Outside the Church There is No Salvation: The Positive and Negative Aspects



Salvation Outside the Catholic Church

There has been some opposition to the notion that a good Muslim or Protestant could be saved. I need to comment now on the true teaching of the Church in this regard:

David and Moses could never have imagined that God would become a human being and die for them. They never could have imagined that God was Three Divine Persons in One Nature. Yet they were saved. How?

By the IMPLICIT desire for Baptism: they had FAITH in what God had revealed to them so far at that time, and they died in REPENTANCE, sorry for their wrong doings and loving God. And that is all that God could expect of them. They were still saved by grace--the grace of the Eternal Father, Son, and Spirit, though they did not know it fully, explicitly. God reached forward and applied the future merits of Christ to David's despicable adultery and murder, which could never be taken away by the slaughter of an infinite number of animals.

Too, then, for those who have not fully received the Gospel in a way that they can be culpable for accepting it, but who have, again, the IMPLICIT desire for Baptism--faith, in what they know as best they can about God, and REPENTANCE, the sincere desire to shun wrongdoing and to try to obey God with His help, as best as they can--can be saved. Christ gives them graces to help them be good, and Christ gives them sanctifying grace extra-sacramentally, since the assumption is, if they learned of Baptism in a way they could understand, they WOULD seek explicit Baptism.

And Christ applies His infinite merits to their serious sins repented of, though they know it not, seeing as David and Moses knew it not.

In this way, the innocent, but good, Jew, infidel, heretic, schismatic can attain salvation outside the true Church.

On the other hand, if a person becomes convinced that some religious doctrine or religion is true, as best they as understand it, according to a sincerely and diligently formed conscience, they are obliged to act on the belief, so help them God, under pain of mortal sin. AND, in fact, and especially, if the religion they become convicted of is the true religion, the Catholic Church, all the more is their obligation gravely to seek membership, under pain of serious sin. Herein arises the negative connotation of "Outside the Church there is no salvation."

Too, EVERY man has a grave obligation to seek out the truth in doctrine and morals. The man who does not place as his highest priority the pursuit of the true religion is already guilty, since he does not care about what really matters in life. In this sense, he will be held accountable by God for what truth he COULD have found, HAD he exercised reasonable diligence to find the truth.

And how can many neo-pagans today have all the time in the world to follow sports and entertainment and other worldly pursuits, but no time to research religion, especially when resources to look into religion are at an apocalyptic peak in human history, with the internet, forums, and such. They are then grieving God's heart in this minor godless age we live in.

Finally, whereas persons can be saved with LESS than the fullness of truth and grace, NEVERTHELESS, to the degree that man lacks the truths and graces of the Church, their chances of being saved are DIMINISHED. For this reason, although good non-Catholics can attain salvation, the missionary spirit of the Church has never been more grave. Pope Benedict said that modern power and problems so amplify the consequences of error and sin, that all the more is it necessary for the world to have the fullness of truth, at the expense of grave consequences.

Let us therefore set out to renew the world by words and deeds, amen!