Salvation outside Catholicism

The second Vatican council stated on their decree on ecumenism:

“…though we believe them[non-Catholic Christian churches] to be deficient in some respects, [they] 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.”- UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO chapter 1 section 3 verse 23

With that being said, why are some Catholics so insistent that Protestants, or non Catholic Christians, convert?

On top of that, if other churches do have the tools for salvation, and the Magisterium states it, how does that jive with the whole thought process: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus?

Because you’re misreading what it says.

The view of the Catholic Church is not that it’s impossible for Protestants to be saved, but neither does it believe that one can by saved by being Protestant.


The Vatican II document you quoted is not infallible. None of the Vatican II documents are. There are, however, infallible church documents that do state that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic church. Since it’s impossible for church teaching to change, we have to hold to the original infallible doctrines that there is no salvation (barring extreme ignorance) outside of the Catholic church.


Because it’s Jesus’s Church. If you believe in Christ, then you’re one of His sheep, and the Catholic Church is His fold. Get in His fold.


Protestantism is a heresy, but mistakenly believing a heresy is not the sin of heresy, which requires a certain obstinacy.

St. Augustine:

But though the doctrine which men hold be false and perverse, if they do not maintain it with passionate obstinacy, especially when they have not devised it by the rashness of their own presumption, but have accepted it from parents who had been misguided and had fallen into error, and if they are with anxiety seeking the truth, and are prepared to be set right when they have found it, such men are not to be counted heretics.

For the purposes of the dogma at issue, by virtue of their baptism and faith, such a Protestant would not be “outside” the Church since baptism and faith in Christ is the door by which we enter this ark of salvation (only true heresy, schism, and apostasy place one outside this ark once one has entered). They would benefit by whatever means of salvation–which properly belong to the Catholic Church–they partake of in their community (such as baptism itself, knowledge of the Incarnation, etc.)).

We encourage all to be converted to the one Church because it is necessary for salvation and God’s will. Just like any other objectively grave sin, it is not for us to judge who is mortally guilty and who is not, rather we preach repentance in season and out. So also do we encourage all to convert to the Catholic faith–because God desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.


I will be honest there are very very few non Catholic churches who actively reject the faith as part of their daily walk with Jesus. What generally happens is you are either born into a non catholic faith tradition or you convert to one. They are too busy meeting and worshiping together at church, rejoicing, donating to charity, following Jesus’ commandments, and doing everything you and I do outside of the sacraments. Most of them don’t realise the need to go that extra step back to Rome. I didn’t for many years. I sometimes feel pressure that I was called. Not only do I live in a secular society but I am following possibly the second most unpopular religion in my part of the world


I believe this is the case where we are referring to the Catholic Church as opposed to the Catholic church. Protestants after all in some denominations in their creed say “One Holy and Apostolic Catholic church.” It is because they are referring to the universal faith of believers of Christ and as believers, we make up the church. So perhaps this (and this is my humble thoughts, I do not know for sure) is the case where it is saying salvation outside of Christ, the universal church of believers as opposed to the Roman Catholic Church.

Also keep in mind, some people aren’t exposed to Jesus or Catholicism or grew up in an environment counter to the faith and were socialized into that. Jesus says time and time again, those who have been given much, much is expected. So those given or know lees, less is expected.

Sorry, but this is not a correct understanding either of the aforementioned documents or the infallible doctrine of no salvation outside the Church.


Because the Catholic Church contains the fullness of the Faith and was established by Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, and the only Church established by Him. Therefore the other non-Catholic Christian Churches are not equal, but are lacking, and so we work and pray for all to enter the One, Holy, Apostolic, True Church.

Because Jesus is sacramentally present in the Catholic Church and not in others - established at the Last Supper with His chosen Apostles, and handed down through history to today.

CA - What No Salvation Outside The Church Means

Catholic Dictionary - Term EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS Definition

The Fathers of the Church on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

CA -Is There Really “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church?”


This is flat wrong and borders on heresy, in my opinion.


OP, if you go to the doctor and are diagnosed with a medical condition and told you can be given something to alleviate symptoms or a cure, which would you choose? It might not be the best metaphor, but that’s somewhat how we see it. There’s some benefit to most Christian faiths; there’s maximum benefit within the Church, where you find the fullness of what Jesus gave us - especially himself in the Eucharist.

