Salvation


#1

This thread is being created in order to keep another discussion on track. If you want to read about the beginning part of this debate, see the other topic “Vatican II”: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40510 (Posts #4-10)

Some have claimed that there is a possibility for salvation for those who are unbaptized or those who are baptized but outside the Church, be it for reason of ignorance or desire for Baptism of death for Christ. It seems to me that this is most contrary to the teaching of Holy Mother Church, as is seen by Her infallible decrees:

“One indeed is the universal Chuch of the faithful, outside of which NO ONE AT ALL is saved.” IV Lateran Council–This clearly says no one at all. It leaves no room for exceptions.

“No one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Council of Florence

“Whosoever wishes to be saved, before all else, let him hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith, unless he do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” Athanasian Creed, traditionally recited in the Breviary every Sunday.

There are, of course, as most here know (or at least those who have debated this topic), many more quotes of this sort, but I shall leave it at this for now to start the discussion.


#2

well guees what your wrong—if one dies and is judged outside the church he cannot be saved–everyone agrees–1--there is no church document that states(in these exact words) that “only forMAL members of the church can be saved”–or --Baptism in every circumstance is ABSOLUTLEY NECeSSARY—2. YOU, AS A CATHOLIC, HAS TO INTERPRET CHURCH DOCUMENTS THEWAY THE CHURCH INTERPRETS THEM–NOT PRIVATLEY—3. the council of trent said that somone can be in the state of grace–that is freinship with God====by baptism or its desire–if one dies in the state of grace he goes to heaven–4. PIus IX taught that invincible ignorance incurs no guilt in the eyes of the Lord 5. THE CLINCHER, THE HOLY OFFICE UNDER PIUS XII, IN THE LEORNARD FEENEY CASE–STATES THAT FAITH THAT LEADS TO SALVATION NEED NOT ALWAYS BE EXPLICIT" I THINK THE HOLY OFFICE’S INTERPRETATION IS BETTER AND MORE TRuSTWORTHY THAN YOURS----SO GET A LIFE AND CONFORM—no offense but ou should know these argumets


#3

Whoever is saved, is saved through the Church.

But the Church doesn’t limit that to formal membership, and has always accepted the idea of ‘baptism of blood’ and ‘baptism of desire,’ for example, for catechumens whose manifest desire for baptism may not have been formally completed due to early death or martyrdom.


#4

The only way to truly make your argument is with a broader implication that what was stated in Vatican II is not true.

Since I will not accept or entertain that argument, I guess that’s where the argument ends for me.


#5

We must always keep in mind we are all saved by the grace of God. We don’t desrve it, nor can we earn it. And as far as unbaptized babies, I believe they are saved by God’s grace and the bible does not say unbaptized infants are lost. But rather the contrary. Jesus says such as these belong to the kingdom of God


#6

[quote=EENS] “One indeed is the universal Chuch of the faithful, outside of which NO ONE AT ALL is saved.” IV Lateran Council–This clearly says no one at all. It leaves no room for exceptions…
[/quote]

This leaves open for interpretation what they mean to say. A logical interpretation could be that this is saying no one at all who knows better, or no one at all who belongs to a heretical church denying for example the divinity of Christ, etc. etc.

[quote=EENS] “No one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Council of Florence.
[/quote]

This could very easily be talking about those who are already in the Church and would renounce their faith.

[quote=EENS] “Whosoever wishes to be saved, before all else, let him hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith, unless he do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” Athanasian Creed, traditionally recited in the Breviary every Sunday…
[/quote]

A literal reading of this would eliminate me, sir! :o And I am a strong Catholic. I cannot however say that I keep faith “whole and undefiled”. I for one am far from a perfect Catholic, and yet I hope for salvation through the grace and promises of Christ.

It is a serious mistake, in my opinion to go down the road you are going down EENS. This thinking will be a major hinderence in the evangilization of others. If misrepresented as Catholic teaching it will also do harm to the reputation of the Church.

I sense that you are sincere EENS. But I recommend you pray and read more about this to seek a better understanding.


#7

Hello EENS!

Thank you for starting the new thread. I am sorry that I have not posted before this.

The statements that you quoted from the Fourth Lateran Council, the Council of Florence, and the Athanasian Creed are  true, and I posit that the Church has not contradicted the doctrine of no salvation outside of the Church.

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
No Salvation”.
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. (Lumen Gentium)
**
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)
**
Although in ways known to Himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to the Faith without which it is impossible to please Him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.

