Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Outside the Church there is no salvation. . .

God can save whom it pleaseth God to save.  How He does that apart from the sacraments and formal membership of the Church is a mystery to me.  All I know is that if someone can be saved at all, he is saved solely through the merits if Christ’s Sacrifice.  The merits of Christ’s Sacrifice, all graces, everything for our salvation is mysteriously mediated through the Church Christ founded, the Catholic Church.  Any person who doesn’t belong to the Church but comes to salvation nevertheless receives whatever was sufficient through the mysterious mediation God has willed through the Catholic Church.  In that sense, outside the Church there is no salvation.  So saith the insightful Fr. Z at his What Does the Prayer Really Say blog...

All in all, it is a pretty good statement.  I surely would not equate "Catholic Church" with Rome here, as he does, but it does help me as a Lutheran deal with the relationship between the Church (gathered around the faithful confession, the Word and Sacraments, with the Pastoral Office) and those who insist upon exploring how possible it might be to be saved without being a part of this community of faith.  No, I would heartily agree with Fr. Zuhlsdorf that God can and, indeed, will save whom He pleaseth, that how this happens apart from the Church and the Word and Sacraments is a complete mystery to me, and that if someone is saved at all, it will be solely through the mediation of Jesus Christ and the all sufficient merits of His once for all sacrifice on the cross.  That said, if there are those who are saved without membership in this Church (by baptism) and without participating in the life of this Church (by Holy Communion on the body and blood of Christ), it is nonetheless through this Church that he or she hears the Word through which the Holy Spirit works to impart saving faith.  A mystery to me how this takes place, I therefore would not encourage people to explore the fringes of this possibility but to embrace the fullness of Christ's divine life and participate fully in the saving Mystery of Christ through the channels God has created and intended for us all -- the Word and Sacraments.  As they say in Tennessee, "'nuff said."


ErnestO said...

On Judgment Day, all will agree the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most important event in all of history.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rev. Peters: I particularly agree with the penultimate sentence in your posting. But I also would like to strongly support the view that there is no salvation outside of the Church. Our Confessions state very simply that the Kingdom of God, which our Lord proclaimed, is the Church. Therefore, to be saved means to be in that Kingdom. It is possible that our merciful Lord saves some in ways that are not known to us. After all, it is He Who saves, and His ways are not our ways. But the result is invariably to bring the person into His Kingdom, as He did the thief on the cross.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Catholic Mission said...

Monday, February 20, 2012
All the popes, Church Councils including Vatican Council II,like Fr.Leonard Feeney held the ‘rigorist interpretation’ of extra ecclesiam nulla salus : invincible ignorance (LG 16) is not an exception to the dogma
With invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire ‘out of the way’ we can realize that the Catholic Church has not retracted the thrice defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

It is “practically” impossible to know any case saved with the baptism of desire or in ivincible ignorance said a priest of the religious community in Rome, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Last week two Dominican priests at the Basilica Santa Maria Sopra Minevra, Rome said that these extra ordinary cases are known only to God.

So if it means if I meet a non Catholic on the street I know that he is oriented to Hell unless he converts into the Catholic Church before death. This is the official teaching of the Catholic Church before and after Vatican Council II.

It means all non Catholics on earth need to convert into the Catholic Church for salvation and it is only God who can judge who is in invincible ignorance and who knew about Jesus and the Church but refused to enter.

It also means that we cannot say ‘only those who know and do not enter are oriented to Hell’ and then assume that most non Catholics 'do not know’.The dogma and other magisterial texts mention no defacto exceptions.

If the exceptions were known on earth then we could say ‘only those who know’. The Rome Vicariate on its website says only those who ‘know’ need to enter the Church to avoid Hell. Since, the Vicariate wrongly assumes that cases of invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are known to us on earth.So these 'known' people do not have to enter the Church according to them.

Fr.Leonard Feeney was correct in saying that the baptism of desire is not an exception to the dogma outside the church no salvation.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257 (The Necessity of Baptism), Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expected us to use the defacto-dejure analysis to avoid clashing with the Principle of Non Contradiction.Liberals wrongly use the defacto-defacto interpretation.

In Responses to Some questions regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (2007) Pope Benedict XVI was saying that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church (subsistist it). Subsistist it is ‘indirectly related’ to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus says a Jesuit priest, on his website.-Lionel Andrades.

Catholic Mission said...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are not exceptions to the dogma.

There can be no explicit, defacto, known cases of persons saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. So it is not an issue with respect to the dogma, unless, it is made an issue and made to appear as explicit and known.

Here are the popes affirming the literal interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

POPE PIUS IX (Allocution December 9th, 1854)

Pope Pius IX held the rigorist interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and also affirmed the possibility of non Catholics being saved in invincible ignorance, cases of which are unknown to us and so are not explicit exceptions to the dogma.

Pope Pius IX was saying: (Defacto):'We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge…’ and (Dejure): ‘we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord...'

Defacto (explicitly) everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation (to avoid Hell) and de jure (in principle) and known only to God, there could be non Catholics saved in invincible ignorance etc, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).


(Defacto) 8. ‘… no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church – Quanto Conficamur, Pope Pius IX 1863

(Dejure) 7. ‘… those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments...-Quanto Conficamur


The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 issued during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII mentions ‘the dogma', the 'infallible statement'.

Here is the ‘dogma’:

(Defacto) '... it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

‘… none of those existing outside the Catholic Church... can have a share in life eternal... unless before death they are joined with Her... No one... can be saved, unless he (Defacto) remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

(Dejure) ‘… when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire…’

These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members,(Defacto) and those who are united to the Church only by desire (Dejure).- Letter of the Holy Office 1949 (Emphasis added).


Catholic Mission said...


(Defacto) ‘The Church…is necessary for salvation… faith and baptism…for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church.’- Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II.

(Dejure) ‘…those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God…’ -Lumen Gentium 16

‘Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church…’- Lumen Gentium 16

If one uses the irrational defacto-defacto analysis of the above magisterial texts instead of the traditional dejure-defacto interpretation it would mean the popes contradicted themselves and that Vatican Council II contradicted an ex cathedra dogma. It would be a criticism of the infallibility of the popes ex cathedra. It would also be contrary to the Principle of Non Contradiction. It is heresy to claim that there are defacto exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

With the defacto-dejure analysis we see that the Magisterial texts affirm the centuries-old interpretation of the Church Fathers, the saints, the popes and Councils, including Vatican Council II. This was the traditional interpretation of Fr. Leonard Feeney of Boston. This is the teaching of Pope John Paul II's Dominus Iesus (20) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,846 and also during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI in Responses to Some questions regarding certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (2007).-Lionel Andrades

Anonymous said...

I don't see anyone making mention of what Peter said:

Should we not listen to what Peter said?!

Acts 4:12 - And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.