I've ignore this for years, but its come up in an interesting email discussion with a Catholic friend of mine and we would like some answers.
Can anyone help us out here?
"No salvation outside the Catholic Church"
“The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her… 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 they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” -Pope Eugene IV, ex cathedra, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino (1441 AD) “The universal Church of the faithful is one outside of which none is saved.” -Pope Innocent III, ex cathedra, Fourth Lateran Council (1215 AD)
"Yes! There is salvation outside the Church!" Lionel: Vatican Council II does not say that there are known people saved outside the Church and so there are exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, supported by the citations above.An inference has to be made.An Julie like most Catholics has made the wrong inference. I avoid it. So Vatican Council II is in harmony with the strict interpretation of EENS. There is not past and new ecclesiology for me. The 'versus' sign above is meaningless for me. ___________________________________________
DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH LUMEN GENTIUM SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI
ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964
15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (It does not say that we know who they are specifically and that they are saved outside the Church.So the inference must not be made here)
(14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power.(Yes hypothetically. In reality there are no such cases known to us humans. So there is no known exception to the dogma EENS). Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ's disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.
16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*)
(Lionel: Theoretically, speculatively.)
In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator.
(Lionel: Theoretically, speculatively. We must remember that there was an objective mistake made in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 which the Council Fathers wrongly repeated in Vatican Council II.Hypothetical cases were projected as known exceptions to the traditional interpretation of the dogma EENS. So when reading Vatican Council II we must make a mental note and correct the error).
In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*)
(Lionel: Yes hypothetically, with good will this could be said. Just as in the past the popes referred to the baptism of desire(BOD), baptism of blood(BOB) and being saved in invincible ignorance(I.I), as speculatively possibilities said with goodwill. It was obvious that BOD, BOB and I.I could not be known people saved outside the Church in this way.Since if they were saved as such they would only be known to God. We humans cannot say that there were 20 cases of non Catholics saved in 1949 or 30 cases of non Catholics saved outside the Church in invincible ignorance in 1965 etc.)
Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, "Preach the Gospel to every creature",(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention."
Did Vatican II change Dogma to say non-Catholics are saved by other faiths? Like the example of the Muslims mentioned? (Lionel: No. It did not change dogma. Vatican Council II affirms the strict interpretation of the dogma EENS in Ad Gentes 7 which says all need faith and baptism for salvation.While the passages above like NA 2, GS 22, UR 3, LG 16, LG 8 etc refer to hypothetical cases,only. It is mentioned here since the Council Fathers assumed BOD, BOB and I.I were objective exceptions to the Feeneyite interpretation of the dogma EENS. They were not. So this was their irrational reasoning in 1965. The passage which refers to Muslims above does not state that it refers to known people saved outside the Church. This however is the inference of Julie on this blog. __________________________
What happened? The Catechism (below) seems clear that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation- but what sort of belief? The Muslims believe Jesus was just a good prophet? Is that enough for salvation now? Lionel: When it is assumed that hypothetical cases are objective I call it Cushingism. When it is seen clearly that hypothetical cases are just hypothetical and not real people in the present times, I call it Feeneyism. Cushingism is irrational, non traditional and responsible for the hermeneutic of rupture. Cardinal Ratzinger was a Cushingite. The Catechism and Redemptoris Missio and Dominus Iesus were not written withFeeneyite theology. So we have to re-read the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Feeneyism. Similarly when the Catechism of the Council of Trent and Pius X mention BOD, BOB and I.I we must make a mental note that this is a reference to physically invisible people in the present times. _________________________
Is it the "We have the 'hope' all people will be saved" that Bishop Barron is always talking about? (Lionel: Bishop Robert Barron is a Cushingite and so LG 16 (invincible ignorance) refers to known people saved outside the Church. He has said this in one of his books. So since there is salvation outside the Church and it is known for him, the dogma EENS is obsolete for him.Well, if one person can be saved outside the Church in the present times, then there could for or five or many, or most or even all. This is his reasoning.) _______________________
Is it merely the ignorant who never knew about Jesus, but had they known they would have believed? (Lionel: Every one needs to enter the Church as members for salvation. All the natives in North America were lost before the missionaries went there. All the pagans in India were lost before St. Francis of Assisi and the Jesuits went there. Since the Letter of the Holy Office assumes invisible cases of BOD, BOB and I.I are visible exceptions to the dogma EENS as it was known to St. Francis of Assisi it says not every one needs to enter the Church but only those who 'know', those who are not in invincible ignorance. So this error is repeated in Lumen Gentium 14. However we can read LG 14 with Feeneyism. We do not know those who know or do not know about Jesus and the Church in 2018. So for us in reality, LG 14 is irrelevant to EENS.The norm for salvation is faith and baptism (AG 7, LG 14).This is the ordinary means of salvation. LG 14 is not the ordinary means and it refers to hypothetical cases which if they happened would only be known to God in the present times.)
Or... has the Church completely changed centuries of Catholic Dogma? (Lionel: With Cushingism the dogma is changed, with Feeneyism it has not. It depends how you choose to read EENS, Vatican Council II, Catechisms, Nicene Creed etc).
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. 42 "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"]
Part 1, Section 1, Chapter 3, Article 2, SubSection 1
169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation." 55 Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith. (Lionel : The dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441) is in harmony with Vatican Council II (AG 7) and the Council(1965) interpreted with Feeneyism. It is also in harmony with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1257,845,846) interpreted with Feeneyism.In the Nicene Creed we pray 'I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins'. So the baptism of water is given to adults who have Catholic Faith.It includes the faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church, the Sacraments and the Catholic traditional interpretation of the Scriptures).-Lionel Andrades