Friday, July 13, 2007

Post for the Feeneyites

Every once in a while, a Feeneyite (click on "Feeneyite" there to learn more. If you don't like the link, you can actually help fix it, there) shows up. They are a curious flavor of Catholic (setting aside the question of schism that may arise in some cases); they seem like fine folks -- and I am sure they are -- but let their favorite bug-a-boo come up, the meaning of the true statement, "no salvation outside the Church," and many of them become utterly intolerable.

I am speaking, of course, of how I've encountered them online.

One recently showed up to comment on the "Apologize here" post a few days ago, and behaved so rudely that I showed him the door. He is welcome to come back, if he behaves courteously; but I don't have time for that nonsense, and besides, it's just very poor manners to behave that way when you are a guest at someone else's "place," even if it is a cyber "place."

Feeneyites love to wrangle over this question of salvation "outside" the Church. This is a subject that quickly becomes a sink-hole. I hesitate to post this, because I really don't want to go down into it.

So, fair warning -- I'm going to "set it and (mostly) forget it."

Here is a very quick expression of Catholic understanding on this subject: It is true that all who are ultimately saved will be members of the Church. It is normally true that to be saved, one must be a member of the Church here on earth. However, while God certainly works through the Church, and it is true that we, his creatures, are bound to observe his commandments and ways; it does not thereby follow that God himself is bound by the same things! I.e., God himself can and does give grace and work in people's lives, "outside" the Church.

I put quotes around "outside" because you may well say, and really should say, that this work of God is only "outside" the Church from our point of view. All this saving work is the saving work of Christ, no matter what, and since the Church is united with him, you can't really separate the grace of Christ, acting in mysterious ways in the lives of non-Catholics and even non-Christians, from the Body of Christ, the Church.

So, here on earth, our vision is limited, and we see divisions, and we even see people who somehow manifest grace in their lives yet do not become part of the Church. (The Council of Trent, for example, asserted that no one can live a life of sustained virtue without the help of grace. So, what do you make of very virtuous people who otherwise reject Christianity or even any belief in God? I'm not saying they will be saved; but I am saying, there is some grace at work in their lives.)

We can speculate all we want about how people can be saved outside the Church, outside of Christ -- "outside" being only from our viewpoint -- because in fact, if they are saved, they will be saved in, with and through Christ; and therefore, in, with and through the Church. In heaven, there is only one Bride of Christ.

Somewhere, between here and there, God does these things. I would further argue that we dare not presume on God's grace, by saying -- "so it doesn't matter?" -- but we also must not be fundamentalistic about this; we have to acknowledge there is some mystery about the matter.

Now, as I say, that was only a "quick and dirty" explanation, and folks will want to pick it apart.

This is juicy red meat for Feeneyites; perhaps I am being unfair to tempt them this way, but if they behave well, I don't mind if they comment and disagree, as long as they behave.

That said, I will say this: the teaching of the Church is more or less what I've expressed. Anyone can consult the latest Catechism on the subject and see that what I'm saying is consistent with it.

(Hint: denouncing popes or magisterial documents since a particular date is behaving badly. We do not dispute the validity of the popes here since, I dunno, the "Great Western Schism." And we do not dispute the authority of their teachings, their Catechisms. We do not dispute the authority of Vatican II. There are other places for that. So -- you may not like what Vatican II, or the current Catechism, says on a subject; but they are sufficient evidence, on their face, of what the Church teaches, or at least allows as a Catholic understanding of a subject; and if you take a more cramped view, you accept a heavy burden of proof by your own choice.)

Well, this may be a mistake, but have at it. And don't expect me to get in the sink hole, that just doesn't appeal to me.


Dad29 said...

The same debate can be held about "Limbo."

We ain't smart enough to KNOW.

Some are smart enough to accept that lack of knowledge and be happy anyway...

Theocoid said...

Bravo, F. Fox. I've had a few too many discussions on this subject, and unless one takes an extermely restrictive view on the documents on the documents of the magisterium and the writings of the early Church fathers (to the exclusion of disregarding most of them), the Feeneyite position is untenable.

Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC said...

Leonard Feeney is a saint! What's with all the hatin'?

Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

Interesting that neither the Vatican web site nor the USCCB web site has any document on the history or status of the late Fr. Feeney, so that, although the Wikipedia article appears to be quite suspect, there seems to be no official and readily accessible way to question its facts.

