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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Outside the Church there is no salvation...

This argument discussion comes up continually in my Catholic circles. I hear people quoting assorted Saints and who said what before and after Vatican II as a way of determining whether or not a reference is reliable. The more authentic orthodox crowd always wants the resources from at least a decade or two prior to VII and the should I say's-typical-Catholic want whatever is new and clear to their thinking. Each is basing their acceptance of material on how they were taught the faith and what sort of education they received and by whom. 

For new Catholics coming into the Church through RCIA you probably never heard this discussed at all. And if you were Protestant, you still might unwittingly carry along your Protestant ideas that "anyone who has Jesus in their heart" is saved. That concept is usually shattered the first time they hear a Catholic quote "Outside the Church there is no salvation". Then fear sets in because very often a convert is leaving behind a family member or friend in some other faith community. 

That is good fear. Good because it should prompt you to want to work hard to help bring as many people into the Church as possible in your lifetime. If you do that and live your Catholic life to the best of your ability following the Teachings of the Church, you have the true hope of hearing Jesus say to you one day "Well done, good and faithful servant." What joy! 

That holy fear of people losing their souls to damnation used to (and in some cases still does) make Catholics battle for the souls of their loved ones and even for complete strangers. The battles could be verbal with those outside the Church or the Catholic could grab their rosary beads and get on their knees, do penance or even offer a Mass. These Catholics were/are working for the salvation of others to bring them into the True Church Christ founded on earth. We as Catholics are all called to do this. 

It's not easy trying to turn someone towards the Church where salvation is found, but it is our Christian duty. Why wouldn't we? Unless of course we think salvation can be found outside the Church. No worries if that was the case! Easy, smooth sailing into eternal bliss. If Christ's words "Pick up your crosses and follow me" are flashing in your mind right now you've been paying attention to your catechism. Getting to heaven is not a stroll in the park and there is only One Church Christ founded to help get us to Heaven.

Face it, if any old faith community would do, then why did Christ bother founding and safeguarding only One Church through the centuries? Assorted denominations have popped up and gone down, been reformed and deformed over and over again with doctrines coming and going with the changing times. Why didn't Jesus safeguard those communities that all claimed to be followers of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit? 

Because none of them were created by Christ with the full Truth. His Holy Catholic Church is holy because He made Her so. Through Her comes our salvation, through the Sacraments Jesus Christ endowed Her with. Precious gifts from Christ to those people of good will who seek Him in Truth and in His Church. 

I learned the Catholic Faith mostly from writings safeguarded and held by the Church since the beginning. Not through the new writings in "the spirit of Vatican II", but in the old writings, things written over the centuries. Beautiful writings I found in books more than a hundred years old published by the Holy Catholic Church. If you haven't been blessed to read such books I can't accurately describe the beauty in the honest, straight forward to the point writings the Church once gifted the Faithful with. Nowhere in these books are the opinions of men, but rather the pure holy teachings the Church held so dear for so long. These now haggard and musty old books are absolutely priceless to me.

These books published by the Church are fantastic teaching tools, that leave no questions after reading them. The priest's quotes are authentic Catholicism. Not the insane nonsense and putrid ramblings of Catholic clergy nowadays who declare "we have the hope that all men are saved" and "we have to hold to the existence of hell at least as a possibility" (this coming from Bishop Robert Barron- hell is not a sure thing, its merely a possibility at this point in time. God save us from Bishop Barron!) 

No, no and no again. No we don't have that hope. We can dream it if we want to delude ourselves for a moment or two, but we don't have that actual hope. Saint Paul said "with fear and trembling work out your salvation". How could anyone think we can hope all men are saved if most men don't work out their own salvation with fear and trembling? And no, hell is not a "possibility", Hell is a reality according to Jesus. 

So who is in Hell? All those who died outside the Church? Depending on who you ask in the Church the answers you get will more than likely differ. 

Those holding to "old school" Catholicism might quote from one of those old books the Catholic Church used to publish, like "The Catholic Manual of the Holy Catholic Church", Catholic Art and Publication Office, Chicago, Ill, copyright 1906
Quote [this is in a Q&A form]:  
Q: Are there any other direct proofs from scripture to show that out of the Church of Christ there is no Salvation?  
A: Yes, these two will be mentioned here: First, Christ, speaking of those who were not yet joined in the communion of his Church, but whom he foreknew would make a good use of the graces he would give them for that purpose, says, "Other sheep I have who are not of this fold, them I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd," John x.16. : where he plainly declares, that all of those sheep, who are not yet of his fold, must be brought to it, as a necessary condition of their salvation.   Second, In consequence of this settled disposition of the divine providence, no sooner did the apostles begin to preach the gospel, than immediately "the Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved," Acts ii.47. which evidently show that all who are not added to the Church are out of the way of salvation. [end quote] 
That is the sort of books I read that led me to become Catholic. It's pure and perfectly clear - at least to me. 

