Salvation outside the Church and Baptism

I am starting this thread because there is some confusion in regards to what it means in regards to the teaching Extra Ecclesiam Nula Salus (There is no salvation outside the Church)

The above is a teaching that is often misinterpreted and often taken out of context by many Catholics and thus I think it is a good idea to start this thread and hopefully clear up a lot of misconceptions regarding this teaching.

I will add several posts. This one will be an introduction to the teaching and what it means in its most basic definition. Next I will post what this means in regards to the Church’s teaching on baptism. Lastly I will post what Catholic References in regards to priests, Canons, and the Catechisms of the Church has to say in regards to this. I hope this thread and these posts will clear up a lot of confusion


intro

First and foremost what this teaching is saying is that all salvation comes from Christ who is God. (John 14:6) I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

Thus because Jesus is God this is saying that there is no salvation apart from Christ who is the savior. We can and only will ever be able to be saved from Christ.

Next we as Catholics no that Jesus founded his Church and not only that but gave Peter the keys which is his Divine Authority

(Matthew 16:18) "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

This means that all salvation comes from the Catholic Church which founded by Christ who saves gave the Church His authority including that of salvation. Since it is only Christ who can save, it is fitting that the Church which has the Divine Authority of Christ is the only Church that has the authority of salvation as well.

In the next post I will describe what this means in regards to baptism.

The Church’s teaching on the necessity of Baptism

The Church has always taught that baptism is necessary for salvation. It is the First and most Important of the seven sacraments. However the Church has taught as well there are three main ways that you can be baptized.

The Nicene Creed States that as Catholics we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, yet there are three ways that you can be baptized.

Baptism of Water

The first and sacramental way that someone is to be baptized if they have the opportunity is a water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If we have this opportunity we must take it and be baptized through water In the Trinitarian method.

Baptism of blood.
Baptism of blood is martyrdom suffered by one who has not been baptized. It is defined as the endurance of death or deadly suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the martyr must be but to death or endure sufferings that would naturally cause death; the persecutor must inflict death or deadly violence through opposition to the Church, the Catholic Faith, or a Christian virtue. In the case of adults, death or the deadly violence must be endured from a supernatural motvie, and there must be no resistance to try to escape death, and the sufferer must have made acts of Faith and Hope and have at least some sorrow for grace sin committed.

Examples include- the Holy Innocents massacred by King Herod.

Baptism of Desire

There are two ways that you can be baptized through desire. An implicit and Explicit way.

Explicit desire for baptism includes the example of Catechumens who are preparing for baptism (hence have a desire to be baptized) but die before the opportunity arises.

Example: St. Ambrose (340-397 A.D) in his sermon on the Emperor Valentinian II, who died while he was under instruction and unbaptized, said: "I hear you express grief that he did not receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Tell me, what else is there in us except the will and petition? But he had long desire to be initiated before he came to Italy, and expressed his intention to be baptized by me as soon as possible. Has he not, therefore the grace which he desired? Surely he received it because he asked for it?

Implicit desire for Baptism is the adults who die without even hearing of Christ and His Gospel who are saved by the merits of Christ if they die in perfect charity or are perfectly contrite for their sins. This includes, as we have said, the implicit desire for Baptism which is a state of mind in which a man would ardently long for Baptism, if he knew it is necessary for salvation.

This implicit desire for baptism consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. We did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God.

Finally this last post I will post what priests, canons, and the catechisms have said in regards to the teaching of (Outside the Church there is no salvation)

From the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchOutside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 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.336

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.337

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

This is basically stating what I just posted earlier in regards to where salvation comes from and also in regards to baptism (water, blood, and desire both explicitly and implicitly)

This is what Fr John Laux has to say in his book Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Apologetics Fr John Laux

  1. The Church is the Body of Christ (9Eph. 1:22-23), the realization of the kingdom of Christ on earth, the continuation of his work among men. A such she is the Church of humanity. It is her purpose- a purpose essential to her very nature- to incorporate all men of all times and all places with the Body of Christ. In one word, it is the essence of the Church of Christ to be Catholic.

But if the Church of Christ is Catholic, world-wide, all-embracing, she must be exclusive; ;that is, she must be the Church of humanity, the only Church in which there is salvation for all men.

