Skip to comments.Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation??
Posted on 01/02/2002 1:15:38 PM PST by Theresa
There is considerable confusion about the Catholic teaching of salvation. I found this on the internet. It was written by a former Presbyterian who became Catholic as an adult. It should be easy to understand he explains the docterine very well. .........
The phrase (in Latin, "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" or "Outside the Church there is no salvation") is a very ancient one, going back to the very early days of Christianity. It was originally meant to affirm the necessity of baptism and Christian faith at a time when
(a) A number of Christians were being tempted under torture to renounce their faith and deny Christ. (He's talking about the Roman Empire and Nero's persecution of Christians, throwing them to lions and such.) (b) Large groups of Christians were being led into "pseudo-Christian" cult-type groups, which were actually just a front for pagan philosophy and religion. (Such as the cult of Mithras which I think was practiced around the time after Jesus died.)
In response, bishops repeated that, if a person were to be aware of the meaning of Christ and then freely deny him or reject him, they had essentially turned away from God and the salvation he offers.
As Christians, we believe that we are saved only through Jesus. As St. Peter reminds his audience in Acts 4:12: "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved." In most cases, this means that we believe baptism in water, in the name of the Trinity, is the fundamental requirement for salvation.
However, even from the beginning, the great Christian writer and teacher St. Augustine said that the salvation imparted through baptism can also be imparted through other means: specifically, through the "baptism of blood" (a non-Christian who dies defending Christian beliefs or holy places) and "the baptism of desire" (a non-Christian who has expressed a firm desire to become a Christian, and who shows all the signs of living a Christian life, but who dies before baptism). In both of those cases, the Church has always recognized that the Holy Spirit leads people to God in ways which we cannot always explain or document.
God is able to save anyone he chooses. We trust that he often does this is ways that are not obvious to us, within the hearts of individuals who are sincerely seeking the truth. Otherwise, it would imply that all of humanity was excluded from salvation before Christ came, and that much of humanity (which has not had the opportunity to hear the Christian message until recently) was doomed to be eternally separated from God. This would imply a very cruel and elitist God. Our belief as Christians and Catholics is that God desires the salvation of all people even those who are not Christian. How he achieves that, however, is a mystery. But we know that our God is a loving God who would not allow people to suffer on account of an ignorance that they were not responsible for.
The Church teaches that baptism, faith, and a life lived in Christ are necessary for salvation. However, Vatican II also taught that, within every human heart, God places the law of conscience. Everybody has a deep sense of right and wrong which ultimately comes from God, and which will lead people to God if they attempt to follow their conscience faithfully. Because Jesus is God, those who move in the direction of God (even non-Christians) are ultimately moving in the direction of Jesus. And if they are moving in the direction of Jesus and His truth, ultimately they are expressing a desire for the salvation that God gives. The Church teaches that, while it is certainly easier to receive salvation as a Christian, it is not impossible to receive salvation in other religions.
This is a challenging situation: on one hand, we must be respectful of the good things to be found in other faiths, and encourage people to live their faiths with sincerity and love.
On the other hand, this does not mean that all religions are the same. We believe that Christ is the ultimate revealing of God to the world, and that the more we know about his message, the greater the chance that we will accept his offer and be saved. We must therefore continue to preach the message of the Gospel, and encourage interested non-Catholics to examine the claims of our faith, without in any way coercing or intimidating them.
Father Feeney was an American priest who, back in the 1940s, taught that if a person was not a Roman Catholic, they were condemned to hell. This has never been the accepted teaching of Catholicism, and Father Feeney was reprimanded by the Vatican for his mistaken understanding.
Nevertheless, there are groups which continue to hold to this strict interpretation, even after the Pope and bishops have specifically rejected it.
The phrase "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" teaches us that salvation is only through Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. But God is able to save whomever he pleases, whether they are baptized in the Roman Catholic Church or not.
It is important to remember that "the Church" in this phrase does not refer exclusively to the Roman Catholic Church. Salvation is a great gift, and God is a loving Father who wants all of his children to receive it. How he works this out, however, we will only understand in heaven. That is why, whenever we quote "Outside the Church, there is no salvation", we should also remember that "God is in no way bound by the sacraments."
Until then, we continue to proclaim Jesus as Lord (evangelization) and engage in respectful dialogue with followers of other religions, to discover the truths that God had revealed to them to guide them toward salvation, and to share with them the truth as we have discovered it in Christ.
I think so. The verse you quoted about Jesus saying "Call no man your Father", was better understood by bringing up the other verses by Paul and Timothy. Oh well, maybe we have different definition of context. Anyway I think we have exhausted that one. Now on to Mary...
"How does your verse answer the question that I asked about Mary which was that Mary is still alive. Being blessed does not in any way mean she is still alive. Don't get me wrong I believe Mary was a blessed women, I'm sure all christians would agree with that. But Mary was still a sinner. She needed a savior as did the rest of us. She died, and went to heaven, no doubt. But she died.
Mary died. She went to heaven. Now she has eternal life. I think we both agree on that. (I am sorry if my other answers confused you.) But I am so used to thinking of Mary as being in heaven and alive up there that I don't think of her as dead. I don't think of the Apostles as dead either.