There are interesting comments on this question in a document authored by Walter Cardinal Kasper, "The Decree on Ecumenism – Read Anew After Forty Years." Although he is regarded as a liberal theologian, I believe his comments on this topic are worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Bravissimo Fr. Fox!

T.O. said...

Very nicely written.

michigancatholic said...

Yes, Father, but every error has its mirror image. It's how things work. So let's not forget the people who believe everyone will go to heaven no matter what they do or what they believe. There are a far far greater number of people who believe this mirror image than who believe in "Feeneyism."

NH Mind said...

I thoroughly enjoy this blog for it's regular "priest on the street" observations and reporting...attending to the Parish, offering Mass for the departed, celebrating weddings, comforting the sick, baptizing the babies, dealing with the faithful and the lapsed.... yada, yada yada....(the "yada's" here are offered completely respectfully)....The work that Fr. Fox and his brother Priests do daily is the Lord's work. If Jesus was incarnate today, these are the things He would do..Heck, I don't know a single Catholic, myself included, that could define, let alone understand, the Magesterium, The Council of Trent or the plethora of other historical and canonical events and laws that regulate the Church, however important or relevant. Yet we come to Mass, we try to listen and learn the message of Christ failing in most cases, yet alas, we continue to strive...I'll leave the finer esoteric points to wiser men and women, and try, as best I can to keep my eyes, heart and mind on the Lord. "Feeneyites" and thier ilk are but a mere distraction to His Message.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with nh mind's mind! I thank God for priests like you, Father Martin, who take the time to deal with us in the cyberspace trenches in addition to all your other responsibilities (wish we could recruit you down to GA/SC!). Some folks REALLY need to ratchet down a notch and learn to live in humility with the awesome mysteries of our faith, not to mention making peace with the frailties of our human understanding. The time will come soon enough to be granted full knowledge on the "other side of the veil". Blessings, Jenny

Peter Albert said...

Well, before Fr. Feeney, there was Pope Eugene IV who said in 1441:
"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 for 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."

This not only asserts the need to be united to the Church before death but also affirms that valid sacraments are effective for salvation only "in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church". And if one jumps to the conclusion that non-Catholics are damned for staying outside the church, here's Bishop George Hay, speaking on the subject in 1787:

"Q. 14. But can none who are in heresy, and in invincible ignorance of the Truth be saved?

A. God forbid we should say so! All the above reasons only prove that if they live and die in that state they will not be saved, and that according to the present providence they cannot be saved? but the great God is able to take them out of that state, to cure even their ignorance though invincible to them tin their present situation, to bring them to the knowledge of the True Faith, and to the communion of His Holy Church, and in consequence of that to salvation; and we further add, that if He be pleased, of his infinite mercy, to save any who are at present in invincible ignorance of the Truth, in order to act consistently with Himself, and with His Holy Word [for, indeed, God is bound by His Word; God cannot deceive us], He will undoubtedly bring them to the union of His Holy Church for that purpose, before they die."

The necessity of being converted to the Catholic Church is demonstrated by the continuous missionary activity of the Church in the newly-discovered lands of America--if the Native Americans could be saved in their religions, why did missionaries go to such lengths to convert them?

Tom S. said...

God has taught us "everything we know". But that is VERY different than "everything that HE knows"?

Theocoid said...

As I mentioned in my comment, Peter Albert, that position clearly dismisses what has been said in total concerning the matter. First, you have to consider the historical climate in which that statement was made (the various formal heretics that were sowing discord and causing schism, that Jews simply could not deny the difference betwen Christianity and Judaism, hence chose to reject Christ and his Church, and that virtually no one in Christendom grew up in ignorance of the authority of the Church). In addition, you have to differentiate between those who cause schism and those who are unwittingly swayed by them, those who are formal heretics and those who are unknowingly material heretics (that is, grew up with no knowledge of Catholic authority), and those who would choose to do Christ's will given the choice and the understanding of its necessity. Also, you have to disregard that the Councils of Florence and Trent validated the baptism of those who were baptized even by pagans or heretics. As the current teaching of the Church states, baptism joins these people to the Church. And finally, you have to throw out the traditional belief in the salvation of righteous pagans (not to mention the OT patriarchs) held by many of the early Church fathers and doctors of the Church.