Because the Church is conscious of being the kingdom of God on earth, of being the Church of humanity, to which all men, according to the will of Christ, must belong if they wish to be saved, she cannot admit that men can be saved also in any other church. If she did so, she would be guilty of disloyalty to herself, of apostasy from her true nature. Either the Catholic Church is the Church, the Body of Christ, the kingdom of God, or she is nothing at all- a mere sham and make-believe. “One God, one Christ, one Baptism, one Church.” Just as there can be no second Christ, so there can be no second Body of Christ, no second manifestation of the Sprit of Christ. The exclusiveness of the Church is rooted in the exclusiveness of Christ, in His claim to be the Bringer of the New Life, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Where do you find these criteria? I’ve always thought that we had no idea how invincible ignorance works. What you say sounds right, but is it the teaching of the Church?

This has shown up in the forums in a couple of different threads, and it has me confused. Can you provide a reference to Church teaching where this is identified as a form of baptism (albeit ‘implicit’)? Please note – I’m not disputing that those who have not heard the Gospel may be saved; that’s clearly enough the teaching of the Church. What I’m asking is for a citation that demonstrates that this is a baptism (which, of course, implies that it is both normative and operates in a consistent, regular way). Thanks! :thumbsup:

They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

This is the part that I’m disputing – that this ‘upright life’ creates the situation of an actual ‘baptism’, with the graces that come from baptism.

Are these statements from The Council Of Trent what you are looking for? :hmmm:

Decree on Justification, Session VI, Chapter 4: “And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Session VII, Concerning the Sacraments in General, Canon 4 (Denz 847): “If anyone shall say that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation, but are superfluous, and that, although all are not necessary for every individual, without them or without the desire of them, through faith alone men obtain from God the grace of justification; let him be anathema.”

And The Catechism of the Council of Trent says:
" The Sacraments, Baptism: “…should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.”

In any case, here are about a million other quotes:

baptismofdesire.com/index.html

Veritas provided this in the original post (though the CCC doesn’t use the specific phrase “Implicit desire”):

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. [CCC 847]

We know that there is only one Baptism, but the Grace of water Baptism may be applied without actual water (such as Baptism of Desire). Since the Grace of water Baptism is required for salvation, it stands to reason that invincible ignorance, as described by CCC 847, obtains Grace in a means similar to Baptism of Desire, which says “he desired Baptism but died before he was able to receive it.” Invincible ignorance says, “he didn’t know about Baptism, but if he had known, he would have desired it.” God alone knows the heart and knows if such a claim is true.

But that CCC passage seems deliberately vague. Veritas attached specific criteria that has been popularly stated (and sounds right to me), but which I have never known to be actual *Church *teaching (and I asked for clarification). To my knowledge, the only thing that the Church teaches about invincible ignorance is contained within this brief CCC paragraph, and the Church says nothing (one way or another) about “perfect charity” or “perfect contrition.”

The thing is, that passage in the CCC talks about salvation, but not baptism. Is it possible for God to justify and save a person without baptism? Yes. Does this passage say that, in this case, we have baptism? Nope.

Invincible ignorance says, “he didn’t know about Baptism, but if he had known, he would have desired it.” God alone knows the heart and knows if such a claim is true.

But that CCC passage seems deliberately vague. Veritas attached specific criteria that has been popularly stated (and sounds right to me), but which I have never known to be actual *Church *teaching (and I asked for clarification).

Agreed. That’s why I, too, asked for the magisterial documents that teach precisely what he’s asserted about implicit baptism of desire; that is, that the implicit desire for God acts in the same way as baptism acts. (Especially since this passage – both in the CCC and in Lumen Gentium, from whence these quotes are taken – talk about the Church’s mission activity and evangelization, it’s clear that this notion of ‘implicit’ faith is not a discussion of ‘implicit’ baptism of desire: if it were about something that had the effects of baptism, then ‘evangelization’ would not be necessary in order “procure the salvation of all of these” (LG, 16)… :wink: )

I think the Council of Trent taught a very opposite answer to your question (an unqualified ‘no’), as has been cited within this very thread.

There is no salvation apart from the Grace of water Baptism. This Grace may, in certain circumstances, be applied without water.

Of the protestant “solae,” we are in complete agreement regarding Sola gratia (by Grace alone):

By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works. Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, #15]

Salvation cannot happen apart from divine Grace, and the Grace of salvation (sanctifying Grace) is the Grace of water Baptism. There is no other form of sanctifying Grace recognized by the Church.

