Salvation for non-Catholics prior to Vatican ll?


Yes, though it is not an immediate transition between post- and pre- Vatican II like flipping a light switch. Magisterial teachings have gradually become more receptive to the possibilities of salvation outside of the ordinary means, and this is something that picked up pace in the early 19th century (when globalization began in its infant stages). You can start to see significant differences in emphasis in Popes in the 1800s compared to the Middle Ages.

There haven’t been any changes to dogma, since this is of course logically impossible.


Please stop this already.
Your view has now completely lost credibility when you must treat the 1985 universal and Magisterial Catechism in this way simply to shore up your highly personal theology.
It is likely clear to most loyal Catholics that you are the mistaken one not the Catechism.
It doesnt matter if you believe there is no continuous explicit tradition or not on this point. In fact it doesnt matter if that were actually true. It is a Magisterial teaching now and has been for quite some time. You are free to disagree privately, but I suggest that as it is now normative teaching a loyal Catholic cannot morally do so in public fashion…and certainly not suggest in public the normative teaching is in error.


If a teaching “evolves” to the point that it no longer holds it’s original meaning than the dogma would have changed.

“Progress” of dogmas is, in reality, nothing but corruption of dogmas…I absolutely reject the heretical doctrine of the evolution of dogma, as passing from one meaning to another, and different from the sense in which the Church originally held it." Pope St. Pius X

If the Church held a strict sense that being sacramentally Catholic was necessary for salvation in the Church and then after the injection of modernism, modernists begin saying that salvation can and does occur outside the Church…how is that not a change?


You miss the point.
Religious submission of heart and mind is required of normative Church teaching regardless of whether or not it is dogmatically proclaimed.

And the new catechism contradicts those that came before it on specific teaching

You dont seem to understand the current Catechism is the Churches first universal and Magisterially proclaimed Catechism. It is no surprise if it may contradict, real or imagined, lesser regional Catechisms including Baltimore.

But as I say your views are no longer worth taking seriously given your inability to accept the official positions, right or wrong in your mind, as the official teaching of the Magisterium.
Theres really nothing more to say, God bless.


The Church cannot accept a heresy as the “official” magisterium. The Holy Spirit prevents this. That is why Vatican II remains a pastoral council (by the own council fathers verbage) and not an ecumenical one. This is why the CCC is fallible and not excluded from error. If the CCC contains error and the modernists made it the official catechism of the Church, that does not mean that the error is suddenly an acceptable Church position on a subject. It just means the Church made a mistake (which is entirely possible since, again, nothing involved here is infallible). I do agree that religious submission is required of normative Church teaching…so long as it remains orthodox. We are NOT expected to give assent to error.

Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will. It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior.

(St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice , Book II, Chapter 29)

This resisting error goes beyond just resisting a bad pope, bishop, priest, etc. Our first loyalty is to Jesus Christ and Divine Revelation as handed on from the Apostles to their successors. If there is ever conflicting ideas about a position or subject, Sacred Tradition wins out. No Pope can “change” dogma. Dogmas cannot progress if the end result is a different interpretation or understanding of the original meaning.


Can you show where the fact that they worship God has been condemned as heresy? Acknowledging the fact that they do, in fact, worship the one God is a natural consequence of the Church’s other definitive teachings that the divinity of Christ and the trinune nature of God are dogmas that can only be believed with faith, whereas acknowledging the one God can (and must) be done without faith and prior to faith. This is why Muslims and Jews are always distinguished from idolators, those who adore things or ideas other God.

First, I think there should be noted the difference between worshiping God in Spirit and in truth, offering Him “true worship,” having supernatural faith, obeying Him, etc., and acknowledging God or worshiping God according to religion (which is not a theological virtue; it falls under natural justice).

St. Thomas defines this virtue in the Summa as “to show reverence to one God under one aspect, namely, as the first principle of the creation and government of things.”

They both certainly worship God as First Principle and Supreme Governor of all things, but is it the same God we know? Can one acknowledge the one God without explicitly acknowledging the Trinity?

Faith is required to acknowledge the Trinity. The Trinity cannot be reasoned out, as St. Thomas explains:

It is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason. For, as above explained (12, 4, 12), man cannot obtain the knowledge of God by natural reason except from creatures. Now creatures lead us to the knowledge of God, as effects do to their cause. Accordingly, by natural reason we can know of God that only which of necessity belongs to Him as the principle of things, and we have cited this fundamental principle in treating of God as above (Question 12, Article 12). Now, the creative power of God is common to the whole Trinity; and hence it belongs to the unity of the essence, and not to the distinction of the persons. Therefore, by natural reason we can know what belongs to the unity of the essence, but not what belongs to the distinction of the persons.

