no salvation outside the church?

rightofcenter77 #20
Being a faithful Catholic, in a state of Grace is absolutely necessary to be saved.

As we have seen (post #6) that is a corruption of the doctrine of Christ’s Church which teaches through the Magisterium in Vatican II, reaffirming in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) #16: “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.”

Footnote1:
Bl John XXIII, Address of 11 October 1962: “…The Council…wishes to transmit Catholic doctrine, whole and entire, without alteration or deviation…To be sure, at the present time, it is necessary that Christian doctrine in its entirety, and with nothing taken away from it, is accepted with renewed enthusiasm, and serene and tranquil adherence… it is necessary that the very same doctrine be understood more widely and more profoundly as all those who sincerely adhere to the Christian, Catholic and Apostolic faith strongly desire …it is necessary that this certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which is owed the obedience of faith, be explored and expounded in the manner required by our times. For the deposit of faith itself, or the truths which are contained in our venerable doctrine, are one thing; another thing is the way in which they are expressed, with however the same meaning and signification”: AAS 54 [1962] 791-792
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

Matthew 16:18 says the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. Pope Pius IX, St. Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XII, Paul VI, Bl John Paul II, etc. all have taught that those who are invincibly ignorant, have the possibility of achieving salvation. None of the Popes mentioned downplayed the importance of people joining the Catholic Church. Here one has access to the salvific sacraments. They have left room for the possibility of salvation for those who though not directly joining the Catholic Church, still could be linked to the Church, if they truly desire, and respond to whatever grace God has given them. This the Church teaches is possible through Baptism of desire and by following the natural moral law written in their hearts – those people are linked to His Church and thus to Him.

“Possibility” being the key. Let us not turn “possibility” into “probability.” What I said above, being a faithful Catholic in the state of grace, is the ordinary means for salvation and only one we can be sure of. Even though it might “feel good” to believe others outside the Church will be saved, that is not the reality. We MUST spread the faith in order to assure the salvation of others, not hope they can stand before God and say “well I REALLY didn’t understand.”

Sean

Sean,

Really? That seems quite an aggressive assertion! How, then, would you apply that to “each and every person who is not in full communion with the [Catholic] Church”? Let’s apply it to the average Baptist in the U.S.; he knows his own church’s teaching, and he’s heard that the Catholic Church exists, and he’s heard a good bit of rumors of what Catholics believe, and he has a boatload of bad info about what the Church really teaches. How, then, would you assert that he has “heard the call of the Church?” What he’s heard, most certainly, is not what the Church teaches, and that is what he thinks the Church is!

But we should do everything to convert them, and to offer our prayers that God may pour out enough grace to save them.

This is very true!

Abu,

With all due respect, you’re misreading Lumen Gentium. Sean explicitly referenced “a faithful Catholic”; the appropriate reference from Lumen Gentium, then, is #14, not #16.

Your reference, to #16, speaks not to Catholics, but to those who are not Christians.

Blessings,

G.

Bad information does not relieve one of the obligation to seek the truth. Seek and you shall find. I have no doubt that someone who truly seeks with an open heart ultimately find the Church.

Sean

One Baptism? Would that be of water or of Spirit? If water, what about the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit, why water baptism?

Gorgias #24
Sean explicitly referenced “a faithful Catholic”; the appropriate reference from Lumen Gentium, then, is #14, not #16.
Your reference, to #16, speaks not to Catholics, but to those who are not Christians.

That is correct, however, rightofcenter77 in the same #20 states:
*I think many people latch on to the idea of not being a member of the Church “through no fault of their own.” That could, arguably, apply to each and every person who is not in full communion with the Church, making the general dogma of “no salvation outside the Church” a meaningless one.

We must be careful in allowing the exception to swallow up the rule, so to speak
To insist that our protestant friends are saved because “they don’t know better” is presumptuous at best.*

Thus, Lumen Gentium #15 refers to Protestants as “indeed joined to us in some real way in the Holy Spirit”, and this also does not make the statement “no salvation outside the Church” meaningless, but misrepresents the statement.

rightofcenter

You’re right – when we Seek - we Will find – when we seek with an open , sincere heart we Will find God.

Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourselves approved unto God…”

Trishie,

along with your previous posts,

[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=11546168&postcount=14
[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=11546172&postcount=15

I have just a couple of comments. Boiling down all the ecumenical language, protestants for example, aren’t invited to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. Reason why? As the bishops state in the missals, it would acknowledge a union that doesn’t exist. iow, they are outside the Church.

If they were “in” the Church, they could receive the Eucharist as well as all the sacraments. There would be no restriction. But they can’t do that because there are restrictions. bottomline, this shows they aren’t “in” the Church.

Exactly, Steve. They are outside, as you say, and all the ecumenical charity in the world doesn’t change that. Instead of trying to convert people, we (and I don’t mean you, Steve - just the general Catholic population) seem to be content on relying on their “invincible ignorance” to save them. The CCC says these people “may” be saved. It doesn’t say they will be. Unfortunately, Catholics cling to the “may” as a reason not to evangelize and profess the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH. I, for one, will continue trying to show them the truth of the Catholic Church.

Sean

I’ve argued many times, may ≠ will, & may ≠ probably, may might only be remote. Speaking for myself, “may” doesn’t give good enough odds.

Actually, the language that is used here isn’t ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ – it’s “in full communion with”, which other Christian ecclesial communities are not. Inasmuch as Lumen Gentium speaks to the ways that they are related to the Church, I think it would be more fair to say “inside, per se, but not in full communion with the Catholic Church.”

