What is the correct understanding of "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus"?

What is the correct way of understanding the phrase “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”? I’ve read it used to disparage non-Catholic faiths. I’ve also read another that it’s used to discourage Catholics from apostasy.

Lastly, is it a doctrine of the Catholic Church? I’ve heard our parish priest say that it was a mistake the Church is trying to mend.

Thank you in advance. :slight_smile:

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Recommended Reading:

]Extra ecclesiam nulla salus*
*] Salvation Outside of the Church
*] What is invincible ignorance?
*] How can the Church accept salvation for Protestants?
*]Should Catholics try to evangelize Protestants?

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