I apologize for taking so long to respond. I am not accustomed to checking these forums all to much (since I was off them for so long), and I am never available on Sunday for this type of thing, except late at night after I am back from Mass and spending time with family and friends, spending Sunday how it should be.
Thank you for your kindness. It is not often that those who disagree with me concerning “outside the Church no salvation” are at all charitable (c.f. marineboy). And if they are charitable, they make statements in such a way that they seem unintelligible, speaking (or rather writing) in fragments and with much passion. I will be happy to address what you have written.
I will first quote from the CCC, paragraphs 846-848, then comment on the consistancy of the theaching of the Church.
“Outside the Church there is
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:
[left]I don’t know why it is necessary to reformulate a teaching that has been taught quite clearly enough for 2000 years in the negative sense. Yes, of course all salvation comes through the Church, but the debate isn’t about that. We know that those who are a part of the Church have a means of salvation; the debate is as to whether those who are outside this Ark have any hope. [/left]
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. (Lumen Gentium)
[left]This statement is completely true. I do not say that it is not true. Yes, those who are outside the Church cannot be saved. Those who know the Church and refuse to enter Her cannot be saved (and those who leave the Church cannot be saved). That is true, but what it does not say but seems to imply is that those who are invincibly ignorance *can *be saved. That is what I will debate. [/left]
This affiramtion 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 concience-- those too may achieve eternal salvation. (Luman Gentium)
[left]Now, this is the problem. This statement seems to contradict the three infallible statements I mentioned before. Since the other statements were infallible and this statement is not (by the admission of Paul VI himself, who even added a note to this document specifically stating that it is not infallible), then it would be necessary, if we seem to sense a contradiction that we mold this teaching, not the infallible one, to fit the other. I asked a Priest who lives near me from my old parish. He is just your average assistant parish (says the Novus Ordo Mass) told me: “the best way to reconcile what Vatican II said to Florence is to simply state: ‘Yes, those too may be saved if they become Catholic.’” I see no reason not to accept such a reading of Lumen Gentium. If you do not want to come out and admit that Lumen Gentium simply was wrong, then such a reading as provided by assistant pastor from my old parish is certainly a valid one, and I think it is the best way to reconcile a document that says “absolutely NO ONE AT ALL” can be saved outside the Church to one that says that someone outside the Church “may” also be saved. The best way is simply to say: “Yes, they may be saved by becoming Catholics, which has constantly and always been a teaching of the Church.”[/left]
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