Bishop Hay was not speaking in an extraordinary exercise of the magisterium. He was teaching through his ordinary magisterial authority. Unless you are also going to give creedence to all other bishops speaking on that subject at the time, you cannot hold up his claim as being the proper interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Clearly, the magisterium has made clear since that time that such an interpretation is not the only acceptable theological opinion. The move against Fr. Feeney, although it did not condemn outright the interpretation as heretical, clearly discouraged that inerpretation. The latest pronouncements of the Church simply do not square with Bishop Hay's words.

The words of a handful of theologians in a particularly bitter period in Catholic history do not speak for the totality of Catholic doctrine, nor can they account for God's means or His mercy.

For more information, see

beez said...

I think it's a great offense against charity to declare anyone is "going to hell." I tend to think of the elder brother in Luke 15 whenever I hear someone telling me that Protestants are going to hell.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Interesting post that's for sure!

michigancatholic said...

Believe it or not, someone could go to hell. It's a possibility. Christ said so.

Peter Albert said...

Dear theocoid, I appreciate you took the time to analyze the arguments I have brought forward. I'm not going to discuss the question of the permanence of the dogma although it is disturbing that you could easily conclude that the 'current' teaching invalidates the ex cathedra pronouncement of the Pope.

However, two important issues arise. First, you are advancing a number of reasons why Eugene IV should have made such a pronouncement. Let me quote him at the Council of Florence for the context:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra:
“Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.– But the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance; for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit, their glory is equal, their majesty coeternal...and in this Trinity there is nothing first or later, nothing greater or less, but all three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another, so that in every respect, as has already been said above, both unity in Trinity, and Trinity in unity must be worshipped. Therefore let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity.

“But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ...the Son of God is God and man... This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

Now, the above was not merely a response to specific heresies or clarification of some murky theological detail. In fact, it is a word-for-word assertion of the Athanasian Creed that can be found in the Prime hour of the traditional Roman breviary (all the way to 1962).

So to recapitulate unless one holds the two fundamental truths of the Catholic faith, i.e. the Trinity and Incarnation, one cannot be saved. This strict position did not spring up in the 15th century but may be easily seen in the first millennium when the councils placed anathemas on those who denied the dogma of the Trinity.

Secondly, bishop Hay need not be infallible to draw inference from the deposit of the faith. I believe you missed the point that was raised at the beggining of my earlier post. The question is not whether invincible ignorance is the cause of damnation (it needn't be), but how one may be in the state of sanctifying grace if one does not partake of sacraments. True, baptism of heretics and schismatics may be valid (against the position of Augustine), but how does one become justified with God outside the Catholic Church if:

-- Leo XIII did not accept the validity of Anglican orders,

Pope Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae, Sept. 13, 1896: “… of Our own motion and certain knowledge We pronounce and declare that Ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been and are absolutely null and utterly void.”

-- the power of the keys is necessary for administering valid confession (Council of Trent).

Can anyone show me any infallible statements since then that would either approve of the Anglican rites or allow for valid confession in communities without Apostolic Succession? Vatican II? John Paul II? Benedict XVI? Any such statements?

Concluding with the oft-quoted Euguene IV and the Council of Florence:

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Letentur coeli,” Sess. 6, July 6, 1439, ex cathedra: “We define also that… the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go straightaway to Hell, but to undergo punishments of different kinds.”

From the above we may infer that, while baptism takes away the stain of original sin, valid confession (or perfect contrition, which is a gift from God) is needed for taking away mortal sin. To my knowledge, valid confession is not available in Judaism, Islam or Protestantism.

Dear theocoid and other contributors: I have a general question for you--is it truly charitable to assure non-Catholics of their salvation or claim ignorance as to their fate if they die in mortal sin? This smacks of hipocrisy since we know that as Catholics we will surely not be saved if we die in mortal sin. I hope, dad29, that you are not saying "We ain't smart enough to know" what will happen if we die in mortal sin. In case we don't know, the Gospel and letters of St. Paul may enlighten us easily.

There are a number of places in the Scripture where the prophets (starting with Noah and Lot, Moses all the way to John the Baptist) announced in no ambiguous terms to the neighbors and strangers alike that unless they repented and made use of God's terms of salvation (e.g. the ark, Passover, baptism) they would be lost. And as we know all this has been written for our education.

In Christo,

Peter Albert

Patrick said...

It's entertaining to think that what this boils down to is our declaration of specific persons in hell...