Now reading some of what came out of Vatican II, this can get a bit hazy...
Lumen gentium 16 [1964]
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. [Source:

Let's look at one more "oldie". 

From my book "The Catholic Instructor: An Educational Library of Ready Reference with an Encyclopedia Dictionary", The Office of Catholic Publications, New York, copyright 1910, page 153. 
Quote (again in Q&A form):  
Q: May not persons be saved in any religion?   
A: No, certainly; St. Paul tell us, Heb. xi 6, "That without faith it is impossible to please God." And St. Peter assures us, Acts iv. 12, "That there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we may be saved, but the name of Jesus." And Christ himself tell us, Mark xvi, 16, "He that believeth not, shall be condemned." So that it is manifest from the holy Scripture, that true faith is necessary for salvation. Now true faith, in order to please God and save souls, must be entire, that is to say, we must believe without exception, all such articles as by God and His Church are proposed to be believed; and he that voluntarily and obstinately disbelieves any one of these articles, is no less void of true saving faith, than he that disbelieves them all. As St. James tells us, with regard to practical duties, chap. ii. 10, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Hence St. Paul, Gal. v. 20, reckons heresies, that is, false religions, amongst those works of the flesh, of which he pronounces, "that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And God, himself, Isa. ix.12, tells His Church, "the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall parish." [end quote]
How do you answer the question "Is there salvation outside the Catholic Church?" 

What do you tell your loved ones who are outside the Church? 

Do you evangelize? 

I'd love to hear your stories, leave a comment or drop me an email. 

God bless! May we all be found INSIDE the Catholic Church before our dear Lord calls us home.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 


  1. There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. A read of Dominus Iesus should clear up the question as to whether or not the Church has stopped teaching EENS.

    The problem is not so much that many in the present age deny EENS but they are denying the unique mediatorship of Christ -- that is the real problem.

    THere are two ways of looking at EENS, positively and negatively, with the positive being a shift pre-VII in the writings of the Neavou Theologue/Resoursement crowd that comes out in the actual documents of VII and the post-Conciliar Church.

    First, the position that one must be a physical member of the Church Militant is soundly rejected in the Deposit of Faith. Rather, what EENS is saying is that everyone in Heaven is Catholic precisely because it is ONLY Christ who saves and Christ ONLY saves the individual by incorporating the individual into His mystical body, the Church.

    The negative psition on EENS focuses on what hinders an individual from full union with the Church. It is a very scholastic and Thomistic approach. It errs when it wanders over into Tertullian thought. The positive consider things in what aspects of commonality united an individual to the Church. At its core, it is strongly a recapitulation of Christian Neo-Platonic thought. It is messy because it is often presented poorly by people who don't understand Platonism or outside of a Platonic metaphysics. It also leads to nonsense such as the "unknown Christian", which likely stems from a misread of St. Paul's altar to the unknown God.

    But I want to get back to the point about this being a Christological problem, not an Ecclesial problem. MANY have problems preaching what the CHurch is for because they don't understand the centrality of Christ. If they don't, they they don't understand both how Christ accomplishes the individual's salvation and equally the missionary mandate of the Church.

  2. How would I answer the question? I basically refer to the CCC #846-847 as a sure norm.

    "How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.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."

  3. Invisible people cannot be visible exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    JULY 13, 2017

    Pope Francis violates the Principle of Non Contradiction: chooses irrational interpretation of Vatican Council II which is not the work of the Holy Spirit

    Prof. Robert Fastiggi, Ralph Martin agree that invisible people cannot be visible at the same time : in agreement with Fr. Stefano Visintin's statement

  4. The nu CCC states that the positive reformulation of EENS (outside the Church there is no salvation) is "all salvation comes through the Church". That positive reformulation is not accurate and very misleading. The dogma has always been defined in the exclusive sense, the negative sense (ie. outside - there is no). The most accurate positive reformulation of this would be the direct opposite: 'inside the Church there is Salvation'. "All salvation comes through the Catholic Church" tends to give a different impression altogether, that there is salvation outside the Church but it all comes through the Church as a channel. It's easy to understand reformulating such a hard Church teaching on this subject in light of the Post V2 ecumenical movement, but it's causing much harm and runs the risk of altogether destroying this essential Dogma.

