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On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church [Ecumenical]
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism ^ | 15 June 1998 | Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.)

Posted on 05/16/2008 4:46:28 PM PDT by annalex

On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Monday, January 23, 2006

[originally uploaded on 15 June 1998; from The Catholic Catechism, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1975, 234-236]

*****

The Catholic Church makes claims about herself that are easily misunderstood, especially in the modern atmosphere of pluralism and ecumenism. Among these claims, the most fundamental is the doctrine of the Church's necessity for salvation. Not unlike other dogmas of the faith, this one has seen some remarkable development, and the dogmatic progress has been especially marked since the definition of papal infallibility. It seems that as the Church further clarified her own identity as regards the papacy and collegiality, she also deepened (without changing) her self-understanding as the mediator of salvation to mankind.

The New Testament makes it plain that Christ founded the Church to be a society for the salvation of all men. The ancient Fathers held the unanimous conviction that salvation cannot be achieved outside the Church. St. Ireneus taught that "where the Church is, there is the spirit of God, and where the spirit of God is, there is the Church and all grace." (35 ) Origen simply declared, "Outside the Church nobody will be saved." (36) And the favorite simile in patristic literature for the Church's absolute need to be saved is the Ark of Noah, outside of which there is no prospect of deliverance from the deluge of sin.

Alongside this strong insistence on the need for belonging to the Church was another Tradition from the earliest times that is less well known. It was understandable that the early Christian writers would emphasize what is part of revelation, that Christ founded "the Catholic Church which alone retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth; this, the home of faith; this, the temple of God." (37) They were combating defections from Catholic unity and refuting the heresies that divided Christianity in the Mediterranean world and paved the way for the rise of Islam in the seventh century.

But they also had the biblical narrative of the "pagan" Cornelius who, the Acts tell us, was "an upright and God-fearing man" even before baptism. Gradually, therefore, as it became clear that there were "God-fearing" people outside the Christian fold, and that some were deprived of their Catholic heritage without fault on their part, the parallel Tradition arose of considering such people open to salvation, although they were not professed Catholics or even necessarily baptized. Ambrose and Augustine paved the way for making these distinctions. By the twelfth century, it was widely assumed that a person can be saved if some "invincible obstacle stands in the way" of his baptism and entrance into the Church.

Thomas Aquinas restated the constant teaching about the general necessity of the Church. But he also conceded that a person may be saved extra sacramentally by a baptism of desire and therefore without actual membership by reason of his at least implicit desire to belong to the Church.

It would be inaccurate, however, to look upon these two traditions as in opposition. They represent the single mystery of the Church as universal sacrament of salvation, which the Church's magisterium has explained in such a way that what seems to be a contradiction is really a paradox.

Since the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 defined that "The universal Church of the faithful is one, outside of which no one is saved," there have been two solemn definitions of the same doctrine, by Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 and at the Council of Florence in 1442. At the Council of Trent, which is commonly looked upon as a symbol of Catholic unwillingness to compromise, the now familiar dogma of baptism by desire was solemnly defined; and it was this Tridentine teaching that supported all subsequent recognition that actual membership in the Church is not required to reach one's eternal destiny.

At the Second Council of the Vatican, both streams of doctrine were delicately welded into a composite whole:

[The Council] relies on sacred Scripture and Tradition in teaching that this pilgrim Church is necessary for salvation. Christ alone is the mediator of salvation and the way of salvation. He presents himself to us in his Body, which is the Church. When he insisted expressly on the necessity for faith and baptism, he asserted at the same time the necessity for the Church which men would enter by the gateway of baptism. This means that it would be impossible for men to be saved if they refused to enter or to remain in the Catholic Church, unless they were unaware that her foundation by God through Jesus Christ made it a necessity.

