Outside the Church, there is no SALVATION!

PurgatoryFranckenIIHow 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.

This affirmation 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 conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.

“Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 846-848

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One Response to Outside the Church, there is no SALVATION!

  1. St. Augustine says:

    “Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.” Pius XII Humani Generis

    To say that this dogma only applies to those who know the Gospel of Christ and His Church is to reduce the dogma to a completely meaningless formula. If this dogma only applies to those in the know, then the Church Fathers and Saints who wrote about the necessity of Church membership for salvation would have added this qualification. This qualification is a novelty of the 19th century and cannot be found in the writings of any doctor of the Church who has written about this dogma.

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