    Pope Pius XII warned in Mystici Corporis about the risk of reducing EENS to nothing more than a meaningless formula and this is precisely what has happened. Telling people that they can be saved outside the Church (but it's much more difficult) is a casual rejection of the Church's Dogma and is not part of Divine revelation. All we know is what Christ has given us and what the Church has consistently taught until modern times - that there is no salvation outside of the Church because there is no salvation outside of Christ and the Church is the mystical Body of Christ. Now that does not mean we are free to say that this person or that person is damned as God alone is judge and only He knows what graces were given to a particular soul between the last breath and judgment - who knows what graces passed through Our Lady's hands in those moments. However, objectively we must always and everywhere assert, when questioned, that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church and not try to water this down in any way shape or form. Everything else such as 'invincible ignorance' is engaging in a speculative theology as ignorance cannot make up the defect of not having sanctifying grace - it only excuses one from the sin against the 1st commandment. We do no service to our brethren by engaging in such speculative theological musings.

    Pope Pius IX in the syllabus of modern errors condemned the notion that "Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ." You will note that he did not say you couldn't have any hope at all - just that you could not have 'good hope'. The nu CCC needs to be thrown in trash bin, along with many of the Vat. II documents.

  5. What about members of the orthodox church(es) - are these 'separated brethren', or are they damned souls?

  6. JULY 14, 2017

    Ralph Martin, Robert Fastiggi, John Martignoni and Fr. Stefano Visintin osb indicate Pope Francis has violated the Principle of Non Contradiction in his interpretation of Vatican Council II

  7. 14. Certainly many remarkable authors, adherents of the true philosophy, have taken pains to attack and crush this strange view. [ each man should continue in the faith he was raised in, indifferentism ] But the matter is so self-evident that it is superfluous to give additional arguments. It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the 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.

    Pope Leo XII Ubi Primum chapter 14 may 5 1824

    'I've always said we should always help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic."
    Theresa of Calcutta A Simple Path 1995 p 31
    We now have a patron saint for the nice.

  8. Randy,
    They are damned souls according to Vatican Council II (AG 7) and the dogma EENS.

  9. I don't understand...

    Acc to UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO, "Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church... The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection."

    It continues, "Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life - that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation."

    This sounds like the Roman Catholic church considers them brethren in Christ, yet the unity is not perfect & that they're not fully benefiting from their salvation.

  10. ~Randy

    The Orthodox Churches, which are true Churches in their own right, exist in schism with each other and with those Churches that form the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Are those true Churches "Outside of the Church"? Definitely not. They are true Churches and the Catholic Church has always upheld them as true Churches.

    EENS doesn't apply in the negative to the Orthodox Churches or their members.

    THAT SAID -- Schism doesn't place the individual outside of the Church but it does place an individual outside of communion with the Church. It is a bad place to be because schism breeds heresy.

  11. OK, got it. How about protestants? Are they considered a part of the true Church - just in in schism & out of communion with the Catholic Church?

  12. Randy~

    More complicated because Protestant groups are not Churches -- they are gatherings of individuals and those gatherings have ecclesial elements. A Protestant community, as an entity, is outside of the Church because it is not a Church. It might have attributes like a Church, like a cake has flour and bread has flour, but cake is not bread because there is no yeast.

    Is an individual Protestant in or out of the Church?

    First, how does an individual enter the Church? Through baptism, which is the door of the Church. So a just baptized Protestant is in the Church, not outside. But the situation that they are in is pretty much intollerable as they are cut off from the sacraments and are formed in schism and heresy.

    They are like a new born child placed by the side of the road -- brought into the Church then abandoned. It is a terrible thing, an adopted heir to the Kingdom abandoned and left without succor.

    At best, a group of Protestants is like the baptized believers in Samaria (Acts 8). They have been baptized but have not yet received instruction and the Confirmation (the gifts of the Holy Spirit). So at best, a group of Protestants exists akin to being in the foyer of the Church -- in but not in. They are in the process of transitioning inside, in the process of sanctification.

    HOWEVER, Protestants also believe a lot of things that are heretical, silly, very schismatic, and are often very poorly and falsely formed Christians. So there is a pull on all Protestants that is away from the Church.

    The question therefore exists, to what degree of material heresy and schism is it necessary to have before one separates oneself from the Church, and is outside rather than in?

    I will let that question hang out there.

    If we understand EENS, we will never accompany anyone. Rather, each person we meet, we will tell of the Father's Vinyard, and give good directions on how to get there, taking them there if required.

  13. Catholic political parties must teach Catholics the faith which is not being taught by religious due to political pressure

    It is the politial parties which need to educate Catholics since Fr.Antonio Spadero s.j and La Civilita Cattolics will not do so. Milita Christi and Forza Nuova in Italy must in some way reiterate basic Catholic teaching.They must affirm all magisterial documents.But endorse them with the theology of Feeneyism and not irrational Cushingism.