Full incorporation in the society of the Church belongs to those who are in possession of the Holy Spirit, accept its order in its entirety with all its established means of salvation, and are united to Christ, who rules it by the agency of the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops, within its visible framework. The bonds of their union are the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government and fellowship. Despite incorporation in the Church, that man is not saved who fails to persevere in charity, and remains in the bosom of the Church "with his body" but not "with his heart." All the Church's children must be sure to ascribe their distinguished rank to Christ's special grace and not to their own deserts. If they fail to correspond with that grace in thought, word and deed, so far from being saved, their judgment will be the more severe. (38)
Using this conciliar doctrine as guide, we see that the Church is (in its way) as indispensable as Christ for man's salvation. The reason is that, since his ascension and the descent of the Spirit, the Church is Christ active on earth performing the salvific work for which he was sent into the world by the Father. Accordingly, the Church is necessary not only as a matter of precept but as a divinely instituted means, provided a person knows that he must use this means to be saved.

Actual incorporation into the Church takes place by baptism of water. Those who are not actually baptized may, nevertheless, be saved through the Church according to their faith in whatever historical revelation they come to know and in their adequate cooperation with the internal graces of the Spirit they receive.

On both counts, however, whoever is saved owes his salvation to the one Catholic Church founded by Christ. It is to this Church alone that Christ entrusted the truths of revelation which have by now, though often dimly, penetrated all the cultures of mankind. It is this Church alone that communicates the merits won for the whole world on the cross.

Those who are privileged to share in the fullness of the Church's riches of revealed wisdom, sacramental power, divinely assured guidance, and blessings of community life cannot pride themselves on having deserved what they possess. Rather they should humbly recognize their chosen position and gratefully live up to the covenant to which they have been called. Otherwise what began as a sign of God's special favor on earth may end as a witness to his justice in the life to come.

*****

[Footnotes]

35. St. Ireneus, Adversus Haereses, II, 24, 1.

36. Origen, Homilia In Jesu Nave, 3, 5.

37. Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones, IV, 30, 1.

38. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, II, 14.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism
KEYWORDS: catholic; ecumenism
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Let's see how the Ecumenical format works. Per Religion Moderator:

Ecumenic threads in this trial run are closed to all “anti” arguments. Posters who try to tear down other’s beliefs – or use subterfuge to accomplish the same goal – are the disrupters on ecumenic threads and will be booted from the thread and/or suspended.

1 posted on 05/16/2008 4:46:29 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; HarleyD; Iscool; Jaded; ...
As promised, this is the Catholic Theology for non-Catholics series. I am reusing my Easter Celebration ping list. However, it will be treated as a separate list in the future.

If you want to be on the Catholic Theology for non-Catholics list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

I have not decided whether to use the Open format or the Ecumencial format. Let me know what you think works best. I invite all opinions and encourage clear posts on the topic.

2 posted on 05/16/2008 4:53:26 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

I may be pointing out the obvious, but don’t others think the good Jesuit Father needs to change his last name?


3 posted on 05/16/2008 4:54:42 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: annalex

Just passing through with a bttt for dear Father Hardon.


5 posted on 05/16/2008 5:43:06 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love my parents.)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: e.Shubee
torture and death

Hell is an unpleasant place too, no?

7 posted on 05/16/2008 5:49:21 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Tax-chick
dear Father Hardon.

Unfortunate name for a Catholic Priest!

9 posted on 05/16/2008 5:51:16 PM PDT by humblegunner (Che is Gay)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: e.Shubee
This is a very good collection. Let me reproduce it directly.

The belief that all should submit to the Roman Pontiff


Pope Boniface VIII:

"We declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302).

Pope John XXIII:

"And you, venerable brothers, will not fail, in your teaching, to recall to the flocks entrusted to you these grand and salutary truths; we cannot render to God the devotion that is due Him and that is pleasing to Him nor is it possible to be united to Him except through Jesus Christ; and it is not possible to be united to Jesus Christ except in the Church and through the Church, His Mystical Body, and, finally, it is not possible to belong to the Church except through the bishops, successors of the Apostles, united to the Supreme Pastor, the successor of Peter." (Pope John XXIII, Address on the creation of three new dioceses on Taiwan, L'Osseratore Romano, June 29, 1961).

