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Author Topic: A Question to Roman Catholics Regarding the Salvation of Non-Christians  (Read 1419 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 06, 2011, 11:57:10 PM »

I just have a question to Roman Catholics regarding the salvation of Non-Christians. I have watched many "traditional Catholic" video clips which talk about how numerous Popes declared infallibly that those outside the Roman Catholic Church (and thus, non-Christians) cannot be saved. Yet, I hear many modern Catholic clergymen say that non-Christians and other non-Catholics can be saved. How do modern Catholics reconcile this view of salvation with the previous infallible declarations of past Popes? I am not trying to argue or to start a debate, I am genuinely curious. Growing up Oriental Orthodox I was taught that salvation was not possible without Christ.
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 02:11:46 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 02:30:33 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

He makes it quite clear that heretics, schismatics, pagans, Jews, et al cannot obtain salvation. I understand how you might find the video offensive, I have nothing against Pope Benedict XVI, but, the Popes quoted in the video stirred my curiosity.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 02:54:56 AM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 06:54:26 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

No, he said:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441.)
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 07:09:49 AM »

Peter,  unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives?  Does that mean everyone has to come into full communion, or look out for blazing furnace downstairs?  I heard of one Protestant church who had on their sign recently.. "So when the day comes, which side are you gonna be on?  Smoking or non-smoking?"  laugh

  I'm glad you posted that quote in a better context though, I really hate it when people just take one little aspect out of a whole paragraph -- making that individual say whatever they wanted him or her to say.  Even if in this case, it's the Holy Father Pope Eugene IV. 
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 07:10:00 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

No, he said:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441.)

Hmmm, Peter I am loosing my former appreciation of your intellectual honesty.  You're moving into polemical mode.

Surely you see that what your bolded phrase says is that those who become Roman Catholics by renouncing their Judaism, their paganism  -- these who have converted to Roman Catholicism may be saved.

The other 99.9% of the Jewish rabbis and faithful, the Mullahs and the Muslim faithful, the Dalai Lama and all the Tibetan Buddhists, the schismatic Orthodox Patriarchs and their people ---- all these millions continue to "go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels."

Now, isn't that what the Holy Apostle Peter is saying through the august lips of his 208th tulku?  Convert or burn.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 07:13:57 AM »

I'm glad you posted that quote in a better context though, I really hate it when people just take one little aspect out of a whole paragraph -- making that individual say whatever they wanted him or her to say.  Even if in this case, it's the Holy Father Pope Eugene IV.

In all fairness to Severian who provided the quote, we must note that his quote did not in any way distort what the Pope wanted to say.

By contrast, the interpretation which Peter wants to put on it quite obviously distorts what the Pope wanted to say.    police
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 09:40:34 AM »

Peter,  unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives?  Does that mean everyone has to come into full communion, or look out for blazing furnace downstairs?

In my opinion, "joined to the Church" doesn't mean full communion.

I can't deny, however, that most traditional Catholics disagree with me.
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 09:57:24 AM »

I just have a question to Roman Catholics regarding the salvation of Non-Christians. I have watched many "traditional Catholic" video clips which talk about how numerous Popes declared infallibly that those outside the Roman Catholic Church (and thus, non-Christians) cannot be saved. Yet, I hear many modern Catholic clergymen say that non-Christians and other non-Catholics can be saved. How do modern Catholics reconcile this view of salvation with the previous infallible declarations of past Popes? I am not trying to argue or to start a debate, I am genuinely curious. Growing up Oriental Orthodox I was taught that salvation was not possible without Christ.

I was a Traditional RC and while I'm not familiar with the modern views of the novus ordo church, I can tell you this: Traditional Roman Catholicism holds that baptism is necessary for salvation, but that people can be saved through the baptisms of blood and desire.

Blood is martyrdom for the Faith, even if one has not been formally baptized yet (such as if a catechumen were to be martyred);

Desire is when you want to be a member of the true faith, but have not done so yet, or you hold beliefs which would make you a member of the Church if you knew of the necessity of baptism.

In the 1950s there was a priest named Fr Leonard Feeney, who held to the strictest interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Outside the Church there is no salvation). He denied the reality of the baptism of desire, and possibly baptism of blood too. For this he was excommunicated by the PRE-Vatican II RCC.

His followers are still around, however; they have a church in MA called Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There are also other Feeneyite-type Trad RCs out there. They do not represent the genuine Traditional RC theology however.