[left]All salvation comes from Christ through His Church. The Church has the grave responsibility to evangelize all people. If there are some who do not have the oppurtunity to encounter the Gospel, but live according to the natural law sincerely seeking God according to the limited Truth available to them, it is possible that God, acting in a mysterious way, bring about their salvation through the Body of Christ. The Church does not presume to know the outcome of the judgment for every person, and entrusts each to the mercy of God. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]This is consistent with the quotes you provided. First, the Fourth Lateran Council says that there is no salvation outside of the Church. This is true, and this is why Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. If there is one who truly does not know about Christ and His church they will be judged according to their works and the intention of their hearts and if saved, saved by Christ through His Church. All salvation comes from Christ through His Church.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]The Council of Florence says that even if one is martyred one can not be saved if one does not remain within the Church. This speaks of one who already has the Faith. A person who has the True faith and then rejects it does indeed risk his salvation. This does not speak of those who do not have the oppurtunity of belonging to Christ’s Church, but of those who are within it. It is not possible to “remain” in something in which one has never been.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]The Athanasian Creed is quite right in the assertion that all who wish for salvation ought to seek the Church and keep the faith pure and undefiled. It is imperative that all those who know about the True Faith of Christ unite themselves with it. This can not speak of those who do not know of the True Faith. One can not seek something that one does not know.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]The Church has not said that it is possible to achieve salvation while rejecting the True Faith, but at those who are invincably ignorant my andeed be saved by Christ through His Church. It does not declare that all pagans are necessarily saved, but that the Church does not try to bind the Hand of God, snd does not presume to know the eternal fate of every person.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Thank you, EENS, for reading my very long winded post. I look forward to continuing to dialogue with you![/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Yours,[/left]
[left]Jessica[/left]


#8

It all depends on one’s understanding of the fullness of the faith. Those that do, can only be saved through the sacraments of the church. Literally millions do not have a full understanding and so remain in religious ignorance. I believe God will judge them by what light of understanding they have and their love for Jesus. I truly believe I will see millions of Protestants who love the Lord in heaven as well as Catholics.


#9

Hello All!

Thank you for responding; your opinions are valued. In this thread it is important that we satisfy the question of weather or not the Church contradicted herslf; I know firmly that she did not. Another is convinced that she has, or that the Second Vatican council taught heresy. So here let us not state what we believe, but let us bring forward what the Church says naw and has said in the past regarding the doctrine of no salvation outside of the Church.
There is value in discussing what each person thinks, but for this thread it is very important to the discussion to say not what each person thinks but what the Church officially says. When it comes down to the point it is less a discussion of this particualr doctrine and more a discussion of the authority of the Church and the infallability of ecumeical councils.

Thank you for contributions!

Yours,
Jessica


#10

hey eens respond to my arguments or make a retraction—cause ur in error and maybe hersey if u keep believing that feeeney ****—you have become a protestant by interpreting Church documnets on your own authority–repent or YOU MAY END UP IN HELL—


#11

Hello Marineboy,

Your zeal is evident, and I comment your very strong commitment. However, let us not accuse EENS of purposefully not responding-- he very likely has not had the chance yet, and fully intends to when he is able.

Yours,
Jessica


#12

Also, Marineboy, please try to keep the discussion civil. Disagreement is good and discussion is fruitful, but profanity and accusations just result in indignation and no progress.

Yours, Jessica


#13

well if u read my posts closely you will see i didnt accuse him of not responding–i merely told him to respond— the word I typed, in my opinion wasnt profanity–it was cra# --yet the catholic answers staff, i guees has deeemd that unacceptable—i am just calling spade a spade-----i mean it is clear that the Church doesnt tech only formal members can be saved–ithas been debated --and if he is till confused he could call JIMmy AKIn—or one of the other apologists at C.A. and he can be set straight—But I am happy to discuss these matters—


#14

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.

Jessica,

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
No Salvation”.
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] [/left]
[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]
[left] [/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]
[left] [/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]
[left] [/left]
[left][continue to next post][/left]


#15

Although in ways known to Himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to the 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 statement makes the interpretation I have given above all the more reasonable. This statement says that God can lead those who are ignorant to the truth. Knowing that, it is a perfectly plausible interpretation that we can say, “Those, too, who can be saved, they are the ones that God leads to the truth in ways known to Him alone.” That is very plausible. And I don’t know why people have such a hard time accepting it. The interpretation that is in accord with the constant teaching the Church, that is, the one that says God will reveal the truth to those who are truly invincibly ignorant so that they may be saved as Catholics, admits that God will, can, and even does reveal Himself to those who are invincibly ignorant. I do not see why his is so ridiculed by many, as it is the constant teaching of the Church and is completely compatible with Lumen Gentium.