Well it is getting late. As to Mary being a sinner, needing a Saviour and so on...I am sure you know Catholics and Protestants have different views on that. But Becky this thread already has 375 posts and if we get into all that it grow to 500. How bout we rest a little bit?
How many time do you gotta think about it? You will, or you won't.
How many times do you think about Jesus giving His all for us? How many times is too many? What a strange statement.
It's in the New Catechism.
Don't think so. Concerning the salvation of Muslims,
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
Concerning the salvation of Jews,
839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways." The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ", "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."
840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
Catechism search can be found here and it will lead you to Catechism text:
See #383 and 384 above. BTW, I don't believe it, the RC does.
And beyond it all, the Catholic Church believes that even those not officially united to the Catholic Faith who are saved are saved by Jesus Christ (whether or not they know of the historical figure of Christ while here on earth).
Thanks for clarifying your position
Based on the Catechismal (sic) statements made in the two referenced posts above, I have one thing to say
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble
No, God has had the same plan of salvation all along, ever since Adam and Eve and their fall into sin. St. Paul writes that Abraham believed in the promised Messiah, "and his faith was credited to him as righteousness." In this sense, Abraham was a Christian because he looked forward to the day Christ would come.
a Samaritan (v.33)--While priests and Levites had distinguished places in Jewish society, Samaritans were despised as half-breeds who had blended the worship of God with pagan practices. This term was used as an insult to describe a Jew who did not pay strict enough attention to religious tradition (Jn 8:48). While the roots of this prejudice reached back to the conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC, this ancient animosity was fresh in Jesus day because some Samaritans had recently defiled the temple in Jerusalem by scattering bones in it. Prayers were offered daily that Samaritans might not be given eternal life.
So what I am saying is, from this parable Jesus does not despise the good works of non-believers or those who don't believe in the just the correct way. He even held one up as an example of charity. Think about it.
Charity yes, Salvation no. The context of this parable is teaching the Jews that their neighbor could be anyone, not just those who share the same belief system, or racial background. The parable was in answer to the question "...who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:v29), and brings the questioner to come to the conclusion that Jesus wanted them to come to "Which ... was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"(v36). And he said, "He that shewed mercy on him."
If this was a prerequisite for Salvation, then why does Jesus say in John 14:6 that "... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."?
Don't confuse charity with Salvation. There are a lot of people who are very charitable, who could care less about Christ. For example there are a lot of practicing Jews who are very charitable, but they flatly deny Christ. In the Christian life charity (love) is one of the outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives (see Galatians 5:22).
Probably because of strident, puffed up Christains who think in the very same heartless and snobby way as the Levites in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
And they are all going straight to hell but you're not. Right?
I never said it was a prerequiste for salvation. This parable has more than just one lesson in it. I cited a parable that showed that Jesus held up the good works of a non-believer as an example of how we should be. It was NOT an ACCIDENT that he chose a Samaritan to make a point that the Samaritan knew who was his neighbor. He was trying to show the crowd that the Levites for all the law and rules they followed and all thier pride and assurance of salvation they were going too far by thinking that they could pass by a person in need because of the Sabbath rules or because he was an ungodly, unclean heathen. And I think it is not incorrect to draw the inference that Jesus was telling them that he has a lot more sympathy for the heathen who does the right thing than the Jew/Christian who does the wrong thing. That heathen is acting a lot like Jesus himself, though he does not know who Jesus is. And if that heathen by his works shows he is following Jesus even though he never had a formal or proper introduction then he is coming to Jesus and to the Father.
I give up. This is too nuanced for some of you.
Possibly, because like the Levites in the story of the Good Samaritan, they are trying to earn their way to heaven instead of simply accepting the fact that they cannot get there on their own merit and accepting the provision that God has made for them in Christ.
Possibly because some "so called "Christian" groups (Catholic & Protestant alike) have made it seem so complicated, rather than preaching the unadulterated gospel, which is simple in it's constructs.
Possibly because the history of the church is stained by it's early efforts to force people to become "Christian", by penalties of death and imprisonment, thus breeding resentment and contempt.
Possibly because the church (both catholic & protestant) has sought to enrich itself off of the gullibility of it's parishoners and congregations, and people see it as another fruitless money grab.
Possibly because there are the self righteous "so called" Christians that say if you don't fit into my mold you don't fit into my church.
I could go on. Obviously, the church is not perfect on Earth. This is my point that we are not perfect, that we can never be perfect by our own efforts. Thus, since perfection is the standard by which he judges us, salvation must originate with God, since we have no natural desire toward him. God's salvation is provided through the vicarious death of Christ and his subsequent resurrection, to shun this or to say that other ways are also valid is to say that Christ died in vain, and that God made a mockery of him.
You're right, it IS too nuanced for some to understand, although it's crystal clear to some others...;-D
If you base the presumption of salvation on scripture, the only way to be saved is to go through Christ.
If you base it on some misguided liberal imterpretation in order to be "fair" to everybody, then everybody will. Christ therefore died in vain and was the biggest fool in history.
Scripture does not preach a "Universal" salvation, but rather a salvation of the elect, chosen by God not by men.
Please do not quote out of context.
Please re-post the complete scripture within it's context.
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