If you wish to contend that salvation is possible without the Grace of water Baptism being somehow applied, feel free to open a thread to this effect. But prepare to be called a heretic (because the idea is actually heresy).

I was originally going to post an “EENS Bingo” game, but I’m trying to cultivate some degree of serenity, so I’ll just do this instead: :popcorn:

Popcorn is good for the soul. Trying to understand something that has stumped the best theologians, on the other hand… :smiley:

But I challenge you to name ANY field of study that lacks unanswered questions which continue to stump the “best minds” in their fields:. Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry, Physics (ha ha ha), geology, oceanography, paleography, zoology…

At the turn of the 20th Century (the 1900’s), academic advisers were discouraging college students from pursuing studies in physics, because there were no opportunities for further discovery, and only fleeting improvements upon existing (Newtonian) theory. Everything worth discovering had already been discovered. NOTHING “stumped” physicists in 1905.

Until a lowly Patent Examiner, Third Class working in a dismal office in Bern, Switzerland, came up with the (special) Theory of Relativity, in 1906. And the physics of 1905 became “non-relevant” in 1906.

Tell me about it, I’m an academic psychiatrist. :smiley: Good post. :thumbsup:

However, I think the question of the salvation of the unbaptized will prove as tough (if not tougher) to crack than a Grand Unified Theory of Physics. :slight_smile: And my objection to the topic isn’t a good discussion - I love those - but the fact that such threads often degenerate into name-calling, Feeneyism, and so forth. A recent (now deleted) thread was basically a disciple of St. Leonard trying to convince everyone else that Lumen Gentium endorsed Feeney’s teachings. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that you are referring to me. :wink: I do not know what happened to that thread. My long distance fiancée had came to visit myself and my family so I was rather distracted from my forum time and when I returned it had disappeared.

Before I go further I wish to clarify some things. First and foremost I do not treat the Reverend Feeney to be a canonised saint nor do I culture a devotion to him as as saint as I would Saints Therese of the Child Jesus, Paul of the Cross or Louis de Montfort. I pray that he saved his soul and is enjoying the beatific vision right now and that if he is then I earnestly implore his prayers for us all. And if he is in purgatory then I pray for his speedy release that God’s glory may shine even brighter tonight in heaven for another saint to kneel before His throne. If he is in hell—God forbid it!—then God’s Justice be praised.

And furthermore I completely object to your statement that I am a disciple of St Leonard. I believe he and his spiritual descendants are generally right on their teaching on no salvation outside of the Church. I am not particularly fond of his writings and I do not have much beyond a general Christian sympathy for the good works of his descendants. Culturally and spiritually he is quite distant from myself and I feel no overwhelming connection to him. Personally that is. What I quite object to is that if all of this were true—barring canonising the man which no Feeneyite I have ever met does—that it would in some ways be bad.

You resorted to slander and calumny against Father Feeney and his descendants. I do not know why. Perhaps you are simply ignorant of the facts of his history. Do I believe that many of his actions were wrong? Without a shadow of a doubt. But not concerning his understanding of the dogma that outside of the Church there is no salvation. Do I hold him up as an example to the Church of sanctity and charity? No I do not. But do not be so quick to dismiss a theological mind that Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen named the greatest theologian of the 20th century (incidentally not something I agree with; that honour goes to Dom Garrigou-Lagrange).

Now there are more points I wish to raise. You speak of the salvation of the unbaptised as if it were a complicated matter. There is absolutely nothing tough about it. We have it very well and very clear. A grand unified theory of physics relies solely upon human cognitive faculties. The means and manner of salvation is divinely revealed to us by God and taught by Holy Mother Church.

Your “:p” emoticon regarding my position on Lumen gentium is a rather interesting rhetorical device. It is as if you’ve made an amusing little joke and you’re inviting everyone to join in your laughter. “I mean really! We all KNOW Lumen gentium didn’t teach that, how could this O Sap feller really think to convince us of it?”

I can and will produce my three posts explaining Lumen gentium and its doctrine and how it clearly does not teach that unbaptised and ignorant persons will attain to eternal salvation in such a state.

And as previously you will not be able to respond to it. No one has actually addressed my points. You brought up the Boston Heresy Case as if in reality it even mattered. I quoted Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, Benedict XVI, the Second Vatican Council and several Papal Bulls that contain infallible dogmas. You quoted… you didn’t quote anything to my recollection. I invite you to do so.

