Tuesday, February 12, 2008

" extra ecclesiam, nulla salus"

“No salvation outside the church!” For those of you who have recently heard this for the first time I feel obliged to inform you, it is not a new idea. That’s right, this “doctrine” has been handed down through the centuries by many a theologians, mostly from the Catholic camp. What? Yeah, this type of teaching is prominent in Catholic teaching and other Eastern Orthodox Traditions (capital T emphasized). But don’t take my word for it, read further.

Concerning this doctrine the Pope of Vatican I, Pius IX, spoke on two different occasions. In an allocution (address to an audience) on December 9th, 1854 he said:

We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation;
that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for thisin the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?

Doesn’t this contradict scripture? God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Peter proclaimed to the Sanhedrin, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

If it is God’s desire for all men to be saved, then it is fair to say there is a possibility the Institutionalized Church is limiting His redemption. But that is just it. The way this dogma is taught today contradicts its original meaning as well. Today you hear “There is no salvation outside the institutionalized church.” This basically means “where people are married and buried.” If these basic tenets are not observed then “two people having coffee are fooling themselves, that isn’t church.” Even the Catholic Church understands the universal (not to be mistaken as universalism) salvific will of God. But today, the phrase is used differently. What are they really saying? They are saying that unless someone is a full fledged, baptized member of the Institutionalized Church they will be damned. Even a perfunctory reading of Catholic teaching will enlighten a person’s awareness at where this teaching comes from and originally meant.

Bottom line, all of this is nonessential. Why? Because if it were true, that a person cannot be saved outside the Institutionalized Church, then we need to stop doing outreach, street ministry, Bible study, hospital visitations, home visits, Bible discussion over coffee, and so on the list goes. Missions are useless as well. So instead of making yourself feel good by going to visit people in a 3rd world country who you can’t play a part in “redemption” sow that plane ticket money into the Institution because that’s who has trump on salvation.

What do I think? Me thinks this is man’s attempt at preserving a way of life he created that is daily growing more and more irrelevant to what God wants to do on earth. The Institutionalized Church is not the access door for the Kingdom, Christ and the work of the Cross are. Read the beatitudes. Consequently, we, the Church, the ekklesia, the called out ones, are the access door for the Kingdom and everything within range of our effective-will can and should be touched by it. My prayer is we all see God’s desire to use us outside the Institutionalized Church to further His Kingdom. I encourage you not to fall into this same trap that was set by the Catholics during the Reformation when experiencing a mass exodus. Look at what came of people being obedient to God and not man. The birth of the Protestant Church!


Catholic Mission said...

First they wrote off the baptism of desire of Trent, then they assume it is real and not hypothetical for us, and then, anyone who affirms the baptism of desire is called a heretic.

For centuries the Church knew that the baptism of desire was not known to us in particular cases it was accepted in principle only. It could only be accepted in principle; it was not repeatable like the baptism of water. We could not administer the baptism of desire and so it did not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. (Cantate Domino, Council of Trent 1441).

The Most Holy Family Monastery, New York sedevacantists for whom a defacto-known- to- us- in- the- present- times- baptism of desire is central to their media apostolate, accuse Catholics of being in heresy since they affirm the baptism of desire. The sedevacantists conclude this must contradict the dogma Cantate Domino.

It is true to reject an ex cathedra dogma is a mortal sin and there are Catholics who have rejected the dogma Cantate Domino, extra ecclesiam nulla salus either through ignorance or misinformation or fear of persecution. So the Dimond brothers are correct on this aspect of the truth.

However when one affirms the baptism of desire, it is not a rejection of Cantate Domino, since the baptism of desire is always a concept for us. It is hypothetical. It can only be de facto for God. We do not know a single case in the present times or in the past. No one says there were four baptism of desire cases in Rome last month, or three in New York last year.

Since we do not know of a single case how can it contradict the dogma which says everyone must be an explicit member of the Catholic Church for salvation?

The baptism of desire and invincible ignorance cases are implicit and so we do not know any such person saved implicitly.

The Council of Trent mentions the baptism of desire but does not claim that it is defacto, explicitly known to us as the MHFM would imply, infer and then assume. http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/06/council-of-trent-does-not-say-if.html#links

So Peter and Michael Dimond reject the Council of Trent on the baptism of desire while all over their website they are emphasizing Catholic Tradition. They then assume the baptism of desire is explicitly known to us and then conclude that there are so many Catholics who are in heresy.


Catholic Mission said...

EVERYBODY NEEDS THE EUCHARIST TO GO TO HEAVEN - Fr.Marcos Renacia, Augustinian Recollect priest
‘The Eucharist is the ordinary means of salvation’, said Fr. Marcos Renacia, an Augustinian-Recollect priest. ‘Everyone on earth de facto needs the Eucharist to go to Heaven’.

Hypothetically, in a way known only to God, through the extraordinary means God can save a non Catholic who is not a member of the Church who has not received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, he agrees, de facto we do not know a single case such case.

De facto everyone on earth needs the Eucharist to avoid Hell. De jure, in principle, there could be the possibility of someone saved who has not received this Sacrament.

The Church is the ordinary means of salvation states Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio 55. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ (Ad Gentes 7).Jesus saves through the Sacraments, those who respond (Dominus Iesus 20) by entering the Church.

Fr. Marcos was commenting on the Gospel Reading last Sunday (Corpus Domini) in which Jesus says the Eucharist was needed for salvation (John 6). he was speaking with me at the Augustinian– Recollect Church in Rome. We were comparing the dogmatic teaching extra ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the Church there is no salvation) with the Eucharist being needed for all.

Fr. Marcos chose to use the defacto-dejure explanation of this issue, especially, when asked if ‘all non Catholics need to explicitly receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist for salvation; to go to Heaven and avoid Hell ?’

The words de facto and de jure are used in the Introduction to Dominus Iesus.

‘De facto salvation’ used here is synonymous with explicit salvation. It refers to the baptism of water which is visible and repeatable. It refers to Catholic Faith which is taught explicitly. It is the ordinary means of salvation.

‘Dejure salvation’ is synonymous with implicit salvation. It refers to the baptism of desire, those saved in invincible ignorance, a good conscience, perfect contrition, in partial communion with the church or saved by the Word of God. It is not the ordinary means of salvation and depends on God’s grace. It’s an extra ordinary form of salvation.

When Fr.Marcos says that the Eucharist is the ordinary means of salvation he refers to de facto salvation. Since we do not personally know any case of de jure salvation, we assume everybody needs to de facto receive the Eucharist. Everyone we meet needs the Sacraments. There is no exception that we know of.

This is the official teaching of the Church through the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.(Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441, Ad Gentes 7,Vatican Council II, Redemptoris Missio 55, Catechism of the Catholic Church 846, Dominus Iesus 20, Ecclesia di Eucarestia)
-Lionel Andrades