Therefore, we can know of God, as the Principle of all things, apart from faith, but we can only know of the Trinity with faith since it is a revealed dogma. The First Vatican Council also defined that God can be known from natural reason alone (Dei Filius, Canon 2.1) and St. Paul says, on account of this, those who do not acknowledge God (but worship idols, are atheists, etc.) are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).

Therefore, one can acknowledge the one God and Creator of all things without having the supernatural faith necessary for acknowledging the Trinity.



continued from above…

In addition, it is the essence of the thing that determines what it is. If we acknowledge the same essence, we acknowledge the same thing. What we can say about the essence of God is that it is the same as His existence. This is summed up as “God is” or, in His own words, “I AM” or “I AM who AM.” (Exo. 3:14).

God is a purely self-existent being that exists in complete actuality. God is not a being that is created by another god; neither does God create Himself into existence. Rather, God has always existed as an unchanging, completely actualized being. God has his Being of himself and to himself such that he is absolute being and the very definition of existence (see Acts 17:22-28). Since God’s existence is the same as his essence, it follows that God is existence. (Note: this is not to assert pantheism. All other beings participate in his existence on a contingency and thus do not possess the essence of God. Therefore, no other being can be said to be a god or share a part in the godhead since they exist solely on a contingency.) This concept is at the root of the definition of all of God’s other perfections because if God is absolute being he must logically contain in Himself all perfections of being.

Since God’s essence is existence, if one acknowledges His essence, one can only acknowledge He who exists–it is impossible to acknowledge a completely actualized being that is not the one and only God. Similarly, there cannot exist two of such beings, because then neither would contain in Himself all perfections of being.

The CE article on Essence and Existence explains this from the Thomist perspective:

-If essence and existence were but one thing, we should be unable to conceive the one without conceiving the other. But we are as a fact able to conceive of essence by itself.
-If there be no real distinction between the two, then the essence is identical with the existence. But in God alone are these identical.

Since Muslims and Jews do conceive of God as being completely self-actualized and being non-contingent where essence and existence are one thing, they therefore can only be said to acknowledge the one God who exists and it is to Him that they honor and worship as First Principle and Creator according to the virtue of religion. As an aside, this is why we cannot say Mormons worship the same God–their god is a created being and one of many.

I would say therefore that we know God; they know of God. St. Thomas makes this distinction in his commentary on John to reconcile Biblical passages where Jesus says one must know Him to know the Father with those where people without faith are said to know or worship God (such as those passages cited above from Acts and Romans). We know Him as the Father of an only Son and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and serve Him in supernatural faith and charity.

See also this article by a well-known Catholic philosophy professor:


They aren’t Agnostics acknowledging an unknowable God. They worship a very specific God. A God they deny is Triune in nature. A God they deny is Jesus Christ. They are not covered by “invincible ignorance”. They know what is taught (sadly better than the average Catholic these days) and willingly reject it. They do not worship the same God as us.


Quite the opposite, prior to Vatican II the contrary opinion was censured by the Holy Office under Pius XII:

See here:

It is taught by the Council of Trent, which says that the translation to the state of grace “cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof.” The Catechism of Trent says the same.

St. Pius V, in Bull “Ex omnibus afflictionibus” also definitively condemned the proposition of Michael du Bay (Baius) that perfect charity could not precede baptism.

The great doctor of the Church, St. Alphonus Liguori explains the canon of Trent as follows:

Moral Theology, Bk. 6, nn. 95-6

Baptism, therefore, coming from a Greek word that means ablution or immersion in water, is distinguished into Baptism of water [“fluminis”], of desire [“flaminis” = wind] and of blood.

We shall speak below of Baptism of water, which was very probably instituted before the Passion of Christ the Lord, when Christ was baptised by John. But baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true Baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called “of wind” [“flaminis”] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost who is called a wind [“flamen”]. Now it is de fide that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon Apostolicam, “de presbytero non baptizato” and of the Council of Trent, session 6, Chapter 4 where it is said that no one can be saved “without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.”

Even if we don’t give it the degree of certainy as “de fide” like St. Alphonsus (Trent does appear to make it so), saying baptism of desire was “never considered a worthy theological opinion” is absolutely incorrect.


What are your thoughts on this rebuttal to Theology of the Body?


Of course they deny his triune nature–they don’t have faith. One can only profess those truths with faith. But again, as I demonstrated, the Church teaches God can be acknowledged without faith.

Do you have any sources at all you can point to where Jews or Muslims are considered to worship a false god/are idolators?

The Catechism of St. Pius X, for example, distinguishes them from those who “worship false gods”:

12 Q. Who are infidels?
A. Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like.

There is also the famous letter of St. Gregory VII to Anazir, a Muslim ruler:


The whole thing starts halfway down page 95 here:"because+we+worship+and+confess+the+same+God"+"gregory+vii"&source=bl&ots=vn79MOC_bX&sig=q-RSNuUUHTXbAGUR7qz6rllhF8Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwisqeaNlLHfAhVOq1kKHYunCZkQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q="because%20we%20worship%20and%20confess%20the%20same%20God"%20"gregory%20vii"&f=false



It is an example of what can occur as a result of that communion.