The official teaching of the Church RE: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is that the salvation lost or missed out on is through ignorance. You can’t help what you don’t know. We know what Christ gave and promised via His Church (and it’s not a guarantee, mind you); any others are less certain, but not necessarily ruled out. The only ones we dare say are definitely ruled out are those obstinate in their denial of truth they know and willfully turn against.

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Well, here’s church doctrine prior to Vatican II. Keep in mind that church doctrine cannot change. Once it is revealed and declared, it is that way for all time.

Pope Leo XII (A.D. 1823 – 1829)

“We profess that there is no salvation outside the Church. …For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: `If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.’” (Encyclical, Ubi Primum)

Pope Pius IX (A.D. 1846 – 1878)

“It must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.” (Denzinger 1647)

Pope Leo XIII: (A.D. 1878 – 1903)

“By the ministry of this Church so gloriously founded by Him, He willed to perpetuate the mission which He had Himself received from the Father; and on the one hand, having put within her all the means necessary for man’s salvation, on the other hand, He formally enjoined upon men the duty of obeying His Church as Himself, and religiously taking her as a guide of their whole lives. “He that heareth you, heareth Me; he that despiseth you, despiseth me.” (Luke 10:16) Therefore, it is from the Church alone that the law of Christ must be asked: and, consequently, if for man Christ is the way, the Church, too, is the way, the former of Himself and by His nature, the latter by delegation and communication of power. Consequently, all who wish to reach salvation outside the Church, are mistaken as to the way and are engaged in a vain effort.” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical, Tametsi, November 1, 1900; Papal Teachings: The Church, Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, St. Paul Editions, Boston, 1962, par. 647.)

“This is our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church; the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate.” (Pope Leo XIII, Allocution for the 25th anniversary of his election, February 20, 1903; Papal Teachings: The Church, Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, St. Paul Editions, Boston, 1962, par. 653.Encyclical, Annum Ingressi Sumus)

“He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God.” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical, Sapientiae Christianae)


I asking this question with respect.

Wat do you think Bataar, where those people will end up who never had the possibility to join to the Catholic Church?

God bless

Don’t divert this thread with your theory regarding universal salvation. That’s not what it’s about.

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The Universal Salvation is NOT MY THEORY, many people believed Universal Salvation long before I born into this world.

Doesn’t the Catholic Church is praying (1058) for that God to save everyone?

God bless

Then it’s their theory. It’s nonetheless a theory irrelevant to what’s being discussed.

By converting willingly to Catholicism, not denying their free will nor the ability to choose. If everyone is already saved no matter what, then it’s a pointless prayer, among other problems. And that’s all I’m saying on the subject.

I believe in God’s mercy and justice. If someone never had the opportunity to join or never heard of the church, they can be saved due to God’s mercy. However, that’s not what this thread is about.

I’m not going into Universal Salvation, even the salvific Will of God is that everyone saved, and we all know, God’s will is immutable/ fixed from ALL ETERNITY.

But as we speaking salvation, I asking this question with respect.

Wat do you think Fauken, where those people will end up who never had the possibility to join to the Catholic Church?

Thank you for your answer in advance.

God bless

I’m a Catholic and I believe, the Catholic Theology is the best teachings on salvation.

For this reason, I wish everyone convert to be Catholic and to know very well Catholic Theology.

The CCC answers the question:

“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:

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.
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.
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."
God bless

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Essentially, OP; what the Church is saying is that people who, sincerely and in their ignorance of no fault of their own; can be granted salvation as long as they work at it as they know how and with God’s grace.

However: The Church says that only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the Faith in which Our Lord Jesus entrusted to her.

Think of like this: Protestants only have a watered down version of the faith with some serious errors in their theology. The Church, faithful to Her Lord’s Teaching; is the full and unadulterated truth; possessing everything needed for salvation.

The way I think of it: There’s some possibility that a Protestant, believing sincerely and through ignorance of the truth; can be given salvation by the mercy of God.

Only in the Catholic Church, can you be rest assured that you have the greatest chance of receiving the grace of God’s mercy and salvation.

Accept no substitute!! Hahahahaha :sweat_smile::joy::sweat_smile::joy::sweat_smile::joy::sweat_smile::joy:

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