. .
[/quote]

I wasn’t questioning your good will or the worth of the quotes. I’m simply giving you practical advice on how not to present them: if you want them to be read, don’t put them into lengthy post after lengthy post.

I think we can agree here: God can lead souls into the Church by means that we are unaware of. Perhaps this can happen at the moment of death…who knows?

What is with the modern obsession of Catholics to make it seem like everyone is saved? The Church teaches that baptism is absolutely necessary. They allow for baptism of desire or blood but they do not say who recieves it. The only way we know of salvation is through water baptism, but the Church makes it clear that it is possible through blood or desire. That does not mean that there will be any non-Christians in heaven. What it means is simply that it is possible that they are saved. Instead of degrading the teaching of no salvation outside the Church simply remain silent on the subject of their salvation and teach that baptism is the mode of salvation. You will never see a Hindu declared a saint.

A hindu is not saved because he is a good hindu, but rather he is saved, perhaps, in spite of his hinduism because in some mysterious way, grace is conveyed to him through the Church.

Outside of the Church there is no salvation! It is only by being linked to her in a mysterious way that non-catholics are saved.

There is no universal salvation. All relegions are not equal. By not trying to convert as many souls as possible to the true religion of Christ we do a disservice to mankind.

This is still the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Both you and USMC seem to be forgetting that the Catholic Church is more than just the Church Militant. The saints of the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant are also members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

There are no Lutherans, Hindus, Buddhists, ect. in Heaven, since the saints in Heaven are not confused about the truth of the Catholic Church. If a person died in invincible ignorance as a Lutheran, Hindu, Buddhist and was judged by God to be righteous, he would be enlightened to the truth before he entered Heaven, and he would enter Heaven as an ex-Lutheran, an ex-Hindu, an ex- Buddhist, ect. and as a fully believing member of the Catholic Church.

[quote=USMC] God can and does lead those who are ignorant of the truth into the Church.
[/quote]

Yes, God does do that. But you are making a mistake in twisting Church teaching to assert that unless a person formally enters the Catholic Church before they die that they cannot possibly be saved. What you are preaching is the Feeneyite heresy, not Catholic Dogma. You are denying the validity of the Church’s teaching about the Baptism of implicit desire.

It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.

Pope Pius IX, Quanto conficiamur moerore, August 10, 1863

[quote=Sherlock]Here’s a helpful suggestion, USMC: don’t make lengthy post after lengthy post full of quotations. It’s a sure way to guarantee it won’t be read, and makes it more difficult to answer for those who do.
[/quote]

Not choosing sides here; but I just wanted to say I, for one, do read everyones’ quotations on these boards, and find them quite helpful. :slight_smile: So thank you all for taking the time to post them.

Okay, back to this interesting discussion!

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