still confused

  • 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. (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

no salvation outside the church today has a bit of a broader definition. including ignorance and other things

this statement was infallible. how do they not contradict, this does not seem to leave any room for interpreatation. it says absolutely no one, does not give any exceptions. and it doesn’t not say anything about ignorance or rejecting the gospel. and i know the context was to address the east-west schism but it mentions jews and pagans so includes everyone. please help, thanks

angell1 #1
You were informed of the truth in December 2013 in the *No Salvation Outside the Church *thread post #6:
“Pope Innocent III in the Lateran Council of AD 1215, Unam Sanctam, the Papal Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, 1302, and Pope Eugene IV’s Bull Cantate Domino, 1441 all refer to those who have rejected the true gospel, Pope Eugene IV makes the statement about the pagans, Jews, etc… so this classifies them like the Arians, Monophysites, Ebionites, who heard the message of Christ’s gospel. It is not talking about those who have not heard the gospel. The ones that these decrees are considering are those that have heard the message. If they had heard the message and obstinately stay outside the Church, they can not be saved. Notice that in this decree, just like the first two mentioned, the decree does not say, “Well, if those pagans and Jews, etc. have never heard of the gospel, they can not be saved.” This is fully consistent with what the Church teaches now.”

As Blessed John Paul II explains in *Threshold of Hope *(Random House, 1994, p 140-1):
“Besides formal membership in the Church, the sphere of salvation can also include other forms of relation to the Church. Paul VI expressed this same teaching in his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, when he spoke of the various circles of the dialogue of salvation (Cf. p 101-117), which are the same as those indicated by the Council as the spheres of membership in and of relation to the Church. This is the authentic meaning of the well-known statement ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation.’ ”

The idea of “no salvation” has not changed, but the idea of who might be a member of the Church (without even knowing it) has broadened.

But we must remember that Christian Baptism is the ONLY 100% guaranteed way to attain salvation. We have NO IDEA if ANYONE has attained salvation apart from Baptism. The Church recognizes that it is possible, but She has no idea if anyone has actually accomplished it, or if anyone ever will.

Any Catholic could opine that nobody has attained salvation apart from Baptism and remain completely orthodox. Likewise, a Catholic could opine that millions have done so and remain completely orthodox.

those documents with stricter language do not appear to make that kind of distinction though. how do we know they meant only those who had heard the gospel and rejected it?

We won’t and we don’t

We will all be judged by not our thoughts and also are deeds.

I pray for us all to receive the eternal grace of the trinity

Exactly right.

Two other things.

There is an explanatory note prior the entry for Unam Sanctam in Denzinger and a clarification by Clement V that is often overlooked.

The explanatory note provided by Adolf Schönmetzer in the 36th edition of Denzinger in Latin is translated by Peter Hünermann, ed., Denzinger: Enchiridion Symbolorum, 43rd Edition, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010, pp. 285-6

This bull was occasioned by the controversy between the pope and King Philip IV of France over the legal rights of the king in regard to the temporal goods of the clergy. Since the bull claims an unlimited and direct power of the pope over the king even in temporal matters, it led to much agitation and frequently gave offense. Within the bull, there is missing a distinction that Boniface VIII himself had explicitly made in the presence of the French legate on June 24, 1302: the king, like any other believer, is subject to the spiritual power of the pope only “with regard to sins” (ratione peccati). On the same occasion, the pope protested that he had been unjustly attacked as if “We had demanded that the king should recognize that his rule as king is from Us. For forty years, We have been experienced in the law, and We know that two powers have been ordained by God. Who, therefore, should or could believe that such foolishness, such stupidity was or is in Our head? We say that in no way do We wish to usurp the jurisdiction of the king, and thus Our brother from Porto has said.” . . . The brother from Porto is in fact Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta, 0.F.M., who probably composed this bull.

Schönmetzer also points out in the note that as with Aquinas being “subject to the Roman Pontiff” is another way of saying “being in the Church.”

Brief of Clement V, Meruit (February 1, 1306)
The integrity of sincere affection of our beloved son Philip, illustrious king of the French, toward ourselves and the Roman Church merits–and also the very clear merits of his forefathers and, moreover, also the purity and sincerity of devotion of the inhabitants of his kingdom deserve–that we bestow benevolent favour both upon that king and his kingdom. That is why we do not wish or intend that any prejudice be engendered for that king and kingdom by the definition and declaration of our predecessor Pope Boniface VIII of happy memory, which begin by the words “Unam sanctam.” And we do not wish or intend that through this declaration the aforesaid king, kingdom and its inhabitants be more subject to the Roman Church than they had been before, but we wish that all be understood to remain in the same state as it had been before the above-mentioned declaration, both with regard to the Church and to the aforesaid king, kingdom and its inhabitants.
Given at Lyons, on the Kalends of February, in the first year of our Pontificate.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.