Outside the Church No Salvation? Really?

**I am curious about the controversy: Outside the Church there is No Salvation. **

Protestants believe that Catholics can be saved that believe in Jesus. Now, what about Catholics?

**I read in Dr. Drummey’s book: Catholic Replies (pg. 99-100). That the dogma in question can be held in a strict interpetation or a liberal one – which is it? **


**This was a letter that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued in regard to the Fr. Feeney dilemma in the late 1980’s. **

**Also, I read that a book similar to Fr. Feeney’s called: **


The Catholic Dogma, by Fr. Michael Muller C.SS.R. was approved by the Redemptorists and that this priest was in good standing and reject the notion that Protestants can be saved either in vincible or invincible ignorance.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you!

BobbyBaptist

The authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church says:**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **

846. How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

[indent]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. (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 14)

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. (Lumen Gentium, 16)

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.” (Second Vatican Council, Ad Gentes, 7)

[/indent] ** Who belongs to the Catholic Church?**
836. “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God… And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 13)
837. “Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’” (Lumen Gentium, 14)
838. “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” (Lumen Gentium, 15) Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” (Second Vatican Council, Unitatis Redintegratio, 3) With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.” (Paul VI, Discourse, Dec 14 1975; cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 13-18)

bobby
A priest once told me, and I agree, “God is bigger than the Catholic Church”. If we can say and believe this then God is bigger than all beliefs. Now I’m not going to go so far as to say that all bible centered religions are ok. I do believe there are heresies out there, but those who are truly seeking God will find salvation :clapping: Paul wrote in Romans 2:13-16, “for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts aternately accusing them or else defending them, on the day when, according to the gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus”.

An apologist explained on Catholic Answers that through Baptism, other Christians are initiated into the catholic (universal) church. They then have a better chance to get to heaven, but their odds would be even better as confirmed practicing Catholics because we have the sacraments, etc. to help us avoid sin through God’s grace.

catholic.com/library/salvation.asp

My posts seem to have been deleted?

So here they are again.

The teaching (EENS) has never changed, some people at various times have decided to give it their own personal slant and some indeed, such as Fr Feeney have had to be disciplined by the Church for it.

‘And so it is with the theological slogan, extra ecclesiam nulla salus (Latin for “outside the Church, no salvation”). This is a doctrine of the Catholic Church, one that’s found in every age of Catholic history, and it’s held to by the Church’s best and most influential minds. Understood properly, its dogmatic truth is beyond question. The problem arises, however, when this slogan is given a life of its own. And so it was in the 1940s with Fr. Leonard Feeney.’

envoymagazine.com/backis…coverstory.html

Since the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 defined that “The universal Church of the faithful is one, outside of which no one is saved,” there have been two solemn definitions of the same doctrine, by Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 and at the Council of Florence in 1442. At the Council of Trent, which is commonly looked upon as a symbol of Catholic unwillingness to compromise, the now familiar dogma of baptism by desire was solemnly defined; and it was this Tridentine teaching that supported all subsequent recognition that actual membership in the Church is not required to reach one’s eternal destiny.

Fr John Hardon SJ

ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ315.HTM

The Catholic Church makes claims about herself that are easily misunderstood, especially in the modern atmosphere of pluralism and ecumenism. Among these claims, the most fundamental is the doctrine of the Church’s necessity for salvation. Not unlike other dogmas of the faith, this one has seen some remarkable development, and the dogmatic progress has been especially marked since the definition of papal infallibility. It seems that as the Church further clarified her own identity as regards the papacy and collegiality, she also deepened (without changing) her self-understanding as the mediator of salvation to mankind…

Those who are privileged to share in the fullness of the Church’s riches of revealed wisdom, sacramental power, divinely assured guidance, and blessings of community life cannot pride themselves on having deserved what they possess. Rather they should humbly recognize their chosen position and gratefully live up to the covenant to which they have been called. Otherwise what began as a sign of God’s special favor on earth may end as a witness to his justice in the life to come.

