Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Lumen Gentium 14 says all need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell similar to St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John Paul II (Dominus Iesus 20, CCC 845,846, Ecclesia di Eucaristia) and the Jesuit saints like St. Francis Xavier.

Today morning I was sitting before the altar of St. Robert Bellarmine where his body lies draped in red vestments. I was thinking of how Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium 14, Ad Gentes 7) affirms the strict interpretation of the ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. LG 14 is not contradicted by Lumen Gentium 15 and 16 as some Catholics believe. We do not know any case in particular of implicit salvation (LG 15 and 16). It is known only to God and so does not contradict LG 14 which indicates that every one on earth needs Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation. Every one needs to be a formal,explicit, visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.

Since implicit salvation (good conscience, invincible ignorance, baptism of  desire etc) is not the ordinary way of salvation, it is not in conflict with LG 14.

LG 14 is in accord with the teachings of St. Robert Bellarmine, the Church Councils, and popes and the other Jesuits saints like Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, on the subject of the dogma outside the church there is no salvation.

Here is Lumen Gentium 14.
Photo of St.Robert Bellarmine's tomb from the website of Parish Family of St.Robert Bellarmine
This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church.-Lumen Gentium 14 (Emphasis added)
 LG 14  says that the Church is needed for salvation. Salvation means to go to Heaven and to avoid  Hell. The Church is needed to avoid Hell. This is the St. Robert Bellarmine teaching based on the Bible and Sacred Tradition which liberals hate.

Then Lumen Gentium 14 also says all need ‘faith and baptism’ to enter the Church ‘as through a door’. This is Jesus’ explicit teaching.

We Catholics can only administer the baptism of water to adults with Catholic Faith. We cannot administer the baptism of desire or blood which is a grace from God. We also do not know anyone in particular who has been saved with the baptism of desire or blood or a good conscience in the general population today. If the Church declares someone a saint or martyr we accept it. However in general we do not know any person  saved in this category. So  there may not even be a single such case in the present times.

However in principle we accept the possibility of implicit salvation i.e. those saved with the baptism of desire etc. De facto we know every one with no exception needs Catholic Faith and the baptism of water to avoid Hell (LG 14).

LG 14 is affirming the traditional teaching that Catholic Faith and the baptism of water is the ordinary way of salvation for all people, in general, to avoid Hell.
-Lionel Andrades

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