Yours in Jesus and Mary,
OS.

The following three posts are quoted from previous posts of mine regarding this very same subject found here, here, and here.

False.

Granted, I should clarify my statement. Non-Catholic Christians that have been validly baptised and have no rejected the Roman Catholic faith can attain to salvation despite their ignorance. The same does not apply to non-baptised persons in a state of ignorance, culpable or not. The Church says that such persons will not be judged by their ignorance as a fault and that if they are of good will then God will grant them all things necessary to attain to salvation. That is membership in the Holy Catholic Church via baptism.

On the contrary, from Vatican II Lumen Gentium:
16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*)

Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*)Notes:
18. Mk. 1:15; cf. Mt. 4:17.
19. Mk. 4:14.
20 Lk. 12:32.
127 Cf. Acts 17:25-28.
128 Cf. 1 Tim. 2:4.

Catholics are obligated to to read the documents of the Second Vatican Council in light of the tradition of the Church. The documents belong to a hermeneutic of continuity as Pope Benedict XVI wisely taught us and not a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.

To quote Good Pope John he says that the Council wishes “to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion”. And he continues: “Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us…”. It is necessary that “adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness…” be presented in “faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another…”

And further Pope Paul VI tells us that… “In professing fidelity to all that the Council teaches and prescribes for us, We feel that two possible errors must be avoided. The first is supposing that the Second Vatican Council represents a break with the doctrinal and disciplinary tradition which preceded it, as if the Council were such a novelty that it should be compared to a revolutionary discovery, to a subjective emancipation, which authorizes a separation…like a false liberation…from what the Church has authoritatively taught and professed until yesterday. Such an error allows the proposal of new and arbitrary interpretations of Catholic dogma, often borrowed from beyond the limits of an orthodoxy which we cannot renounce. It offers Catholic life new and intemperate expressions often borrowed from a worldly spirit. Such is not in conformity with the historical view of the Council nor with the authentic spirit as predicted by Pope John XXIII…”

So if we are to read the Council in light of the Church’s historical dogmas and doctrines and if we take Venerable Pope John XXIII at his word for the council’s intent then the only conclusion is that the Council agrees fully with the teachings of the Church. So what has the Church said?

Pope Eugene IV in the papal bull Cantate Domino teaches us that “[Holy Mother Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

If your interpretation of the Council’s documents are true then the Council has introduced a rupture into the Church and it has broken with the past. But we know that can not be true. So the only Catholic response is to understand the Council in light of this teaching. So what does the Council actually say?

[Continued below]

Lumen Gentium teaches us thusly that "God [is not] far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*)

Where exactly does the Council say that those at the end of their lives who die outwith the Church can attain unto eternal salvation? On the contrary the Council teaches that those can also attain to eternal salvation who are moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will and we know that it is God’s will that all persons be joined to His Church. The graces they are given are the graces that will lead them to the Church. If they are honest, of good will, and seek God then God will grant them the graces to be led to His Church. And isolation is no barrier to the will of God. Did God leave the Ethiopian eunuch to flounder on His own? No! He sent Philip the Deacon to assist him in his salvation.

The Council does not teach salvation for non-Catholics. She joyfully proclaims that non-Catholics through the will and providence of God can be brought to the means of salvation, the Holy Catholic Church as we see further on in the same passage from Lumen Gentium…

[quote]“Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life.”

What is necessary for salvation? “Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John. 3: 5). Christ Himself has told us what is necessary to enter into the kingdom of God. And Hebrews 11: 6 tells us that “…] without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that “After the Incarnation, all men, if they wish to be saved, are “bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles that refer to the Incarnation.” And further that all men, in order to be saved, “are bound to explicit faith in the mystery of the Trinity.”

Is this not enough for you? I have given you Scripture. I have given you the Angelic Doctor. Then I shall finish this point with the Magisterium herself expressed by the Second Vatican Council in her Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church or Ad Gentes.

"…those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it. **Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him **(Heb. 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1 Cor. 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel.”