The Church has never (and will never) abrogate its Divine mandate to bring the entirety of humanity to know Christ in the Catholic Church through the sacraments. Obviously, the point of all such topics is individual conversion. (Perhaps a different topic, but people incorrectly denounce Dignatatis Humanae as being anti-missionary, when rather is merely states that a forced conversion is not really a conversion at all!) Those disagreeing with Fr. Feeney have no right to say that it is better for some to remain outside Church, as this directly contradicts Church teaching.

As members of the Catholic Church, we really have only one thing to concern ourselves with with respect to those outside the physical boundaries of the Church, and that is evangelization and our efforts at bringing about their conversion.

Our missionary outreach is truly an act of charity insofar as we are helping people attain what Christ desires for them--namely, incorporation and participation in the Mystical Body. It's not good enough to desire merely that someone not goes to hell; we must desire that they love God. (Take for example, the difference between perfect and imperfect contrition.)

So perhaps the Feeneyites are right, and only those physically in the Catholic Church are saved, or perhaps they are wrong, and God can work extraordinarily with respect to certain circumstances and people... Neither changes our mandate as those in the Church: namely to be evangelistic and missionary.

What does it all boil down to? Simply, the state of those souls not affected by our actions to the extent necessary for conversion. I don't see this as a point worth fighting over; the Church was intended to be the salvation of all peoples, and all within the Church have the perogative to spread the word of God to those who don't know it through means that are efficacious. Perhaps some will be converted by being reminded of the very real possibility of their souls spending eternity in hell as they remain outside of the effects of the sacraments, while others will be converted by the desire to have the authentic faith, hope, and charity present only in the Church.

Theocoid said...

You see, here is where the Feenyites play the whole changing dogma card. That's not what happened. Dogma has not changed. The interpretation you have put on the 15th-century formulation is simply wrong. Either that, or the new pronoucements in Lumen Gentium and the Catechism are wrong, which means the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church. I don't accept the latter, so I have to believe the former.

In addition, we still have an obligation to evanglize non-Catholics. Even though they might have to possibility of salvation because of the one sacrament they have received, they do not have the fullness of the means salvation. You're correct. It is not charitable to let people live in error, but that is hardly the same as saying that they have no chance of salvation.

Peter Albert said...

Dear theocoid, please note that the remark on the permanence of the dogma was an aside, and was not directly pertinent to the argument. Of course, the gates of Hell have not prevailed against the Church and of course the Church in heaven and on earth is in agreement on the dogma as we believe in the unity of the Church. So no disagreement here!

Also I'm glad that charity does not divide us as all Catholics ought to care for the salvation of their non-Catholic neighbors.

What remains to be seen, however, is how a baptized Christian may remain in the state of sanctifying grace without valid confession. It really comes down to the key controversy of Luther and Calvin vs. Trent -- does God require us to be sanctified through the confession of mortal sins to a valid priest or does 'faith alone' justify 'juridically' with God?

Of course, I'm not a Jansenist to believe that grace is not present outside the Catholic Church, and everyone on the forum seems to agree that the refusal to join the Catholic Church once one is aware of the duty to do so is sinful. In essence, one should then read the Lumen Gentium in a restrictive sense--the Holy Spirit operates outside the Church, grace is given to sinners to repent. But one should not read it in the sense that a Talmudic Jew who denies Jesus Christ or a Protestant who refuses the primacy of the Pope is free to do so and their beliefs are indifferent to their salvation.

If we speak of 'righteous pagans' then we assume that they not only follow their conscience but that they seek God. In that case, the Gospel promises that they will be given the Holy Spirit who will guide them into 'all things'. Some have appealed to God's mercy--indeed God is merciful enough to grant as much grace as is necessary for one to come to the fulness of salvation AS LONG AS ONE COOPERATES WITH THE GRACE ALREADY GRANTED.

2 Tim. 4:16 states that God wishes all to be saved. This does not mean that all WILL be saved (free will) but certainly that also does not mean that God will leave a 'righteous pagan' in the darkness of error if the person is sincere.

I hope this will show that a Catholic serious about extra ecclesiam nulla sallus need not lack in charity. Let us pray for the conversion of those still in the bondage of sin!

