Poll for Catholics

How many of you Catholics out there believe the the traditional dogma of “No salvation outside the Church?” Just curious. Thanks for responding!

All who will be saved, will be saved through the Church, whether they know it now or not.

Do you realize that this “traditional dogma” is the teaching of the Catholic Church and is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

“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…

I put “don’t know” because I never was sure what it meant.

Could someone give me a brief explanation of what it means?

The actual dogma interpreted according to the way the Church has interpreted it in Vatican II and the Document Dominus Iesus basically means this:

The Church is the instrument created for the Salvation of the world and everyone must be united to it in some way in order to be saved, because it’s the body of Christ. It can be enumerated through several points:

  1. God strongly desires every Human being to be saved.

  2. God sent Jesus to die for every human being.

  3. Christ established the Catholic Church, the Sacrifice of Mass, Baptism, and the other Sacraments for the salvation of the world.

  4. God’s perfect will for every human being is that they may enter into the Catholic Church through Baptism, persevere, and be saved.

  5. The Catholic Church is the only ark of Salvation God established and joining it is the only sure path of salvation.

  6. Not all have access to the Church, and not all have a proper understanding of the truth of the Catholic Church due to outstanding circumstances, such as how they were raised. It’s a confusing world.

  7. But because of #1 and #2, God gives every person a chance to be saved. God gives every single person sufficient grace to be saved, regardless of their knowledge about the Church.

  8. Those who respond to this Grace may be joined to the Church mystically by a Baptism of Desire if they truly seek the will of God, because God is merciful, even if this desire is only implicit.

  9. Those that are saved with this Baptism of Desire, or saved by being a non-Catholic Christian who was ignorant of these truths, are still saved through the Catholic Church. They are saved from Grace that comes from the catholic sacraments, especially the sacrifice of Mass and the prayers of the Church. They are united to the Church fully in heaven.

  10. Outside of the visible structures and sacraments of the Church, there can be no definite assurance of salvation.

  11. The Church hopes that in God’s mercy all may respond to his graces that he gives to all and be saved, even if perhaps at death. Even if this is unlikely, the church hopes and prays for the salvation of all people.

  12. For those who knowingly reject the Catholic Church with enough evidence to reasonably know it is true have absolutely no hope for salvation unless they repent, but we do not know who has reached such a point.

  13. The Church does not know if any person or what persons have entered hell, or how many. This is simply not known.

If you are still curious, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church 836-848 and the Church Document Dominus Iesus which can be found here: vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html

I believe in the dogma myself, and that is why I posed the question: to see who else did and to hear their opinions on it!

That’s a wonderfully helpful summary, TRH1292 - thank you.

I didn’t know how to reply to the Poll as while I believe that outside the church there is no salvation, I didn’t want to align myself with anyone who interprets the saying to mean that everyone has to be a Catholic to be saved - in other words, I do not agree with those who think that non-Catholics are outside of salvation.

God is merciful and just.

Isn’t this some kind of violation? I hope the moderators remove this. Church doctrine isn’t up for a vote.


Maybe they will see an importance of faith examination by it, on the other hand.

The Church, in the Spirit of the Lord, delivers the message of God’s grace in Jesus. She is the vessel of the gospel. She is the Temple which we no longer have, yet is in Christ and His mystical Body.

Hebrews 11:39
“And all these things, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had forseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect


I’m disappointed in all who voted “no.”

We’re not voting on doctrine. We’re voting on what we believe. Not the same thing.

I voted “don’t know”. Who knows what God’s plan is for people who are not catholic?

This is a church doctrine. Every Catholic is obligated to accept it.

Oh, okay, thank you.

Going by TRH1292’s summary I don’t think it’s necessarily implying that Non-Catholics are hell-bound or anything like that :shrug:

This is what I believe, so no!! To clarify, no salvation outside the Catholic Church, and yes I agree with the statement.

I dunno but it’s certainly a trick question. If it’s a dogma, then you have to believe it; if you don’t believe it, you’re not a Catholic:

*“Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.” *

[RIGHT]-Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi[/RIGHT]

The problem people have with this teaching is understanding it in a modern (hence almost assuredly false) reductive sense than in the proper, classical sense of fulfillment. That is people try to understand “salvation” by cutting away what is inessential and arriving at an “essential” core. This is the equivalent of saying that, since I am a man and would still be a man even if I have no arms, arms are not essential to me so I may as well cut them off. That’s nonsense. In a strict, minimalistic sense, it is possible to be saved without being a member of the visible, institutional Church, but it does not follow that such membership is therefore irrelevant to salvation.

It is not the case that anyone not in the Church is doomed, but rather that, if you want to think of it probabilistically, as you get “closer” to salvation, you are drawn deeper into the life of the Church. A virtuous pagan on a desert island may be saved, but the archetype of the saved person is the Catholic saint who lived a life of heroic virtue and perhaps died a martyr.

As for the question of Dogma, yes “No Salvation Outside the Church”, when interpreted properly, certainly is dogma. It was defined dogmatically several times, and the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism authentically interpret it. In addition, Dominus Iesus defines the issues surrounding it in a way that is certainly dogmatic, by explaining these points very clearly and expounding them as things that must be firmly believed.

This is an excellent summary. Is it your own? Are the references mentioned (CCC 836-848 and Donimus Iesus) your only sources?

From Dominus Iesus 20:

"Above all else, it must be firmly believed 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 (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”. This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.

I crafted the 13 points, but it’s mostly a summary of the teachings found in Dominus Iesus, The Documents of Vatican II, The Catechism, and The assorted encyclical’s of John Paul II and Paul VI. But pretty much all of those points can be found solely within Dominus Iesus in various points.

Also, of course, you can go back to many medieval papal pronouncements and the writings of several different Church fathers who wrote about these things, but it should all be interpreted in light of further Church pronouncements.

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