On a personal note, let me give you an example of baptism of desire. My late father, who was a Jew and was raised an Orthodox Jew but rebelled against it late in life, began to have positive feelings regarding Jesus. He would sit and cry in front of the TV whenever Biblical movies were on, that showed the Crucifixion. He said to me that he loved Jesus because he identified so much with Him. At one point, after watching one of those movies, he said to me that his whole life he wondered why the Nazi Holocaust had happened (esp. since he lost family to the Nazis); he said to me that he is convinced that it was God's punishment against the Jews for rejecting Christ (NOTE: I do not necessarily agree with this, and I don't expect others to either...I'm just relating what my late father had told me).

Based on all of this, when he was on his deathbed, I baptized him according to the traditional Roman Catholic formula, by pouring. I felt he had the baptism of desire, and would have asked for baptism if he had known of its necessity.
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 10:10:23 AM »

Note: The church has always taught that people, before they die, must be attached to the church IN SOME WAY; if not by baptism, then by desire (I can still see in my head, the pictures in the old Baltimore Catechism my priest had used, which shows people holding onto ropes named "desire", "blood", etc, and which are attached to the Ark which is the Church.)

While I believe my father did have the baptism of desire, I would have been gravely remiss as a Roman Catholic and as his daughter, if I had not baptized him also, since I know he would have wanted it if he had known of its necessity under normal situations.
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 10:52:24 AM »

In my understanding the belief that all non Christians cannot be saved was not a defined dogma of the Church prior to Vatican II, but was still widely held by RC's (Just like Limbo used to be).  However Vatican II declared that it is possible (Not guaranteed) that a non Christian who is both sincere and does his best to be a good person can attain salvation through a means known only to God.

So the teaching on the subject did not change, it was merely defined in a more positive light.

Most Traditional Catholics either don't believe in (Or hold as suspect) The teachings of Vatican II.  They therefore would obviously not be too thrilled with this doctrinal development, but it is what the modern RCC-Vatican professes today.
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 11:14:07 AM »

[null]
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 11:16:12 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

He makes it quite clear that heretics, schismatics, pagans, Jews, et al cannot obtain salvation. I understand how you might find the video offensive, I have nothing against Pope Benedict XVI, but, the Popes quoted in the video stirred my curiosity.

These are exhortations to conversion.  Sure they use fear as their implement but baptism by the sword, literal and figurative,  is not just a western practice.

When I was a child...a good bit in advance of any preparations for a Second Vatican Council...the nuns and Monsignor taught me that these very strong statements were attempts on the part of the Roman See to draw all people to the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ was the papal Church and only the papal Church in the minds of papal Catholic hierarchs.  However, in reality, the Great Apostle and St. Thomas Aquinas, to mention only two, teach us that all mankind seeks the face of God naturally and naturally holds the laws of God in their hearts.

So that the best way to understand these sayings of various popes is to believe that no one will go to the Father except through Jesus...and if the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, then like it or not, all who are saved go through that Mystical Body.

 Wink...so, there ya have it.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 11:18:36 AM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

No, he said:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441.)

Hmmm, Peter I am loosing my former appreciation of your intellectual honesty.  You're moving into polemical mode.

I lost respect for you years ago. Everything you say about the Catholic Church is polemical. Quite frankly, I am not sure how a person like you was ever allowed into a monastery, or even ordained.
 The rhetoric you've employed in this post has crossed the line.  You really know better and are therefore put on 30 days of post moderation.  Appeal to Fr. George.  -Schultz.
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 11:47:55 AM »

In my understanding the belief that all non Christians cannot be saved was not a defined dogma of the Church prior to Vatican II, but was still widely held by RC's (Just like Limbo used to be).  However Vatican II declared that it is possible (Not guaranteed) that a non Christian who is both sincere and does his best to be a good person can attain salvation through a means known only to God.

So the teaching on the subject did not change, it was merely defined in a more positive light.

Most Traditional Catholics either don't believe in (Or hold as suspect) The teachings of Vatican II.  They therefore would obviously not be too thrilled with this doctrinal development, but it is what the modern RCC-Vatican professes today.

One thing I would add is that, for some traditional Catholics, the "liberal" view held by many Catholics nowadays contradicts statements that were made ex cathedra (and thus indirectly contradicts Papal Infallibility).

For the record, it gives me no pleasure to open up that can of worms.
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 01:46:54 PM »

It is very clear that the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics has evolved significantly over the last millennium, not just at Vatican II.  The question is, has the teaching changed in its essence, or is there a consistent doctrine underlying the widely differing statements of various popes and councils?  For a thorough analysis from a Catholic point of view, see Salvation Outside the Church: Tracing the History of the Catholic Response by Francis Sullivan.