Lumen Gentium is not only clarified by the light of the Church’s tradition but by a document of the very same ecumenical council. Ad Gentes clearly teaches that God can lead people to that which is necessary for salvation. No where in this document or in Lumen Gentium or in any Magisterial document of the Church is it taught that someone can attain to salvation that perishes in a state of invincible ignorance outside of the Church or that those baptised Christians that reject the Church can enter into the kingdom of God. Rather we are told that the Church has a necessity and a sacred duty to preach the Gospel and bring people to the knowledge of God and the means of salvation [herself] and that in ways known to God He can bring such people to that which is necessary. And we know that it is necessary to be a baptised Christian subject to the Holy Roman Pontiff.

Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*).

But I did not even have to seek out Ad Gentes to kill your point. As Lumen Gentium itself finishes it here. This speaks volumes. Why would someone need to be prepared for the Gospel if it was unnecessary for salvation? Come now my friend.

[Continued below]
[/quote]

And I would disagree… strenuously! Trent was dealing with a different context: as more recent magisterial statements have clarified, “baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament” (CCC, 1257; emphasis mine). Trent, however, is responding to Christians – to those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for baptism! Therefore, Trent unconditionally affirmed the necessity of baptism.

(Here’s the analogy I’d offer: if I were speaking to a high school class, I might assert “alcohol use is illegal.” If I were speaking to a group of college students, I might assert “alcohol use is illegal for those below the legal drinking age.” In doing so, would I be making two distinct and different statements? Of course not – but, in the first example, my statements are targeted toward a different audience, and so the particular expression might differ. Same thing here – Trent is speaking to Christian ecclesial communities, and therefore, the expression there would necessarily be different than that expression that is made to all peoples (e.g., the CCC).)

There is no salvation apart from the Grace of water Baptism. This Grace may, in certain circumstances, be applied without water.

There is no salvation without sanctifying grace and the justification that it imparts; agreed. This grace is imparted through water baptism; agreed. This grace may be imparted in other ways; agreed.

Yet, Veritas identifies ‘implicit baptism of desire’ as a form of baptism. That’s what I’m disputing. Is ‘implicit faith’ possible as a means through which God imparts sanctifying grace? Yep. Is it a ‘baptism’? It doesn’t seem so, unless one is speaking in a rather loose fashion. I’m simply looking for a magisterial document that identifies this as a ‘baptism’. :wink:

If you wish to contend that salvation is possible without the Grace of water Baptism being somehow applied, feel free to open a thread to this effect. But prepare to be called a heretic (because the idea is actually heresy).

Not “the grace of water baptism”, but rather “sanctifying grace”. Maybe I’m picking nits, but calling ‘implicit faith’ a ‘baptism of desire’ seems to me like it’s making an idol of baptism, rather than noting that it’s simply a means through which sanctifying grace is imparted upon a person (without baptism). :shrug:

But Lumen Gentium does not finish there. Let us see what the document says that you failed to quote and that belongs to the same passage. Continuing on from the above point the Council teaches that “[Holy Mother Church] knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair.** Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these**, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”,(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.”

“Extra Ecclesiam, Nulla Salus” …it is necessary to clarify the meaning of an old theological principle whose interpretation has caused difficulty in the past: Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus (literally, “outside the Church, there is no salvation”). Some people have wished to understand this saying in the most literal sense: that is, that the person who is not formally a practicing Catholic cannot be saved. The Church has condemned such an interpretation (cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, 3870-3873).

Denzinger itself is not enough. Please providence the references given by Denzinger and Schonmetzer. Let us see what the Church actually says.

This is not to say that the maxim is false. Properly understood, it is quite true. The Latin word extra can mean either “without” or “outside.” The correct interpretation and sense of the maxim is that we cannot be saved without the Church. It is through the Church, which carries on and makes present the salvific work of Jesus Christ in the world, that all who are saved reach heaven (even if it is perhaps only there that they realize it). Those who, through no fault of their own, have never known Christ or his Church can still be saved. But their salvation, too, is the effect of Jesus working through his Church. In a positive sense, this theological principle “means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” (CCC 846).[Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine, OSV].

The actual relevant section from the Catechism says:

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 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.336
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.337
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.”

See above for my explanation.

It is absolutely necessary to be a baptised Christian to attain unto eternal salvation and furthermore that one must not reject the Catholic faith or humble subjection to the Roman Pontiff.

Rejoice my friend at the truth of this beautiful doctrine and the necessity of Holy Mother Church.

Yours in Jesus and Mary,
OS.

I think my point was just proved. :smiley:

I wonder when the moderators will impose a moratorium on this particular topic. :stuck_out_tongue:

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