Friday, July 13, 2007

Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

Why is it that Catholics today think Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is outdated? I was at a meeting earlier this week and it seems I shocked people when I said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH was certainly talking about 'No Salvation Outside The Church' as well as emphatically stating that the protestant 'churches' are in fact, not churches, but ecclesial communities. Between the questions "What document?" and "Was that the one about Latin?" to "Well, what about my Protestant relatives?" and statements like "That's a really old teaching, the Church doesn't teach that anymore" I realized too many Catholics today just don't seem to know or understand about Catholicism any more.

Actually the opening question is facetious. I do in fact know why Catholics today think 'No Salvation Outside The Church' is an outdated teaching. It is multifaceted.

First, most parents don't know their faith anymore because they are victims of the 'love and parachutes' era of CCD. (See my post about Female Acolytes and Vocations for an explanation.) As a result, they don't know anything from basic prayers to tenets of the faith. They cannot teach their children their faith, and we are more than 40 years into this insanity.

Second, the ecumenical dialogue has degenerated into Catholics participating in 'Tent Revival Meetings' with ecclesial communities, where priests are featured speakers (sans Roman collars) and it is covered on the front page of the diocesan paper.

I'm not sure if you can enlarge the picture or not, but that man with the microphone, he is a priest. I find this disturbing. Catholic priests talking at a revival, no collar. The same paper talks about the Motu Proprio as an 'Overture to Schismatics' and begins their report by calling those who want the Latin Liturgy 'disaffected, schismatic, Catholic traditionalists.' I wrote a letter to the editor :-).

Third, to modernism, indifference, and egotism, the Catholic church takes a back seat. How can the Church get through to people who put sleep ahead of Holy Mass? People are so far from the sacraments, they don't think they need confessionals any more. No one sins these days! When you try to enlighten them, you are threatened or attacked (hopefully just verbally and not physically) but it is harder and harder to evangelize when you must teach your Catholic brethren their faith too!

If people knew their faith, really knew their faith, they would know that three Ex Cathedra statements have been made regarding No Salvation Outside 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."

What more remains to be said? Pray for Catholics everywhere. Pray for all people everywhere. Pray for our Pope! Thank you, God, for such a holy man as Benedict XVI. I think he has a lot more to say, the liberals are quaking in their boots.


a thorn in the pew said...

I blogged on this awhile back and I didn't get challenged but given most of my readers are traditionalists and I disabled annon. comments, it wasn't a surprise. I'm done with dialog with bible thumpers. They will not hear anything other than the Catholic sterotype and then when I challenge such things as "The Rapture" they throw up a verse in a wrongful use and intention. The Christianity of today is so removed from what the apostles started and there is no direct lineage in their "pastors" A man just goes and studies scripture and starts a church. No calling, no sacrament....ish. In the Old Testament, God did not protect or mind with non-Jews. Our Holy Mother Church is protected by the Holy Spirit until the end of time. Now that is powerful. I'm glad to see I am not the only one that blows up photos of my local Catholic paper. I was beginning to feel like a

Peter Albert said...

I'm encouraged that this vital dogma starts being seen in its proper light. Actually, it's great that you noted Eugene IV's statement. I'd like to point to the rarely-raised point that is contained in his statement: "only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation". Quite often Catholics get fixated on the issue of validity of baptism or entry into the Church, but the question of Protestants' need to convert to Catholic faith really is about their lack of valid sacraments (except baptism and marriage), in particular of confession. How can one enter heaven without the ability to confess sins to a valid priest? I have become concerned about the watering down of this dogma and set up recently my own blog, focusing on this issue:

Lily said...

I agree! I am going to check out your blog later today, thanks for your comment.