"The Saviour Himself is the door of the sheepfold: 'I am the door of the sheep.' Into this fold of Jesus Christ, no man may enter unless he be led by the Sovereign Pontiff; and only if they be united to him can men be saved, for the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ and His personal representative on earth." (Pope John XXIII in his homily to the Bishops and faithful assisting at his coronation on November 4, 1958).

Pope Pius XII:

"O Mary Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners! We beseech thee to look with pitying eyes on poor heretics and schismatics. Do thou, who art the Seat of Wisdom, enlighten the minds wretchedly enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly recognize the Holy, Catholic, Roman Church to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither sanctity nor salvation can be found. Call them to the unity of the one fold, granting them the grace to believe every truth of our holy faith and to submit themselves to the Supreme Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, that, thus being united with us by the sweet chains of charity, there may soon be but one fold under one and the same Shepherd; and may we all thus, O Glorious Virgin, exultantly sing forever: ‘Rejoice, O Virgin Mary! Thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world!’ Amen." (Pope Pius XII, The Raccolta, Benzinger Brothers, Boston, 1957, No. 626).

Leo XIII:

"This is our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church; the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate." (Pope Leo XIII, Allocution for the 25th anniversary of his election, February 20, 1903; Papal Teachings: The Church, Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, St. Paul Editions, Boston, 1962, par. 653).

Pope Innocent III:

"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

Pope Eugene IV:

"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.)

Pope Pius XI:

"Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical, Mortalium animos, January 6, 1928, The Papal Encyclicals, Claudia Carlen, I.H.M., McGrath Publishing Co., 1981, pp. 317, 318).

 


11 posted on 05/16/2008 5:54:57 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: the invisib1e hand

“Ecumenical” are threads where you are free to express any belief, but not to attack beliefs of others. I am not convinced it is a good idea, but am giving it a try. I explained that in the trailer to the main article.


12 posted on 05/16/2008 5:56:53 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: humblegunner

That never occurred to me, and I will never think of it again.


13 posted on 05/16/2008 6:23:22 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love my parents.)
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To: annalex

Alex, in light of the snips from comments by various modern popes, is there truly any wonder that there is such little enthusiasm among the Orthodox for reunion with Rome?


14 posted on 05/16/2008 6:26:29 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: annalex
Peter proclaims the Good News...

Acts 2: 22-41


Seems pretty straight forward. Nothing about they keys, nothing about an earthly throne for Peter, nothing about a succession after Peter. The Good News in the Bible never includes the Catholic Church nor the position of Pope. If it was true, I'd think it would qualify.

Not sure if that's up to the ecumenical standards. Thought I'd give it a try.

15 posted on 05/16/2008 6:38:09 PM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: Tao Yin

Actually you need to look again. Jesus said to peter “you are the rock upon which I will build my church” I for one don’t beleive that he made a mistake.


16 posted on 05/16/2008 7:23:53 PM PDT by cdpap
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To: cdpap

But no where does the Bible state that Jesus intended the Church to evolve into a hierarchical and institutional body.


17 posted on 05/16/2008 8:17:47 PM PDT by quadrant
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To: annalex

Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Joh 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in, and will go out, and will find pasture.

I do not need the roman catholic church to be saved.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.


18 posted on 05/16/2008 8:25:29 PM PDT by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: e.Shubee; the invisib1e hand
This thread is posted in the Religion Forum.

If you do not wish to see RF posts, do NOT use the "everything" option on the browse. Instead, browse by "News/Activism." When you log back in, the browse will reset to "everything" - so be sure to set it back to "News/Activism."

Also, this is an "ecumenic" thread. That means the poster must not argue against any other beliefs. He can only argue for what he believes – or ask questions.

Your posts were not "ecumenic" and therefore they were pulled. If you cannot or will not comply with the guidelines do not post on the Religion Forum.

19 posted on 05/16/2008 8:37:56 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: cdpap
Actually you need to look again. Jesus said to peter “you are the rock upon which I will build my church” I for one don’t beleive that he made a mistake.