All salvation comes from Christ through His Church. The Church has the grave responsibility to evangelize all people. If there are some who do not have the oppurtunity to encounter the Gospel, but live according to the natural law sincerely seeking God according to the limited Truth available to them, it is possible that God, acting in a mysterious way, bring about their salvation through the Body of Christ.

This is simply not true. If such a person exists, that is, a person who is living up to his conscience, the natural law (which includes an explicit belief in a monothiestic God), etc., then God would not “bring about their salvation through the Body of Christ”. God would reveal Himself to the person so that he could become a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. Only those who die as Catholics can be saved, per the Church.

This is consistent with the quotes you provided. First, the Fourth Lateran Council says that there is no salvation outside of the Church. This is true, and this is why Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. If there is one who truly does not know about Christ and His church they will be judged according to their works and the intention of their hearts and if saved, saved by Christ through His Church.

But that is not compatible to Lateran Council IV, since such a person is still outside the Church. He cannot be saved “through the Church” unless he is a part of the Church, since IV Lateran states: “One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful, *outside of which *no one at all is saved.” Therefore, a person must be inside the Church, not outside of Her, and a person who has never heard of the Church cannot be inside the Church. That is why we must adopt the belief that if such a person is truly invincibly ignorant, that God would reveal Himself to such a one and allow such a one to be saved by being incorporated into the Church through Baptism. St. Thomas Aquinas mentions such a situation in his Summa, noting that God would even send an angel, if necessary, to instruct the person in the True Faith, outside of which there is no hope for salvation.

[continue to next post]


#16

The Council of Florence says that even if one is martyred one can not be saved if one does not remain

within the Church. This speaks of one who already has the Faith. A person who has the True faith and then rejects it does indeed risk his salvation. This does not speak of those who do not have the oppurtunity of belonging to Christ’s Church, but of those who are within it. It is not possible to “remain” in something in which one has never been.

Your last sentence is my exact point. A person **must **remain within the Church to be saved. And since he cannot remain in the Church without having been made a part of Her, he has not remained within the Church at death if he has never been joined to Her; therefore, he is lost. It would have been better if I would have put the entire quote from Florence, as it would have made it clearer that such a person cannot be saved if he is outside the Church at all (and that the “remain” can be applied to those outside the Church). And I think it is pretty clear that if it says: unless a man has remained in the Church, he cannot be saved, then it presupposes that he must also be a part of the Church, as he could not remain in the Church if he is not a part of Her to beging with. It is not an excuse for those who are outside, but it is a greater condemnation, since not only did they never join the Church only to leave, but they never even were a part of the Church to begin with. Here is the entire quote from Florence concerning the issue:

“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

The Athanasian Creed is quite right in the assertion that all who wish for salvation ought to seek the Church and keep the faith pure and undefiled. It is imperative that all those who know about the True Faith of Christ unite themselves with it. This can not speak of those who do not know of the True Faith. One can not seek something that one does not know.

Yes, but the Athanasian Creed does not say anthing about those who know or do not know the truth. It simply says that a person who does not keep the Catholic Faith whole and undefiled “without doubt will perish everlastingly.” It does not make a distinction about salvation for those who are ignorant.

[continue to next post]


#17

Here is an article to consider. I know it is long, but please read it all. It would be very beneficial. Especially consider the part about heretics. And above all keep in mind the part about the invincibly ignorant (Q 40 and 41). This is from a renowned theologian, Fr. Muller, the most highly esteemed of the 19th century. He submitted his works to his religious superiors and two Redeptorist theologians before he was published. On top of that, he was published by the official publishers for the Holy See. This clearly shows that what he said is completely in accord with Catholic doctrine, and since you agree that the Church has not changed Her teaching (and She could not change what is infallibly defined), then we ought to stand firm in the ground of a renowned theologian rather than interpreting for ourselves Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, which is not a very clear statement, to say the least.

http://www.oltyn.com/Muller-Slv.htm

As as I asked you to consider especially about invincible ignorance, I will include what he had to say here:

Which Protestants are not guilty of the sin of heresy, but commit other great sins?

Those who are Protestants without their fault and who never had an opportunity of knowing better, are not guilty of the sin of heresy; but if they do not live up to the dictates of their conscience, they will be lost, not on account of their heresy, which for them was no sin, but on account of other grievous sins which they committed.

[continue to next post]


#18
  1. Will those heretics be saved, who are not guilty of the sin of heresy, and are faithful in living up to the dictates of their conscience?