Fr John Hardon SJ
ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ315.HTM

I have one question for the initiator of this thread. It is a simple question, and should obviate a simple answer. If the Church is not necessary, why did Christ commission it?

BobbyBaptist,

I think others have answered this question for you here, but I did want to challenge one statement you made. You wrote: “Protestants believe that Catholics can be saved that believe in Jesus.” It depends upon what kind of Protestant you are talking to, and upon their own particular interpretation of what “believing in Jesus” means. There are some Protestants who interpret that to mean leaving the Catholic Church, if one is a Catholic. Ergo, no Catholic can be saved unless they cease being Catholic. Your statement is not true, then, as there is no consistency in Protestantism on this matter.

JGC…At the Council of Trent, which is commonly looked upon as a symbol of Catholic unwillingness to compromise, the now familiar **dogma of baptism by desire ** was solemnly defined; and it was this Tridentine teaching that supported all subsequent recognition that actual membership in the Church is not required to reach one’s eternal destiny.
Fr John Hardon SJ

Is that explicit desire or implicit desire?
If one is already baptized, then what else if anything is required? Which is the majority of those, including this thread initiator. One needs to know about salvation, even if baptized, outside (ie rejecting in conscience) the Roman Catholic Church as the only continuation of the Body of Christ on earth.
Invincible ignorance is not a source of salvation. It simply does not condemn for for the *reason * of ignorance.
The real problem of the invincibly ignorant, is actual sin, and it’s required repentence/forgiveness. This is, on the practical order, impossible without the Catholic Faith and Sacraments, SINCE rejecting any of the Teachings of Christ is, objectively, a sin and ruins the Faith required for salvation.
"…whose sins you shall retain, they ARE retained." Including a Catholic without repentence.

All valid Baptisms are Baptisms into Catholicism. You come in through Catholicism and if you are going to heaven you leave through it. What you do in the middle is a different story.

[quote=BobbyBaptist]**

Protestants believe that Catholics can be saved that believe in Jesus. Now, what about Catholics?**

Let me speak to this notion. Some Protestants believe Catholics can be saved if they believe in Jesus. Plenty do not. In fact, just look at the early Protestants who literally wrote that the Pope is the Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon right into their Creeds. Some of the myriad of sects have renounced the anti-Catholicism in their creeds, others have not. Which one is right? Why?
Also, most of the Prots who say Catholics can be saved frame the concept in such a way that Catholics are saved in spite of their Catholicism instead of because of it. This is just insipid.

Scott
[/quote]

Bobby, yours is a question asked by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The problem begins with our terms and understanding of them. When speaking of the Catholic Church, there are many different meanings. It is the building in town, it is the family of faithful Catholics, it is the Vatican, Pope, Bishops and magisterium, it is ALL Christian faithful (CCC 838) it is the Body of Christ ( CCC 846), then there is the Church, as a heavenly body as different from the Church established by Jesus on earth (Lumen Gentium), all are the “Catholic Church”. It would be confusing if I were to tell you I went to Church and you understood I had indeed gone to the Vatican, rather than the Church down the street. If I say the Church teaches something, I’m not referring to each of the faithful. According to the Catholic Church (LOL, Church militant, the magisterium , bishops, pope) every Christian is a member of the Catholic Church (CCC 836) since they are members of the Body of Christ (CCC 846).
No one goes to the Father except thru the Son, in this context Elijah, Enoch, Moses, and the prophets are members of the Catholic Church even though they lived prior to the incarnation.
If you are a Christian, you too are a member of the Catholic Church, some would try to deny this, but their denial does not make it so. May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you

[quote=Todd Easton]The authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church says:**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

836. “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God… And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 13)

[/quote]

Isn’t this a bit redundant? “All men are called to this **catholic (means universal which would imply unity) **unity of the People of God”… As a non Roman Catholic I believe in the Apostolic Catholic church but I don’t believe upon the Roman Catholic Church for my salvation. I believe upon Jesus the Rock of my salvation.