Peter Albert

Anonymous said...

i'd like to know if i may have
anything to do with the folks
in the saint benedict center in
still river, mass (Brothers
Matthew, John, Anthony, Peter,
Thomas, and the Sisters).

are they schismatic or not? i
know a Bishop in the 1940s
declared that a Catholic is not
to have anything to do with
them, period. is this declaration
still valid? may i go to their
Mass, or be friends with them?

i am quite knowledgeable on the
whole situation. if i may be
involved with their activities
please say why this is so; and
if i may not have anything to do
with them, please say why this
is so also.


Jim Burris

Peter Albert said...

I wish I received some response to the arguments I had advanced. In any case, I believe it was worth trying to debate the issue. For that reason, I cited part of the debate on my blog:

Fr Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. said...

Mr Burris,

The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River are approved by the bishop of the diocese of Worcester, MA in which they reside. You most certainly may go to Mass and confession there, participate in their programs, etc.

To all others,

While it seems not to be commonly known, Fr. Leonard Feeney died reconciled to the Church as a priest in good standing.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the "Feeneyites" in Still River are approved by the Church!

Here are their websites:

So what does this mean?

It means there are three possibilities:

1) The "Feeneyites" are right

2) Feeney's position is a legitmate position to hold in the Church.

3) The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith lets a heretical group exist in the Church.

Catholic Mission said...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Its a mortal sin to deny the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. It is a sacrilege to receive the Eucharist in this condition- Fr. Gabrielle, priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Novus Ordo priest affirms rigorist interpretation of dogma and also Vatican Council II
An Italian priest who offered the Novus Ordo Mass in Italian today morning at the Salus Populi Romani chapel in the Basilica of St. Mary Majors, Rome, said it was a mortal sin to deny an ex cathedra dogma like the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady or extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Fr. Gabrielle said it was a sacrilege to receive the Eucharist in this condition without first going for Confession.

He was speaking with me in the sacristy after Mass and will be here for a few months. I told him I write on this subject on my blog.

The dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the church there is no salvation) says everyone with no exception needs to be a formal member of the Catholic Church for salvation. He agreed this was the teaching of the dogma and of the Catholic Church. Every non Catholic needs to enter the Church for salvation." If there is no baptism there is no salvation ",said Fr. Gabrielle.It needs to be mentioned that Catholics only give the baptism of water to adults with Catholic Faith (Ad Gentes 7).

Vatican Council II also says Fr. Gabrielle said that there can be those saved through Jesus and the Church and who may not be members of the Church. It needs to be clarified here that only God knows which non Catholics are saved through Jesus and the Church. So this does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Fr. Gabrielle had earlier during the homily spoken about St. Maria Goretti. He also mentioned in the homily that fornicators, or someone who committed a sin of impurity, should not receive the Eucharist, without going for Confession otherwise it would be a sacrilege.

So I asked him about extra ecclesiam nulla salus.He said presently there was a lot of confusion on this issue.He emphasized the necessity of the Church for the salvation of all people.-Lionel Andrades


Catholic Mission said...


Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church's preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself "by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-Ad Gentes 7,Vatican Council II (Note: All need the baptism of water for salvation and Catholics only give baptism to adults with Catholic Faith. So Ad Gentes 7 is saying that all people need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation.)

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 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.-Catechism of the Catholic Church 846 (Note : ‘which men through Baptism as through a door’ was a term used by the Church Fathers for the rigorist interpretation of outside the church there is no salvation).

CCC 845.To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.-Catechism of the Catholic Church n.845 Catechism of the Catholic Church


This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.-Dominus Iesus 20 (Note: Salvation is open for all however to receive this salvation they need to enter the Church).

Catholic Mission said...

Ordinary Magisterium

Pope Pelagius II (A.D. 578 – 590): “Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord. …Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness. …Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned. …[If] slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church.” (Denzinger 246-247)

Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 – 604): “Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.” (Moralia )

Pope Innocent III (A.D. 1198 – 1216): “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 423)

Pope Leo XII (A.D. 1823 – 1829): “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.’” (Encyclical, Ubi Primum )

Pope Gregory XVI (A.D. 1831 – 1846): “It is not possible to worship God truly except in Her; all who are outside Her will not be saved.” (Encyclical, Summo Jugiter )

Pope Pius IX (A.D. 1846 – 1878): “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.” (Denzinger 1647)

Pope Leo XIII (A.D. 1878 – 1903): “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, Annum Ingressi Sumus )

“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.” (Encyclical, Sapientiae Christianae )

Pope Saint Pius X (A.D. 1903 – 1914): “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.” (Encyclical, Jucunda Sane )

Pope Benedict XV (A.D. 1914 – 1922): “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.” (Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum )

Pope Pius XI (A.D. 1922 – 1939): “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.” (Encyclical, Mortalium Animos )

Catholic Mission said...