    On this point they cannot follow the present popes, cardinals and bishops who have aligned themselves with the political Left.They choose Cushingism instead of Feeneyism.Their agenda is a one world religion headed by Satan with a false and new image of Jesus and the Church. They even permit the Tridentine Rite Mass to be offered today but with a a false ideology.
    The political parties, which affirm the Social Reign of Christ the King, over all political legislation, must not ony begin their events and daily programs with prayer but also reiterate Catholic teaching interpreted without the common false premise ( invisible people are visible).
    So it is not enough to proclaim the Nicene Creed together.It is also necessary to point out briefly in some way that outside the Church there is no salvation and there are no practical exceptions.We do not know any one in particular who is saved outside the Church even if the popes and cardinals say they are.
    We can expect to create new laws to obstruct the proclamation of Catholic truth. However it must be clear among Catholic political workers, that there is exclusive salvation in only the Catholic Church and everybody needs to be a formal member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. This is Vatican Council II( AG 7, LG 14) and it is magisterial (Catechism of the Catholic Church( Feeneyite), Nicene Creed( Feeneyite) etc).It is not from pre-Vatican Council II times.
    Catholics must also be made aware of philosphical errors in Vatican Council II which cannot be the work of the Holy Spirit.
    However for the common good it should be affirmed in public and taught to Catholics that outside the Church there is no salvation according to Vatican Council II.Now for political reasons it is not being done by religious sisters and priests during catechism, evangelisation and religion classes in schools and the parishes.So political parties which support the non separation of Church and State must help Catholics reject the leftist theology,which is Cushingite and says there is salvation outside the Church.Cushingism is heretical and irrational.
    Cardinal Richard Cushing was a supporter of the Masons and the Jewish Left in Boston and he used his ecclesiastical office to change theology in the Church.He was later supported by Cardinal Ratzinger when he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
    Political groups like Militia Christi and Forza Nuova which conduct political awareness programs for its members, must extend them to Catholics in general through the faith.The faith is also the means of communication.
    There is now ' a false church' within the true Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus.Cushingite theology is part of the new Church within the Catholic Church.This has become possible since the present magisterium has rebelled and is not affirming magisterial documents, interpreted with the rational and traditional theology.Ecclesiastics have their own political agenda.This must be countered with the simple truths of the faith,which is their only in the Catholic Church.-Lionel Andrades

  14. Lurker - I didn't realize Protestant churches are not recognized as 'official' churches by the Catholic church. Am I understanding this right - that if a protestant is baptized (even in/by an 'unofficial' church), they are part of the Church, even though is a a less than ideal situation??

    Also, when you say, 'Protestants also believe a lot of things that are heretical, silly, very schismatic, and are often very poorly and falsely formed Christians', could you expand on that?


  15. Randy~

    The Orthodox don't recognize Protestant communities as Churches either.

    There are two additional questions in your thought above..what is the Church and what is a particular Church. These tie into EENS.

    In a very abbreviated nutshell, a particular Church exists where a validly ordained bishop gathers the baptized in the Liturgical Worship of the Father done through the Spirit in the unbloody offering of the Son to the Father.. the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Altar...that is not what Protestants have or do. That is why they are not Churches.

    At th he moment of their baptism a Protestant is a member of the Church. Various things can cause people in the Church to find themselves outside of it. Various things happen to Protestants so you have to judge that on a case by case basis after understanding what those various things are.

    A list of things that Protestants believe that are X is both lengthy and doesn't fit all Protestants as there is nothing that unifies all Protestants other than schism...that is obstinate refusal to be in communion with the local bishop who is in communion with the Pope.

    A silly thing that some Protestants believe is biblical fundamentalism. If you look at the official defining documents from the eighties, it is a very liberal methodology for interpretation of the bible. It just tends to be very uniform so it appears conservative but actually isn't. A Reformed exegesis of scripture is "conservative" where as the fundamentalist is liberal. It is silly because they think they are more biblical but even by Protestant standards they are not.

    In terms of falsely formed, lots of Protestant s are officially taught many things about Catholics that don't have a lick of factuality to it. Literally being taught that black is white and white is black.

  16. Lurker - thanks for the response(s). One more question - in Catholic thought are Anglicans a Protestant community or a Church?

  17. CCC there is confusion on Lumen Gentium. I hope this link helps.

    JULY 18, 2017

    Everyone agrees Vatican Council II has a major philosophical mistake

  18. Randy~ This is something that the Church spent time studying as the English Church went into schism under Henry xviii not apostasy. However the Elizabethan and Cramerian "reformer" caused the Church to cease being Catholic.

    The Anglican Communion descends from this non-Church situation and is made up of various Protestant communities, Episcopals, Anglicans to name the two most well known.

    The English Church did have a particular Rite associated with it from which descends The Book of Common Prayer, and is one of the reasons that the English have traditionally seen themselves as a quasi particular Church with the Archbishop of Canterbury being primate. I say this to underscore what was lost. Schism breeds heresy.

  19. Very interesting - thanks Lurker!


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