Pope Eugene IV Cantate Domino


StevenMerten Posted this on another thread:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence (ex-Cathedra and infallible):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 for 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 produce 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” (“Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra).I wanted to answer to this but was unable to yesterday.

This teaching is a part of the Magesterium, and it is true. No one who sehds their blood for the faith can be saved unless they have preservered in the unity and bosom of the Church. But it must be taken a a whole The whole of Cantate Dominio is that no “work” justifies unless it is joined to “faith”. No one’s work can save them if they have no faith and no one can be a member of the Church without faith. The person who was martyred can have implicit faith and can certianly implicitly desire to be in the unity of the Church. And if this is the case, then the person is indeed saved.

We are not a works based salvation. Shedding blood cannot earn one’s salvation unless it is done in faith and in the unity of the Body of Christ.

It is up to God to judge of that person who shed their blood for their faith has done so in the Church, which is Christ’s Body.


How does this fall under infallibility?


It’s from the Council of Florence.
My question is how does this mesh with our understanding today of extra ecclesiam nulla salus?


It is a Dogmatic teaching of the Council of Florence, and Dogmas cannot be discared like disciplines.


No, this quotation is not “dogma,” nor is it “infallible,” for the simple reason that it doesn’t constitute a “definition.”

For example, look at the words, “… and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety …” Had this paragraph constituted a doctrinal “definition,” then Catholic dogma would hold that “fasts” AND “alsmgiving” AND “other works of piety” all were necessary for salvation.

The fact that a papal bull is written during an ecumenical council does not make it into a doctrinal definition.


Those matters belong to eternal REWARDS, not salvation itself.



Exactly. THANK YOU.


Whether it is a solemn, definitive teaching to be hld by the entire Church or not, it is part of the universal magisterium. One cannot be saved unless he be united to the Church, the Body of Christ. This is because the Divine life flows from the Head (Jesus) through the Body (the Church).

One joins the Church through Baptism (also taught by Florence) or a desire for it (see Trent) and separates from her through willfull schism, heresy, or apostacy (see Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis). Holding wrong theological opinions through bad catechesis or ignorance will not separate one.


Why does it matter if it is infallible or not?
It is a teaching of the authentic magesterium, therefore it is true. We cannot simply dis-believe it or discard it if infallibility isn’t stamped on it.
Besides, the matter doesn’t hinge on whether or not it is infallible, it is the teaching of the Church, that cannot change.
How does this affect Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.
It doesn’t. It only says that those who do not find themselves within the unity and bosom of the Church cannot be saved. Lumen gentium doesn’t contradict that. Lumen Gentium speaks of the Church. Cantate Domino speaks of no salvation outside of it. They address different issues within the same umbrella.


Oh, I see Genesis said basically the same thing.


It matters tremendously because Catholic Church teaching must be presented accurately. Posting non-infallible teachings on the internet and incorrectly labeling them “infallible” could conceivably be disasterous. Infallible teachings are crafted carefully, every word weighed with the greatest level of care, so that they will be clearly understood when quoted throughout history, whereas a paragraph here or there from an encyclical or other papal writing might be misconstrued if read out of context.

Quoting a non-infallible statement from a pope and wrongly labelling it “infallible” could cause much more harm to the Catholic Church than could a hundred anti-Catholic bigots posting silly slurs. Casual readers would expect the bigot’s information to be wrong but would expect the well-meaning Catholic’s quotes to be accurate.

I agree, of course, that all teachings of a pope must be considered authoritative. But the fact that it is not an infallible definition remains very significant.



I posted that quote form another thread. Perhaps i should have removed the ex-cathedra and infallible portion.

My intent was not to argue about the infallibility of this statement. It may or may not be. However, that it comes from an ecumenical council means that it has the highest teaching authority, just as Lumen Gentium does.
The point being, the teaching is authoritative and is true.
We cannot say it is a false teaching. It certainly can be further developed. No argument there. But the teaching is an authentic of the Magesterium.


Oh yeah, I know you aren’t the person who labeled it “infallible.” You were just quoting from another thread. Sorry: I should have taken into account that others might read this thread without having read the other thread and think that I was criticizing you. I wasn’t.

Yes, you’re right, it is authoritative. I don’t dispute that. It just isn’t infallible.



But i do see your point. admittedly, it’s not an easy teaching, and is not all that easy to really understand.


but boniface VIII did make a defining statement on EENS which validates what eugene says as also true.

“We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Canticle of Canticles 6:8); which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noe, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

not much wiggle room there.


Right. That is just another way of saying that being united to the Church, the Body of Christ, is necessary for salvation and that Church is the one subject to the Roman Pontiff. In that sense, being subject to the Roman Pontiff is a necessity of means and is absolutely necessary since there is no life apart from the Body of Christ (of course, someone in good faith who loves God above all things may be united to the Church subject to the Pope in a manner not visible). On the other hand, obeying his commands is a necessity of precept and apply only to those that know, or should know what they are and to obey them.

Anyway, Pope John Paul II explicitly affirmed both the declaration by the Council of Florence and Boniface VIII as authoritative:



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