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Two quick hits on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus March 11, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, martyrdom, priests, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I also saw at FideCogitActio a post from a 1940s Missal regarding salvation for those outside the Church.  It was not quite as clear and forthright a definition as I would have liked.  Of course, there were some in the Church at that time – and even well before, and especially in this country –  who claimed that the dogma of “no salvation outside the Church” was being compromised and watered down in many ecclesiastical circles, and they were no all “Feeneyites”!  Orestes Brownson in the preceding century had lamented the indifference and squishiness of the Church in the United States on that very point.

Nevertheless, not so much as a rebuttal, but perhaps as a bit of a rejoinder, I present the following quotes from two biographies of 19th century missionaries, one of the great Fr. de Smet, and the other of the martyred Fr. Just de Bretenieres.  First, from Fr. de Smet:

“But he who lifts his thoughts above the passing things of the world to consider truth, which all nature speaks, and desires the salvation of the many souls who would love and serve their Creator and be saved if they but knew Him – he sees in the privations of the desert and in the dangers and perils one encounters there, but slight inconveniences, far preferable to the sweets of indolence and the dangers of riches.”

The following is from the biography of Just de Bretenieres, but is from the forward, by Maryknoll Father James Walsh:

“……I hope that the present volume will fulfill its purpose…….to raise up Catholic souls who will push the standard of the Cross further into the regions now held by the hosts of satan.

Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call upon Him, in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe Him, of Whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom X)

Reading biographies of pre-20th century Saints, martyrs, religious, and priests reveals that, at least then, a widespread literal interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus predominated.  Perhaps something to keep in mind, before you get any tattoos.



1. TG - March 11, 2015

On EWTN, I’ve heard both Mother Angelica and the two priests on Web of Faith – Father Trugilio & Father Ken, more or less state that non-Catholics can go to heaven. Mother Angelica said it was a heresy to believe only Catholics can make it to heaven. This is something I struggle with. I believe the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth but only God knows the hearts of people. Was it just popes and saints who taught this or was there a dogma? (Saints can be wrong such as St. Thomas Aquinas who believed Mary had original sin. I just saw the Duns Scotus movie.)

Tantumblogo - March 11, 2015

Oh it’s one of the best defined Dogmas there is. Attested to by too many Saints and Doctors to list, it was also thrice (three times) declared a dogma by popes in concert with ecumenical councils, a clear attestation of the Ordinary Magisterium of its infallibility. But it has been greatly…….revised, watered down, re-cast?……in recent years, especially since the late 19th century.

I’m with you, I don’t know where any individual soul goes, save for canonized Saints (and there’s been a bit of a can of worms opened there, of late, too). All my forebears and family are non-Catholic, so I pray for a liberal application of mercy from Our Lord, but there is just a ton of data from the early 20th century on back that shows many, many souls believed salvation outside the Faith was, essentially, impossible. Mass acceptance of error? I don’t think so, I think there was a different understanding then. God can save whom He wills, but the best evidence indicates salvation outside the Church is, at best, a dubious proposition for most everyone.

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