Inculpable ignorance of the true religion excuses a heathen from the sin of infidelity, and a Protestant from the sin of heresy. But such ignorance has never been the means of salvation. From the fact that a person who lives up to the dictates of his conscience, and who cannot sin against the true religion on account of being ignorant of it, many have drawn the false conclusion* that such a person is saved, or, in other words, is in the state of sanctifying grace*, thus making ignorance a means of salvation or justification.

If we sincerely wish not to make great mistakes in explaining the great revealed truth, “Out of the Church there is no salvation,” we must remember:

a) That there are four great truths of salvation [most likely refering to the existence of God, that God is Renumerator (Rewarder), and the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation, which were the four that St. Thomas Aquinas taught], which everyone must know and believe in order to be saved;

b) That no one can go to Heaven unless he is in the state of sanctifying grace;

**c) **That, in order to receive sanctifying grace, the soul must be prepared for it by divine Faith, Hope, Charity, true sorrow for sin with the firm purpose of doing all that God requires the soul to believe and to do, in order to be saved;

d) That this preparation of the soul cannot be brought by inculpable ignorance. And if such ignorance cannot even dispose the soul for receiving the grace of justification, it can much less give this grace to the soul. Inculpable ignorance has never been a means of grace or salvation, not even for the inculpably ignorant people that live up to their conscience. But of this class of ignorant persons we say, with Saint Thomas Aquinas, that God in His mercy will lead these souls to the knowledge of the necessary truths of salvation, even send them an angel, if necessary, to instruct them, rather than let them perish without their fault. If they accept this grace, they will be saved as Catholics.

Surely we are on sounded ground with this interpretation. I will look forward to hearing back from you. God bless.

Matthew


#19

EENS EENS EENS— you responded to noting that I said-- you are arguing the way Feeney argued—that only those wo are “formal” members of the Catholic church will be saved–formal meaning that water baptism is absolutley necessary---- well there is no church document that says “ONLY FORMAL MEMBERS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL BE SAVED—” or–“WATER BAPTSIM IS ALWAYS ABSOLUTLEY NECESSARY FOR SALVATION…” so regarding EENS we have to interpret what the teaching really means–we have clear StatemEnts from the Council of trent–that says one can be in the state of grace by" Baptism or its desire." Prior to that it says one can acheive the “state of grace” by the desire of baptism—(read the decree on justification) so if one dies in the state of grace then one goes to heaven.----state of grace is freindship with God===so this quote alone refutes feeney who said only formal members go to heaven-------------now the Holy offce (under Pius XII) interpreted EENS, in the Feeney case, and wrote a letter to the Boston Archbishop, and said that "faith that leads to salvation “NEED NOT ALWAYS BE EXPLICIT.” AND IF ITS NOT EXPLICIT THEN SOMETIMES ITS,OR AT LEAST CAN BE, IMPLICIT AND THAT IS WHAT BAPTISM OF DESIRE IS, IMPLICIT FAITH-- GOT IT?? GOOD NOW REPENT FROM YOUR ERROR!!! -


#20

First, Trent said you can be justified by a desire for Baptism–NOT in a state of sanctifying grace. Justification is a process by which a person comes to sanctification (i.e. sanctifying grace). A person who desires Baptism is justified (i.e. has begun to be justified). Justification is a process.

As far as being being forgiven sins without Baptism, the St. Augustine teaches that sins can be remitted in three ways: by Baptism, by penance [the Sacrament and simply mortifications], and by prayer, yet God forgives sins only to the baptized. That is, a person who has been forgiven his sins by Baptism can also be forgiven by penance and prayer, but a person who is not baptized is not forgiven by these other means, which is in accord with the teaching of the Church at Florence: “so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier.”

As far as the letter from the Holy Office: it is NOT INFALLIBLE. Read that over a few times. You seem to have missed this obvious point, and you pass it off as if it is from the mouth of Christ Himself. Now, not only is it not infallible… it was not even written by Pius XII. On top of that, never does it say that a person’s Faith can be implicit. The constant teaching of the Church about this and of St. Thomas Aquinas says that a person must believe in God, that He is Renumerator, in the Blessed Trinity, and in the Incarnation. These cannot be implicit, even according to the Holy Office.

As far as an implicit desire for Baptism sufficing, that is simply not taught anywhere in the Tradition of the Chuch. It is a fabrication that has infested the Church today, and even for some time. It was most surely condemned by Blessed Pius IX and Pope St. Pius X. The condemnation of modernism by these two Popes holds more weight than the teaching of some Cardinal (not even the Pope). Blessed Pius IX most clearly states: “Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ [is hereby condemned as error].” (Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863)


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