A literal reading of the statements of Pope Boniface VIII (Unam Sanctam) and Pope Eugene IV (Cantate Domino) on this matter would seem to vindicate those (like the Feeneyites) who hold to a strict interpretation of "Extra ecclesiam nulla salus".  But beginning with Pope Pius IX, if not even earlier, there are magisterial statements which are much more open to the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics.

From the encyclical of Pope Pius IX "On Promotion of False Doctrines (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore)":

Quote
We all know that those who suffer from invincible ignorance with regard to our holy religion, if they carefully keep the precepts of the natural law which have been written by God in the hearts of all men, if they are prepared to obey God, and if they lead a virtuous and dutiful life, can, by the power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life. For God, who knows completely the minds and souls, the thoughts and habits of all men, will not permit, in accord with His infinite goodness and mercy, anyone who is not guilty of a voluntary fault to suffer eternal punishment (no. 7).

Vatican II put it this way in Lumen Gentium:

Quote
14. 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(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a "bodily" manner and not "in his heart."(12*) All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged.(13*)

Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, seek with explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church are by that very intention joined with her. With love and solicitude Mother Church already embraces them as her own.

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. (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. 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*) 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. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, 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*) 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.

Thus, there has been a movement away from "no one outside the Catholic Church is saved" to "those who are saved, are saved through the Catholic Church".  One might append to the latter phrase, "sometimes in a mysterious way known only to God."

Some Catholic traditionalists, such as SSPX, have explicitly rejected Feeneyism.  Of course, the ambiguous ecclesial status of SSPX may have contributed to this.  Since their clergy are not exactly in good standing with the Catholic Church but they still recognize the Pope, it would have been self-defeating for them to maintain that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

I must confess that, while I appreciate the contemporary openness of the Catholic Church to the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics, the conditions for culpable lack of faith are now put in such terms that it is difficult to see how anyone could be considered culpable.  Who in his right mind would fail to become Catholic if he really believed that the Catholic Church is necessary per Lumen Gentium?  And someone not in his right mind could hardly be considered culpable.
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 01:50:16 PM »

Well, I would either A. doubt that such statements were actually, in fact, infallible, or B. even if they were infallible, that does not exclude Baptism of Desire, which is an extraordinary way that someone can attain salvation and thus be part of the Church. Technically, anyone who is Baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is Baptized into the Catholic Church from a Catholic point of view since there is only one Baptism for the remission of sins. There is a difference between being a Baptized member of the Church and being fully initiated into (i.e. in full communion with) the Church.
Thanks for the response, Wyatt. That clarifies a lot. But, on a "traditional Catholic" Youtube channel called "mhfm1" the creator of a video gave an extensive list of Popes who declared "ex cathedra" that non-Christians were without salvation. Pope Eugene the IV is quoted in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhqi8UN72W8&feature=channel_video_title

The Pope says:

"The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire"

No, he said:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441.)

Hmmm, Peter I am loosing my former appreciation of your intellectual honesty.  You're moving into polemical mode.

I lost respect for you years ago. Everything you say about the Catholic Church is polemical. Quite frankly, I am not sure how a person like you was ever allowed into a monastery, or even ordained.
 The rhetoric you've employed in this post has crossed the line.  You really know better and are therefore put on 30 days of post moderation.  Appeal to Fr. George.  -Schultz.
Maybe some seminaries welcome polemics.
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 05:14:15 PM »

Quote
Maybe some seminaries welcome polemics.
Perhaps, but I dislike polemics because it often leads us astray from the true goal of the Christian life, that is, to follow our Lord and God Jesus Christ and partaking of the graces of the Holy Spirit. And arguing and being rude to one another will definitely hinder that goal.
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 05:35:40 PM »


These are exhortations to conversion.  Sure they use fear as their implement.....

 

Re the above........Pope Pius XII: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."
 Encyclical "Humani Generis", August 12, 1950

OK, it is expected that Catholic apologists will downplay such as UNAM  SANCTAM and CANTATE DOMINO and say that their teaching is irregular and that Peter had a momentary lapse of sanity.

But - wait for it!   - here is the Quote Mine of papal teachings through the centuries which shows that UNAM SANCTAM and CANTATE DOMINO are in fact the rock solid teaching of the Vicar of Christ



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

Pope Boniface VIII, Bull "Unam sanctam" (1302): "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her' (Canticle of Canticles 6:Cool; which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noah, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Pope Eugene IV, "Cantate Domino" (1441): "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" (Matthew 25:41), 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 Sylvester II, Profession of Faith, June AD 991: "I believe that in Baptism all sins are forgiven, that one which was committed originally as much as those which are voluntarily committed, and I profess that outside the Catholic Church no one is saved."