Pope Pius XII (A.D. 1939 – 1958): “By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth.” (Allocution to the Gregorian, October 17, 1953)

Extraordinary Magisterium

Then, as though to set this constant teaching of the Fathers, Doctors and Popes “in concrete,” so to speak, we have the following definitions from the Solemn Magisterium of the Church:

Pope Innocent III and Lateran Council IV (A.D. 1215): “One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful outside which no one at all is saved…”

Pope Boniface VIII in his Papal Bull Unam Sanctam (A.D. 1302): “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 and the Council of Florence (A.D. 1438 – 1445): “[The most Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart `into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” -from the website

Catholic Mission said...


Vatican Council II says outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

The Catholic Church teaches after Vatican Council II (1965) that all people need to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven (Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II).

Catholic Faith with the Baptism of water is the normal, ordinary way of salvation for all people (Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II).The Catholic Church is the ordinary way of salvation for all people (Lumen Gentium 14).Non Catholics however can be saved through the extraordinary means of salvation (Lumen Gentium 16).Only God knows who are the non-Catholics saved through the extraordinary means of salvation; the exceptions. We do not know who the exceptions are. We cannot judge. Jesus, the Church, Scripture and Vatican Council II indicate that the priority is Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for all people.

So everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church which is the like the only Ark of Noah that saves in the Flood (CCC).Non Catholic religions have good things in them. However they are not paths to salvation. All salvation comes through Jesus and His Mystical Body the Church. Those non-Catholics who know the above information and yet do not enter the Church are oriented to Hell (Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14).Those non-Catholics participating in inter religious dialogue, are educated. They know. They are oriented to Hell.

Outside the Church there is no salvation. Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water are needed for all people. This is Vatican Council II.

No where in Nostra Aetate, Vatican Council II is it said that non Catholic religions are paths to salvation.

Vatican Council II is in harmony with John 3:5, the Church Fathers, Council of Florence, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Redemptoris Missio, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Dominus Iesus, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Notification on Fr. Jacques Dupuis etc.

Don’t let people fool you about Vatican Council II. Check the details and affirm the Faith which does not change.

Jesus called the Catholic Church “…my church…” He told St. Peter that it would prevail against Satan and be there for all time. -Lionel Andrades

Catholic Mission said...

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Even a thousand years back they knew that all implicit forms of salvation were known only to God and so did not contradict the rigorist interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

I am losing count of the number of priests affirming the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Most of them offer the Novus Ordo Mass.

Fr. Nevus Marcello O.P was hearing Confession yesterday evening (July 15) at the Basilica of St. Mary Majors, Rome. I went up and spoke to him face to face and not through the confessional.

I said,” I have a question”. He said I could ask it.

I asked,” Those saved with the baptism of desire are known only to God?”

“Yes”, he replied.

“We don’t know any case of the baptism of desire?” I asked. “No” replied this Brazilian Dominican priest.

The Council of Trent mentions the baptism of desire I said. “Even a thousand years back they knew that the baptism of desire was known only to God?” I asked.

Fr. Marcello replied,” Yes”.

“Neither do we know any case in particular of a person saved in invincible ignorance” I asked. “No we don’t” he said also indicating that there was the possibility and it was known only to God. I agreed with him.

“So Lumen Gentium 16, when it refers to non Catholics being saved in invincible ignorance, does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which says everyone needs to be a formal, explicit member of the Church and there are no exceptions?” I asked Fr. Marcello.

“Vatican Council II does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus” agreed Fr. Nevus Marcello whose name was written on the Confessional. Also the different languages in which he could hear Confession was made known.

“Ad Gentes 7 says all need baptism for salvation. Here Vatican Council II affirms Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441 on extra ecclesiam nulla salus?” I asked.

He answered,” Yes”.

It was so easy yesterday! (July 15, 2011). A priest at St. Mary Majors responding to reason, step by step and concluding that Vatican Council II does not contradict the dogma, instead it affirms it. A gift from Jesus and Our Lady for me on my birthday!

I also had the opportunity to meet Fr. Gabrielle F.F.I. He said that he was at the basilica until August and then he goes probably, to Austria.