That may be, but it is an essential distinction. The marks of the Church are ancient, and it is counterproductive to jettison the Sacred Tradition in the cause of “unity”. Instead of being unified around what the Apostles taught, it only leaves us with a false ecumenism.

Unity results from adherence to the Truth. Giving up the Truth in order to mollify those who have only retained portions of it does not serve the greater good.


I read Love and Responsibility a long time ago (I didn’t see anything contrary to the faith in it and was actually surprised how Thomistic it was), but have not read the ToB series of audiences. I skimmed your link and didn’t see any specific points where particular propositions of ToB are contrary to propositions taught by the Church (again, it was quick skim). The author seems to spend a great deal of time on contraception, abortion, divorce, etc., but these are all things Wojtyla/JPII opposed. Again, I didn’t read it thoroughly, but it seems the author merely objected to the same truths being presented in a new/different way.

Are there specific propositions that were problematic?

In any event, I don’t think “Theology of Body” is some sort of set of doctrines imposed on the faithful, but merely an explanation of those points of doctrine. I don’t think it’s a problem if one finds other explanations more helpful.


I am curious to know how you have gone about discovering who is in heaven?

God draws all into unity with Himself, and thus into His One Body, the Church. All of the actions of the Holy Spirit at work in non-Catholic ecclesial communities are themselves calls toward unity. God is not the author of division.

I would not. I would disagree with your assertions about who is in heaven.


Church teaching is not based on the individual insecurities or generosities of individual members. Neither is it based on your supposed personal security and generosity. This really comes across as condescending.

And obvious to some readers of your posts as well!


Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is only one way to salvation. There is only one truth. It is through Jesus and the Church He gave us. There is no eternal life and salvation found outside the Catholic Church.

There is a difference between someone who has never heard the truths of the faith and so through no fault of their own are ignorant of the truths and between someone who has heard the truth and rejects it. The one who is rejecting the truth of the Catholic church after hearing puts their soul in grave danger.


You could not be more incorrect. Among the greatest gifts to the Church are the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – Lumen Gentium – and Nostra Aetate.

It is you who are in grievous dissent against the Church’s Magisterium.

Conversation with you is terminated as I will not be party to an exchange in which you are not only in dissent but publicly insult on a Catholic forum the College of Bishops with its head, the Vicar of Christ on earth, before whom as a Catholic you owe complete assent, unconditional obedience, and deference.

Catholic Answers is an apostolate in the diocese of San Diego, faithful to the Church’s most recent ecumenical council. Faithful to the initiatives of Pope Saint Paul VI and Pope Saint John Paul II and faithful to the diocesan bishop, His Excellency, Bishop Robert McElroy.


Saint John Paul II received his doctorate from the Dominican’s university in Rome in the 1940s prior to beginning his career teaching in Poland. He is thoroughly Thomistic

Theology of the Body is a great gift to the Church and one of the fundamental reasons why this Saint will be a Doctor of the Church at a point in the future.


At the time I read Love and Responsibility, I had been more familiar with his later writings where his application of the personalist and phenomenological approach seemed more conspicuous to me (not saying there’s anything wrong with that). Love and Responsibility seemed more strictly Thomistic (although not completely, of course). I was mostly responding to the article criticizing ToB for not being Thomistic.

Theology of the Body is a great gift to the Church and one of the fundamental reasons why this Saint will be a Doctor of the Church at a point in the future.

You’re probably right and I know people for whom it has had a very positive impact and brought forth good fruits. My point was simply that I don’t think the Pope intended it to be rigidly proposed as the only acceptable approach to understanding the truths of human sexuality .


Unitatis Redintegratio is anything but “false ecumenism” – it is one of the most important of the documents of the ecumenical council and of the Church’s magisterium with regard to the ecumenical movement, which the College of Bishop confesses as a divine imperative.

From the beginning of this critically important conciliar decree:

The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature. /…/

In recent times more than ever before, He has been rousing divided Christians to remorse over their divisions and to a longing for unity. Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day the movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. This movement toward unity is called “ecumenical.” /…/

It follows that the separated Churches(23) and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. /…/

The Sacred Council exhorts all the Catholic faithful to recognize the signs of the times and to take an active and intelligent part in the work of ecumenism.

As a result of what was, in fact, a new and generous outpouring of the Holy Spirit by the Father and the Son at the Church’s most recent ecumenical council, in addition to the renewal and reform of the liturgy, the work of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue is paramount to the Church’s life and mission for the 21st century.

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