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), Profession of Faith prescribed for the Waldensians: "With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved" (Denzinger 792).

b]Pope Clement VI, Letter "Super Quibusdam" (to Consolator the Catholicos of Armenia), September 20, 1351[/b]: "In the second place, we ask whether you and the Armenians obedient to you believe that no man of the wayfarers outside of the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience of the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved… In the ninth place, if you have believed and do believe that all who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church and have died in final impenitence have been damned and have descended to the eternal punishments of hell."

Pope Leo XII (1823–1829), Encyclical "Ubi Primum": "It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members. For we have a surer word of the prophet, and in writing to you We speak wisdom among the perfect; not the wisdom of this world but the wisdom of God in a mystery. By it we are taught, and by divine faith we hold, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church… For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: 'If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.'"

Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846), Encyclical "Summo Jugiter Studio" (on Mixed marriages), 5-6, May 27, 1832: "You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that very article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation. The words of that celebrated disciple of the Apostles, martyred Saint Ignatius, in his letter to the Philadelphians are relevant to this matter: 'Be not deceived, my brother; if anyone follows a schismatic, he will not attain the inheritance of the kingdom of God.' Moreover, Saint Augustine and the other African bishops who met in the Council of Cirta in the year 412 explained the same thing at greater length: 'Whoever has separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how laudably he lives, will not have eternal life, but has earned the anger of God because of this one crime: that he abandoned his union with Christ' (Epsitle 141). Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise Saint Gregory the Great, who expressly testifies that this is indeed the teaching of the Catholic Church. He says: 'The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved' (Moral. in Job, 16.5). Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma. Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of the Lateran IV, these things are written: 'There is one universal Church of the faithful outside of which no one at all is saved.' Finally, the same dogma is expressly mentioned in the profession of faith proposed by the Apostolic See, not only that which all Latin churches use (Creed of the Council of Trent), but also that which the Greek Orthodox Church uses (cf. Gregory XIII, Profession 'Sanctissimus') and that which other Eastern Catholics use (cf. Benedict XIV, Profession 'Nuper ad Nos')… We are so concerned about this serious and well known dogma, which has been attacked with such remarkable audacity, that We could not restrain Our pen from reinforcing this truth with many testimonies."

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Allocution "Singulari Quadem", December 9, 1854: "Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and "judgements of God" which are "a great abyss" (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive form the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever. May you demonstrate with skill and learning in which you excel, to the people entrusted to your care that the dogmas of the Catholic faith are in no wise opposed to divine mercy and justice.

"For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains 'we shall see God as He is' (1 John 3.2), we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is "one God, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4.5); it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.


"But, just as the way of charity demands, let us pour forth continual prayers that all nations everywhere may be converted to Christ; and let us be devoted to the common salvation of men in proportion to our strength, 'for the hand of the Lord is not shortened' (Isa. 9.1) and the gifts of heavenly grace will not be wanting to those who sincerely wish and ask to be refreshed by this light."[4]

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical "Singulari Quidem" March 17, 1856): "Teach that just as there is only one God, one Christ, one Holy Spirit, so there is also only one truth which is divinely revealed. There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and come to the community of His children (Romans 1; Hebrews 11; Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter Cool. There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded on Peter by the word of the Lord (St. Cyprian, Epistle 43), outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church (ibid, On the Unity of the Catholic Church). ... Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control."[5]

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur moerore", August 10, 1863: "And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom 'the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,' (Council of Chalcedon, Letter to Pope Leo I) cannot obtain eternal salvation. The words of Christ are clear enough: 'And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican' (Matthew 18:17); 'He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that dispeth you, despiseth Me; and he that dispiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me' (Luke 10:16); 'He that believeth not shall be condemned' (Mark 16:16); 'He that doth not believe, is already judged" (John 3:18); 'He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth' (Luke 11:23). The Apostle Paul says that such persons are 'perverted and self-condemned' (Titus 3:11); the Prince of the Apostles calls the 'false prophets… who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction' (2 Peter 2:1)."[6]

Pope Pius IX The "Syllabus of Errors", attached to Encyclical Quanta Cura, 1864: [The following are prescribed errors:] "16. Men can, in the cult of any religion, find the way of eternal salvation and attain eternal salvation. - Encyclical Qui pluribus, November 9, 1846.
"17. One ought to at least have good hope for the eternal salvation of all those who in no way dwell in the true Church of Christ. - Encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore, August 10, 1863, etc."

Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903), Encyclical Annum Ingressi Sumus: "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."
Encyclical "Sapientiae Christianae": "He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God."

Pope St. Pius X (1903–1914), Encyclical "Jucunda Sane":  "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."

Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922), Encyclical "Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum": "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical "Mortalium Animos": "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… 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 XII (1939–1958), Encyclical "Humani Generis", August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."


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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2011, 05:40:18 PM »

One thing I would add is that, for some traditional Catholics, the "liberal" view held by many Catholics nowadays contradicts statements that were made ex cathedra (and thus indirectly contradicts Papal Infallibility).

For the record, it gives me no pleasure to open up that can of worms.

Dear Peter,

I have supported your words with the Quote Mine.  Today's liberal teaching is not compatible with the papal teaching of your Church and calls infallibility into doubt.
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« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 05:47:11 PM »

I must confess that, while I appreciate the contemporary openness of the Catholic Church to the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics, the conditions for culpable lack of faith are now put in such terms that it is difficult to see how anyone could be considered culpable.  Who in his right mind would fail to become Catholic if he really believed that the Catholic Church is necessary per Lumen Gentium?  And someone not in his right mind could hardly be considered culpable.

This has been aptly addressed by Pope Pius XII: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."

 Encyclical "Humani Generis", August 12, 1950

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« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2011, 07:18:21 PM »

The current Roman Catholic stance about other Christians is that they have the right to be called Christians, and non-Christians who do not know about Jesus through no fault of their own can still be saved:

[Regarding Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus] "This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation." -CCC 847

[Regarding Protestants and other non-RC Christians] "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church." -CCC 818
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2011, 09:55:06 PM »

One thing I would add is that, for some traditional Catholics, the "liberal" view held by many Catholics nowadays contradicts statements that were made ex cathedra (and thus indirectly contradicts Papal Infallibility).

For the record, it gives me no pleasure to open up that can of worms.

Dear Peter,

I have supported your words with the Quote Mine.  Today's liberal teaching is not compatible with the papal teaching of your Church and calls infallibility into doubt.

Those statements are still true...They must also be understood in context.

The papal Church has grown in wisdom. 

If I remember some of my old Internet moments dealing with predominantly Orthodox discussants, it seems that Orthodoxy has taken a very similar path to understanding salvation outside of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2011, 10:04:09 PM »

I'm glad you posted that quote in a better context though, I really hate it when people just take one little aspect out of a whole paragraph -- making that individual say whatever they wanted him or her to say.  Even if in this case, it's the Holy Father Pope Eugene IV. 
Well gee, I am sorry you feel I distorted what the Pope meant to say, but, I fail to see how Peter putting the quote in further context in any way changed the meaning of what I had originally posted. I did not have some sort of dastardly plot to put word's Pope Eugene's mouth and you seem to be accusing me of that in your above post. Please choose your words more carefully lest you might offend people. 
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« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2011, 11:08:34 PM »

In my understanding the belief that all non Christians cannot be saved was not a defined dogma of the Church prior to Vatican II, but was still widely held by RC's (Just like Limbo used to be).  However Vatican II declared that it is possible (Not guaranteed) that a non Christian who is both sincere and does his best to be a good person can attain salvation through a means known only to God.

So the teaching on the subject did not change, it was merely defined in a more positive light.

Most Traditional Catholics either don't believe in (Or hold as suspect) The teachings of Vatican II.  They therefore would obviously not be too thrilled with this doctrinal development, but it is what the modern RCC-Vatican professes today.

One thing I would add is that, for some traditional Catholics, the "liberal" view held by many Catholics nowadays contradicts statements that were made ex cathedra (and thus indirectly contradicts Papal Infallibility).

For the record, it gives me no pleasure to open up that can of worms.

Well, that's not my fault.  The teaching did officially change (Or developed if you like).  I know that traditionalist would be suspicious of that, but they tend to be suspicious of everything the RCC has done since Vatican II. It all boils down to who do you think was right, the Popes then or the Popes now? 

The Church obviously made it easier to go to Heaven.  Why should I have a beef with that?  I
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« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2011, 11:08:34 PM »

One thing I would add is that, for some traditional Catholics, the "liberal" view held by many Catholics nowadays contradicts statements that were made ex cathedra (and thus indirectly contradicts Papal Infallibility).

For the record, it gives me no pleasure to open up that can of worms.

Dear Peter,

I have supported your words with the Quote Mine.  Today's liberal teaching is not compatible with the papal teaching of your Church and calls infallibility into doubt.

At least we Catholics have a universal teaching authority as opposed to other Churches which seem to be lacking in that.
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Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
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