Salvation and the Church

When you say there’s no salvation outside the church, do you seriously mean no one can be saved unless they join the Catholic Church?

Nope…Please read CCC…somewhere in the 800’s…a little too busy to post them here right now…

God Bless

If you know about the Catholic Church, then yes, you have a duty to become a member of it, because it is through the Church that we receive the Sacraments of Jesus Christ, which is how we are saved from our sins.

People that don’t know about the Church, but who would have joined it if they had known about it, can be saved by being joined to it in an invisible way. (This only works if they genuinely never had any opportunity to hear of it - there is no one on earth who can say, “I am invisibly joined to the Church,” because if you know that much, then you know enough to be responsible for joining it in a visible manner.)

It is Jesus who founded the Catholic Church, and He didn’t just do that for something to do to pass the time while waiting to be crucified - He expects us to become members of it; He does not want us to be “pickers and choosers,” but to follow Him fully, in every detail, including joining His Church.

I think you mean paragraphs 846-848 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church where the topic “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is discussed.

Technically yes.
This goes back to the beginning of Christianity, to the apostolic church of the 1st century.
You have to remember that at that time there were NO denominations. All of the Apostolic churches, worldwide,
were in FULL communion with each other and with the Bishop of Rome. There were other little groups that CLAIMED to be Christian but were NOT Christian by ANY standard. They were GNOSTICS, heretics, who believed in multiple Gods or who denied the Deity of Christ or denied the Virgin Birth, what have you. The Churches that held to apostolic teaching and apostolic succession of Bishops were collectively called “the Catholic Church.” This was the case for over 1,000 years. No denominations, just the Catholic Church. Then the split took place between the West and the East, with the East rejecting the Filioque clause and rejecting Papal jurisdiction, which had always been taught but nearly NEVER put into practice, so that when 10th and 11th century popes tried to put their foot down, the Easterners were surprised and offended by it and rejected it outright. That is the “East-West” schism.
But both the East and the West (the Catholic Church in communion with Peter’s successor the bishop of Rome) BOTH still believed in the same Catholic deposit of Faith:
namely,
The Trinity,
Seven Sacraments,
Mary as the New Eve and Our Mother in grace,
Mary as the Mother of God (the Son),
The Real Substantial Presence of the body & blood of Christ in the
Eucharistic bread and wine.
Some form of “middle state” between heaven and hell in the afterlife, which had long been known as “purgatory” in the West, though the East rejected any further purification of the saved after death.

Then came the 15th and 16th centuries.
In the West, hot-tempered individuals with NO authority and
NO divine mandate, rejectted many of the apostolic, Catholic teachings that Christianity had always taught and, also, added new and unheard of interpretations which had NEVER been taught (such as "once saved, always saved no matter what you do).
These individuals declared themselves “Reformers” and sought and gained the support of powerful princes in Europe who FORCED the New and Novel version of Christianity (“protestantism”) on the people of many countries by force of arms, confiscation of Catholic churches, murder of Catholic priests, and use of the disemboweling knife on those who refused to accept the new “protestant” beliefs.

Protestantism, no matter how sincerely believed in,
is NOT the Apostolic Faith.
Now, one can be a true, spirit regenerated Christian and a protestant. However, if God reveals to your soul the truth of the claims of the Catholic Faith and Church, and if you then reject what you know to be true and refuse THEN to accept the Catholic Faith, you become disobedient to Christ Himself, and that is a deadly sin. In SUCH a hypothetical case, such a Christian, because of WILLFUL rejection of Christ’s truth deliberately, could not be saved because his being outside of the Catholic Faith is not then due to sincere ignorance.

Jaypeeto4
+JMJ+

It is to be understood in much the same way as Our Lord’s words in John 14:6 - “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.”

Nita

This is what Catechims of St. Pope Pius X has to say on this topic. I like it because the question/answer format is very clear:

ARTICLE 9:

27 Q: *Can one be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church? *

A: No, no one can be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church, just as no one could be saved from the flood outside the Ark of Noah, which was a figure of the Church.

28 Q:* How, then, were the Patriarchs of old, the Prophets, and the other just men of the Old Testament, saved? *

A: The just of the Old Testament were saved in virtue of the faith they had in Christ to come, by means of which they spiritually belonged to the Church.

29 Q: *But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved? *

A: If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best he can such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation

30 Q: *Suppose that a man is a member of the Catholic Church, but does not put her teaching into practice, will he be saved? *

A: He who is a member of the Catholic Church and does not put her teaching into practice is a dead member, and hence will not be saved; for towards the salvation of an adult not only Baptism and faith are required, but, furthermore, works in keeping with faith.


In other words, a person who is ignorant not by his fault woun’t be condemned because he never joined the Church. However he could still be condemned for anything else. But a person in good faith who dies in the state of grace will go to heaven.

:thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.