[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.
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”
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
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
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”
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.