From the Enclopedia Brittanica : Christianity
During the 20th century most Christians adopted one of three main points of view. According to exclusivism, there is salvation only for Christians. This theology underlay much of the history outlined above, expressed both in the Roman Catholic dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (“outside the church no salvation”) and in the assumption of the 18th- and 19th-century Protestant missionary movements.
Lionel: John Hicks a liberal theologian who rejects the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the exclusivist ecclesiology.He has written this report for the Encyclopedia Brittannica.
The exclusivist outlook was eroded within advanced Roman Catholic thinking in the decades leading up to the Second Vatican Council and was finally abandoned in the council’s pronouncements.
Lionel: It was abandoned by Hicks and other liberal theologians. It was also abandoned by the contemporary magisterium.They did this by inferring that hypothetical cases were explicit in the present times and so these allegedly explicit cases, became exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.It is only in this way that Vatican Council II abandoned the exclusivist outlook.
For me hypothetical cases cannot be objectively seen in 2016. I cannot meet someone saved with the baptism of desire on the streets of Rome. Being saved in invincible ignorance and allegedly without the baptism of water, refers also to a hypothetical case.So for me LG 16, LG 8, UR 3, NA 2 etc refers to 'zero cases' in 2016. They are not 'practical exceptions' to the exclusivism of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.This is not so for Hick and the editors of this encyclopedia.There are explicit cases of being saved in invincible ignorance(LG 16) for example, for them.
So Vatican Council II for me is exclusivist. It is not so for Una Voce and the SSPX since they also assume that hypothetical cases mentioned in Vatican Council II are explicit in 2016. So they interpret the Council as a break with old pre-Council of Trent ecclesiology.
Pope John Paul II’s outreach to the world’s religions may be seen as the practical application of the decisions of Vatican II. Within Protestant Christianity there is no comparable central authority, but most Protestant theologians, except within the extreme fundamentalist constituencies, have also moved away from the exclusivist position.
Lionel: The contemporary Catholic magisterium has been influenced by the political Left. It places restrictions on holding the exclusivist ecclesiology.Even Catholic traditionalists like John Lamont. Joseph Shaw and Thomas Pink will not interpret Vatican Council II rationally, that is hypothetical cases not being explicit in 2016. Since there will be political and social repercussion which will affect their careers as professors.The same pressure is being placed on the other Christian communities, by those from the Left working for a common one world religion, in which ecumenism has an important role.
Since the mid-20th century many Roman Catholics and Protestants have moved toward inclusivism—the view that, although salvation is by definition Christian, brought about by the atoning work of Christ, it is nevertheless available in principle to all human beings, whether Christian or not.
Lionel: This is a heretical position.Since the Catholic Church teaches that salvation is open to all but to receive this salvation all need to be members of the Catholic Church(Dominus Iesus 20).
The Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner expressed the inclusivist view by saying that good and devout people of other faiths may, even without knowing it, be regarded as “anonymous Christians.”
Lionel: However we would not know of any Anonymous Christian saved in another religion and the dogma says outside the Church there is no salvation.
Karl Rahner, Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Kung accepted the second part of the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.It mistook the baptism of desire etc as not being hypothetical.It assumed the reference was to actually known,specific cases.So it was concluded that these hypothetical persons in Heaven, theoretical cases, were objective exceptions to traditional exclusivism.This is irrational.It contradicts the Principle of Non Contradiction.It is upon this new theology, based on an irrationality, that Rahner and Ratzinger taught that there is salvation outside the Church.So there is the known Anonymous Christian who is saved without having to enter the Church.
We can accept theoretically,as speculation, that a person can be saved in another religion through Jesus and the Church( as Cardinal Ratzinger expressed the Anonymous Christian theory) but reason tells us that this case is invisible for us and so irrelevant to traditional ecclesiology.. So it is not relevant or an exception to the exclusivism of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
Others have expressed in different ways the thought that non-Christians also are included within the universal scope of Christ’s salvific work and their religions fulfilled in Christianity.
Lionel: This was rejected by Pope John Paul II in Dominus Iesus and the Congregation for the Doctrne of the Faith's Notification on Fr Jacques Dupuis S.J (2001).
The third position, which appealed to a number of individual theologians, was pluralism. According to this view, the great world faiths, including Christianity, are valid spheres of a salvation that takes characteristically different forms within each—though consisting in each case in the transformation of human existence from self-centredness to a new orientation toward the Divine Reality. The other religions are not secondary contexts of Christian redemption but independent paths of salvation. The pluralist position is controversial in Christian theology, because it affects the ways in which the doctrines of the person of Christ, atonement, and the Trinity are formulated.
Lionel: It has been rejected in Dominus Iesus and the CDF Notification on Dupuis.
Christians engage in dialogue with the other major religions through the World Council of Churches’ organization on Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies and through the Vatican’s Secretariat for Non-Christians, as well as through a variety of extra-ecclesiastical associations, such as the World Congress of Faiths. There is a National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, and practically every state has its own similar state-level organization. A multitude of interreligious encounters have taken place throughout the world, many initiated by Christian and others by non-Christian individuals and groups.-
Lionel: Many of them are supported or financed by organisations which oppose the Catholic Church's traditional teachings on morals and faith.One of them is the Encyclopedia Brittanica.