Correct on God/mistakes...But you are misquoting God...You are adding to the words of God...

20 posted on 05/16/2008 8:45:01 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Kolokotronis; BizarroNo1
I recently made a rather long post on this subject. People respond to the form rather than to the substance, I think. If I were looking for a church to join, I would only consider among those who regard themselves as the only path to salvation. Why bother with the rest? If they don't believe in themselves, I sure won't.

[Let us] talk about how Catholic ecclesiology relates to Catholic soteriology. I will make a few comments in that direction, and if it indeed interests you, we can take it up further. Also, you asked what I think, but both you and I should be primarily interested in what the Church teaches. I try to reflect the Church's teaching in what I post. Now, I may misunderstand it, and then someone with greater knowledge should correct me, but I try to avoid personal speculation even if I have some such.

You should know that two principles overrule any of the discussion: the sovereign ability of Christ to have extraordinary mercy on anyone based on the condition of the man's heart; and our inability, and direct commandment not to attempt, to judge souls. All we can do is see how the revealed Word of God applies and reach conclusions based on outward signs and behaviors. The operative word for that process is "ordinary". For example, we say that baptism is necessary for salvation "ordinarily": that is, we have revealed doctrine according to which baptism is necessary. What happens in exceptional circumstance when baptism is desired but unavailable is not ordinary process of salvation, and all we can do is hope and speculate.

I should also probably mention that we do not use the word "saved" (or "justified") in the same sense as most Protestants (who routinely talk about "being saved" as an event in their life). We are saved, or not, at the end of our lives. Baptism puts us on the road to salvation, and our whole life we work toward it under grace. So, when a Protestant hears that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church he thinks that he has just been damned to hell, while in fact he has been told that we don't know if he will be saved or not when his hour of death and judgement comes. Conversely, when we say that sacramental absolution and the Eucharist save, we mean that one who received these sacraments has the certainty to be saved if he commits no future sins till he dies.

With this said... There is but one visible Church into which all Christians are baptized. That is the Catholic Church: everyone: a Protestant, an Orthodox, a Roman Catohlic, so long as he is validly baptized, is at that point Catholic and he is justified at that point.

"Validly" here means by water, in the name of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, and with serious intention of Christian sponsors. If the baptisee is of adult sound mind, he should repent of his sins. The method -- sprinkling, immersion, etc. is not important, and the age of the baptisee is not important. Christ -- not the baptisee and his state of mind -- is Who makes baptism work.

If one is baptized and immediately afterwards dies, he goes to heaven. "Baptism now saves you", teaches St. Peter. Of course, in most cases he goes on living at makes various decisions. He might commit personal sin. If he is privileged to receive Catholic or Orthodox sacraments he should go to confession and strengthen himself with the Holy Eucharist and penitential work, and so, gradually, defeat sin, stay on the road to sanctity and die justified, "making his calling and election secure" (2 Peter 1:2-11).

But what if he is not Catholic or Orthodox (simplifying things let's call him Protestant)? Then his ability to repair sin is gravely limited: he can repent of it but the supernatural cleansing of a sacramental absolution is not there, and the supernatural strengthening of the Eucharist is not there either. At this point he relies on the mercy of Christ; his eventual salvation is in peril. The road to salvation on which his Baptism placed him is barely stepped upon. Further, typically he is separated from the Catholic Church not only by instances of personal sin, but also habitually -- he never considered himself Catholic, his faith does not include the faith in the Chruch or her sacraments. His Catholic baptism wears off quickly and he is no longer in the Church.

Now, he still can do much to advance his sanctification: he can follow the strong moral code his pastor will teach him, and he can get sanctified through the study and love of the Holy Scripture. He can do much with these extraordinary means of salvation, and put us lukewarm Catholics to shame with his love for the Lord and heroic virtues. One thing, however is necessary for us to say that his salvation is not far: a desire to find and unite with the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church that Christ set up on the rock of Peter (Mt. 16:16-19).