[quote=Tom]Bobby, yours is a question asked by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The problem begins with our terms and understanding of them. When speaking of the Catholic Church, there are many different meanings. It is the building in town, it is the family of faithful Catholics, it is the Vatican, Pope, Bishops and magisterium, it is ALL Christian faithful (CCC 838) it is the Body of Christ ( CCC 846), then there is the Church, as a heavenly body as different from the Church established by Jesus on earth (Lumen Gentium), all are the “Catholic Church”. It would be confusing if I were to tell you I went to Church and you understood I had indeed gone to the Vatican, rather than the Church down the street. If I say the Church teaches something, I’m not referring to each of the faithful. According to the Catholic Church (LOL, Church militant, the magisterium , bishops, pope) every Christian is a member of the Catholic Church (CCC 836) since they are members of the Body of Christ (CCC 846).
No one goes to the Father except thru the Son, in this context Elijah, Enoch, Moses, and the prophets are members of the Catholic Church even though they lived prior to the incarnation.
If you are a Christian, you too are a member of the Catholic Church, some would try to deny this, but their denial does not make it so. May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you
[/quote]

Tom: great post thank you so much for expressing this, I pray that the Lord will unite all Christians (Roman Catholic and Catholic) so that we might get off of this 69th week and proceed with the plan. I think in order for this to happen however the Word of God must take precedence over all doctrines and dogmas that currently stand in the way. I don’t wish to imply that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church that has Dogma contrary to the Word of God; there are doctrines in non Roman Catholic Christian Churches that are contrary to the word of God as well. Phil.1: 6 he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: I believe this pertains to the Churches and one day we will unite and truly be Catholic (Jesus’ Church on Earth). God Bless you Brother, Love in Chris.

[quote=Tom]Bobby, yours is a question asked by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The problem begins with our terms and understanding of them. When speaking of the Catholic Church, there are many different meanings. It is the building in town, it is the family of faithful Catholics, it is the Vatican, Pope, Bishops and magisterium, it is ALL Christian faithful (CCC 838) it is the Body of Christ ( CCC 846), then there is the Church, as a heavenly body as different from the Church established by Jesus on earth (Lumen Gentium), all are the “Catholic Church”. It would be confusing if I were to tell you I went to Church and you understood I had indeed gone to the Vatican, rather than the Church down the street. If I say the Church teaches something, I’m not referring to each of the faithful. According to the Catholic Church (LOL, Church militant, the magisterium , bishops, pope) every Christian is a member of the Catholic Church (CCC 836) since they are members of the Body of Christ (CCC 846).
No one goes to the Father except thru the Son, in this context Elijah, Enoch, Moses, and the prophets are members of the Catholic Church even though they lived prior to the incarnation.
If you are a Christian, you too are a member of the Catholic Church, some would try to deny this, but their denial does not make it so. May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you
[/quote]

Tom: great post thank you so much for expressing this, I pray that the Lord will unite all Christians (Roman Catholic and Catholic) so that we might get off of this 69th week and proceed with the plan. I think in order for this to happen however the Word of God must take precedence over all doctrines and dogmas that currently stand in the way. I don’t wish to imply that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church that has Dogma contrary to the Word of God; there are doctrines in non Roman Catholic Christian Churches that are contrary to the word of God as well. Phil.1: 6 he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: I believe this pertains to the Churches and one day we will unite and truly be Catholic (Jesus’ Church on Earth). God Bless you Brother, Love in Christ.

I believe the reason they say ‘Outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation’ is because of the sacraments which give grace. Do the other faiths have sacraments?

Berean,

You wrote: “I don’t wish to imply that the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church that has Dogma contrary to the Word of God; there are doctrines in non Roman Catholic Christian Churches that are contrary to the word of God as well”

There are no dogmas held by the Roman Catholic Church that are contrary to the Word of God.

[quote=pat4mary]I believe the reason they say ‘Outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation’ is because of the sacraments which give grace. Do the other faiths have sacraments?
[/quote]

Yes, they do. Baptism is a valid sacrament in most other Christian denominations. Marriage can be a valid sacrament. A few churchs (like the Easterm Orthodox) have a valid Eucharist.

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