True; yet, for those who think that they have found the truth in their Christian ecclesial community, it’s problematic to suggest that they must continue seeking the truth. That’s where ‘invincible ignorance’ comes in, I might suggest.

Seek and you shall find. I have no doubt that someone who truly seeks with an open heart ultimately find the Church.

That’s thin ice you’re treading on… what you’re suggesting is that those who remain in non-Catholic Christian communities are not “truly seek[ing] [Christ] with an open heart.” That does a disservice to our Christian brethren, and harms the prospects for true ecumenical outreach… :wink:

You may be right, and I know this is thin ice. But having a CHURCH means something. It can’t mean universal salvation since that is in contradiction to 2000 years of Church teaching and the Gospels. If everyone gets in anyway with “invincible ignorance,” then what’s the point? It doesn’t make sense. So, obviously, we mortals cannot fully understand God’s thinking on this issue, and perhaps that’s why we shouldn’t try to figure it out. We must do as Jesus told us: teach and baptize. We must try each and every day, at every opportunity, to profess the truth of the Church. Everything else is for God to decide.

God Bless,

Sean

Universal salvation? Who said anything about ‘universal salvation’? By ‘universal salvation,’ I’m assuming that you mean ‘everyone gets saved,’ not ‘everyone has the opportunity to be saved.’ So, there’s not even ‘universal salvation’ for Catholics! But, if by ‘universal salvation,’ you’re implying that the correct stance is that only Catholics have access to salvation, then no – that’s not what the Church teaches!

since that is in contradiction to 2000 years of Church teaching

Depending on what you mean… you might be surprised at what the Church has taught over 2000 years. :wink:

If everyone gets in anyway with “invincible ignorance,”

Everyone? Says who? Yet, it seems that we’re talking past one another: I’m talking about a possibility open to many, and you’re asserting something that is for ‘everyone.’

then what’s the point? It doesn’t make sense.

The point is that God wants salvation for us. He isn’t about to be thwarted in His desire, even due to the mistakes of humans; what makes sense is that His desire is for us to attain to heaven. If you reduce it to “do this; get saved”, then looking for ‘sense’ seems really to be an exercise in quid pro quo logic. That’s not what salvation is all about, IMHO…

We must do as Jesus told us: teach and baptize. We must try each and every day, at every opportunity, to profess the truth of the Church. Everything else is for God to decide.

:thumbsup:

rightofcenter77 #34
If everyone gets in anyway with “invincible ignorance,” then what’s the point? It doesn’t make sense. So, obviously, we mortals cannot fully understand God’s thinking on this issue, and perhaps that’s why we shouldn’t try to figure it out.

Christ’s Church is clear so we can understand that God judges, salvation is always only through His Church, and NOT only as faithful Catholics.

Twisting the Popes’ teaching helps no one. Already cited: Those who, through no fault of their own, have never known Christ or his Church can still be saved. But their salvation, too, is the effect of Jesus working through his Church. In a positive sense, this theological principle “means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” (CCC 846).

As Blessed John Paul II explains in *Threshold of Hope *(Random House, 1994, p 140-1):
“Besides formal membership in the Church, the sphere of salvation can also include other forms of relation to the Church. Paul VI expressed this same teaching in his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, when he spoke of the various circles of the dialogue of salvation (Cf. p 101-117), which are the same as those indicated by the Council as the spheres of membership in and of relation to the Church. This is the authentic meaning of the well-known statement ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation.’”

The teaching MEANS that WITHOUT the Church there is no salvation – ALL salvation comes through Christ’s Church.

Two Church teachings to remember:

  • Baptism is NECESSARY for salvation
  • There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church

Now while the Church talks about invincible ignorance it states that anyone who is invincibly ignorant MAY (not will) be saved.
Also, the Church does not specify which individuals or groups are covered by invincible ignorance because it does not know so any debate about Jews, Muslims, Protestants, or whoever being saved or not is simply speculation and opinion on our part.

Totally true. However, I get the distinct impression that many on these forums, even Catholics, seem to rely WAY to much on the idea of “invincible ignorance.” The key word in the CCC is “may.” Not will and not might, but “may.” That might mean 1 out of 1,000,000 and that might only be on account of lots of fasting and prayers on our part. In short, it’s dangerous to assume someone, even a “good” Christian, is saved if not Catholic. Our call to evangelize is never excused.

Sean

Although this is true, it’s important to contextualize it. Are you saying that those who are not physically baptized are unable to be saved? Are you saying that only those who are baptized may be saved?

From the Catechism:

1257 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude

1260 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Where the rubber meets the road is in the interpretation of what it means “for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.”

Notice, however, that 1257 is not talking about non-Catholic Christians – they have been baptized! They have met this standard!

Now while the Church talks about invincible ignorance it states that anyone who is invincibly ignorant MAY (not will) be saved.

True. Yet, speculating that they will not be saved, if not baptized (unless I’m misunderstanding your use of the ‘necessity of baptism’ argument), is likewise poor, theologically.

Similarly, lumping non-Catholic Christians in with non-Christians, in a discussion that centers on baptism, is odd on its face. You’re lumping together the baptized with the unbaptized, and making a claim about all of them that hinges on baptism. That makes for a poorly-constructed argument… :shrug:

Baptism being necessary for salvation applies to everyone.

For those who have not been sacramentally baptised they can gain the fruits of a baptism through baptism of desire and blood.

CCC 1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

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