What of his culpability for leaving the Church? It is only there if it was an act of informed will. If someone grew up in a Protestant environment, and his Protestant culture lead him to his Protestant community of faith, he is not culpable. If on the other hand he spent his time insulting the Church or her saints, then such Protestant condemns himself and destroys the kernel of truth that his branch of Christianity taught him.

What of a non-baptized? Well, the same principle applies: did he follow the Divine Law to the extent known to him? Did he wish to know God by name? Did he wish to unite with what he does not know enough to call Catholic Church? On the other hand, did he reject Christ? Fight a war on His Church? Hate Christians for their faith?

As you can see, this doctrine is at the same time hopeful and Catholic-centered. The salvation comes from nowhere but the Catholic Church, yet paths people take to that Church may be very circuitious.

Source


21 posted on 05/16/2008 8:56:48 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: quadrant
hierarchical and institutional body

Re-read 1 Corinthians.

22 posted on 05/16/2008 8:57:50 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Delta 21

If you go by parts of Christ’s teaching, you will find many denominations that offer them. If you are serious about what Christ taught in its entirety, you will be lead to the Catholic Church.


23 posted on 05/16/2008 8:59:42 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Ok, not challenging anyones beliefs here, but I do have a question.

“The New Testament makes it plain that Christ founded the Church to be a society for the salvation of all men.”

Is this what Jesus mean’t by “I am the way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through me”??


24 posted on 05/16/2008 9:02:13 PM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Grunthor
Is this what Jesus mean’t by “I am the way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through me”??

Yes, but also

18... thou art Peter; upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Mt 16)

if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. (Mt 18:17)

to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things: 10 That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church (Eph 3:10)

21 And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind in evil works: 22 Yet now he hath reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unspotted, and blameless before him: 23 If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister. 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given me towards you, that I may fulfill the word of God: 26 The mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to his saints, 27 To whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory. 28 Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Col 1)

supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: 2 For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: 6 Who gave himself a redemption for all (1 Tm 2)

The Church is the divine institution, supreme arbiter and sole instrument of salvation for all men.

25 posted on 05/16/2008 9:40:32 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

“18... thou art Peter; upon this rock I will build my church”

Yes but nowhere do I read that one must seek their salvation through the Catholic church, rather salvation can only be reached through the sacrifice of Jesus.

At least that’s how I understand it.


26 posted on 05/16/2008 10:40:40 PM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: annalex

“The Church is the divine institution, supreme arbiter and sole instrument of salvation for all men.”

And to the rest of us that read the Bible, Jesus Christ alone is all of those things. I feel like we are having two separate conversations here. Just answer me this and I’ll shut up, does one pray to Jesus for salvation or to “the church?”


27 posted on 05/16/2008 10:42:41 PM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Grunthor

Salvation is only possible because of the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross. It would be absurd to pray to the Church, she is but an instrument of Christ much like his body was an instument as it was flogged and crucified. It is possible and useful to pray to the saints of the Church, of course, so long as they are understood as relaying the prayer to Christ and as glorified through Christ.

I do pray FOR the Church, however, every day. It is a part of my rosary routine.


28 posted on 05/16/2008 10:54:25 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

“Salvation is only possible because of the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross.”

Glad to see you post that brother, have a nice night.

Grunthor.


29 posted on 05/16/2008 11:01:46 PM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Religion Moderator; e.Shubee; the invisib1e hand

I gave it some thought and also received some private feedback, and I think that this topic is badly suited for an “ecumenical” thread.

My original thought was that others could offer their views on what the Church of Christ is and what is the fate of those outside of it. However, the Catholic ecclesiology in itself deserves a full focus because so many people misunderstand it, and it is a complex and seemingly contradictory teaching. Such focus it cannot receive unless it is also open to criticism.

Please remove the [Ecumenical] designation. I am pinging those whose posts violated the format and as soon as the designation is removed, I invite them to re-join the discussion. As always, I urge the posters to stick to the topic on hand.


30 posted on 05/16/2008 11:08:04 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

This thread is now “open.”


31 posted on 05/17/2008 5:49:39 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: annalex
"Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical, Mortalium animos, January 6, 1928, The Papal Encyclicals, Claudia Carlen, I.H.M., McGrath Publishing Co., 1981, pp. 317, 318).

My oh My!!! That probably means that a whole lot of people who think and profess themselves to be "Catholic" are probably not ---

32 posted on 05/17/2008 8:05:16 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: Religion Moderator

Thank you.


33 posted on 05/17/2008 9:05:27 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Uncle Chip; Kolokotronis
a whole lot of people who think and profess themselves to be "Catholic" are probably not

Absolutely, yes. And on the other hand, millions of the Orthodox who obey their bishops probably are very good Catholics. Do not forget, however, that the Church cannot judge the internal disposition but only outward acts, so she goes by confessed belief rather than belief as it is internally held.

34 posted on 05/17/2008 9:10:45 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Are you [or this declaration] saying then that a person could be a baptized, confirmed, sacrament-receiving member of the laity, but if he [she] does not accept all of the Church’s official teachings, then that person is actually a non-Catholic in the eyes of RCC???


35 posted on 05/17/2008 9:40:19 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: Tao Yin; annalex
Acts 2: 22 "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.

Peter following his mission statement.

Speaking only to the Jews in Jerusalem.

b'SHEM Yah'shua
36 posted on 05/17/2008 9:52:22 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: Uncle Chip

Yes, well-informed rejection of any dogma of the faith excommunicates. He may have an excuse if he is not well informed of the doctrine, or struggles to accept it, or if it is a lapse into sin and he confesses it, but not if the doctrine says one thing and he does another.

Classic examples are politicians promoting abortion “rights” or couples cohabitating or contracepting.


37 posted on 05/17/2008 10:36:45 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Using this conciliar doctrine as guide, we see that the Church is (in its way) as indispensable as Christ for man's salvation.

On both counts, however, whoever is saved owes his salvation to the one Catholic Church founded by Christ.

Please allow me a moment to ponder the notion of waxing apoplectic... These two statements are the most blasphemous rot I have ever seen put forth by any church of any kind.

Nothing, and no one is 'as indispensable' as Christ in the salvation of men. The only credit the church can take is that of a facilitator, and that, only in humble service to our Lord. All glory, and all credit goes to Him.

'Whoever is saved' owes his salvation to Christ, and only to Christ.

38 posted on 05/17/2008 11:37:49 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Uncle Chip

I should perhaps clarify that this implicit excommunication of a heretic only happens when it is a dogmatic teaching on faith and morals beings not adhered to. Otherwise, it is simply an opinion, perhaps at odds with the prevailing opinion of popes and bishops, but still permissible.

To tell dogmatic teaching from ordinary teaching is not always straightforward. One current example is the teaching against abortion — always, dogmatically, intrinsically wrong — and participation in wars, usually left to the individual’s conscience and circumstance. Much in the Catholic Church’s teaching on social issues of poverty, politics, wars in general, war in Iraq, etc., is not dogmatic. Thge faithful should not ignore these, but they are free to form their own mind about them without falling into heresy.


39 posted on 05/17/2008 1:46:39 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: roamer_1

I think, when St. Peter responded to the question of what to do to be saved with “Repent and be baptized all of you”, a lot of people felt apoplectic.

Were St. Peter an Evangelical Protestant, his response would have been “accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior”... right?


40 posted on 05/17/2008 1:50:45 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
St. Peter responded to the question of what to do to be saved with “Repent and be baptized all of you”

Even so, the baptism is mere facility. The church saves no one.

Were St. Peter an Evangelical Protestant, his response would have been “accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior”... right?

*shrugs* It was good enough for the criminal on the cross. It is the acceptance of Christ that is paramount, after all. One may be saved without any sacrament, without any catechism, with nothing but the bare words of acceptance. All is covered by the Blood.

It is not that I deny the sacraments, or any normal purpose of the church, but neither does it's role ascend to a position to credit for itself those things that certainly belong to Christ, one of those being the sole power of salvation.

41 posted on 05/17/2008 2:28:48 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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To: cdpap; Tao Yin
Actually you need to look again. Jesus said to peter “you are the rock upon which I will build my church” I for one don’t beleive that he made a mistake.

I believe it is you who is mistaken. I am aware of no Bible translation which even comes close to your version. Care to enlighten me?
42 posted on 05/17/2008 3:13:50 PM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: annalex; Grunthor
18... thou art Peter; upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I doubt Jesus was calling Peter a "this", "my church" or an "it".

Maybe the Catechism Of The Catholic Church can shed some light of the official teaching:

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head." This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

-or-

424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

-or-

552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Our Lord then declared to him: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." Christ, the "living Stone", thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.


43 posted on 05/17/2008 3:42:24 PM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: roamer_1
the baptism is mere facility

Not so: Peter in Acts 2:38 sure did not sound as checking off mere facilities, and indeed, according to his Catholic opinion, "baptism ... now saveth you also" (1 Peter 3:21).

It was good enough for the criminal on the cross

Why, the Good Thief did everything the Catohlic Church requires for salvation: he repented of his sin, did good works defending an innocent from abuse and God from blasphemy, and asked Christ for mercy. Could he get off the cross into a baptismal font he surely would have. Of course, the Church was not visibly in existence till the Pentecost, but in essence the Good Thief's salvation would have been the same under the graces given the Church: he wouldn't have been asked a thing different, had there been a priest ministering to him at that time.

You realize, do you not, that by providing means of salvation the Church takes nothing away from Christ and everything from Christ?

44 posted on 05/17/2008 4:59:26 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: OLD REGGIE; Grunthor

Is there a question for me in this?


45 posted on 05/17/2008 5:01:34 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: roamer_1; annalex
I would say, as a Catholic, that even I have trouble believing the Church saved me. It didn't; Jesus did.

Once saved, I became part of the Church. I obey her teachings, as I know they come through Jesus. I would definitely struggle, however, through any teaching, doctrine or dogma that was opposed to what Jesus instructed.

Suppose one says that they were saved in Jesus, but the vehicle that led them to Him was the Bible. This would certainly be in line with Evangelical believe, no?. So I could say, as a Catholic, that I was saved in Jesus, but the vehicle that brought me to Him was the Church and the Bible that the Church teaches.

I cannot subscribe to the idea that the Church has any value or power EXCEPT through Christ.

46 posted on 05/17/2008 5:19:31 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: annalex
I do pray FOR the Church, however, every day.

That's good!

47 posted on 05/17/2008 5:32:30 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: Alas Babylon!

Amen, Alas Babylon.


48 posted on 05/17/2008 5:34:42 PM PDT by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: annalex
Not so: Peter in Acts 2:38 sure did not sound as checking off mere facilities, and indeed, according to his Catholic opinion, "baptism ... now saveth you also" (1 Peter 3:21).

Yet it is not the act which saves, nor the priest, nor the water, but the contrite heart within the applicant, lifted before the throne of God. It is the circumcision of the heart which provides the salvation.

You realize, do you not, that by providing means of salvation the Church takes nothing away from Christ and everything from Christ?

I would most certainly disagree if that church supposes to put itself on a par with it's Master. It's purpose is to serve its Master. How can the servant be equal to the Master?

49 posted on 05/17/2008 6:19:53 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Alas Babylon!; annalex
I would say, as a Catholic, that even I have trouble believing the Church saved me. It didn't; Jesus did.

AMEN, and that is the proper view.

Suppose one says that they were saved in Jesus, but the vehicle that led them to Him was the Bible. This would certainly be in line with Evangelical believe, no?. So I could say, as a Catholic, that I was saved in Jesus, but the vehicle that brought me to Him was the Church and the Bible that the Church teaches.

Certainly much better, and that, I hope, would be the prevailing view.

I cannot subscribe to the idea that the Church has any value or power EXCEPT through Christ.

We are in agreement. Thank you for your clarifying post.

50 posted on 05/17/2008 6:37:40 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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