Salvation exclusively through Christ and His Church

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In the words of the official documents of the Church:

  • “The truth, which is Christ, imposes itself as an all-embracing authority” (Dominus Iesus, 23) because He himself stated: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mt 28:18-20).
  •  “The Lord Jesus, before ascending into heaven, commanded his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world and to baptize all nations: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk.16:15-16);
  • “This Sacred Council [Vatican II]… teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 14.)
  • “The reason for missionary activity lies in the will of God ‘who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men…’ (1 Tim 2:4-5), ‘Neither is there salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). Everyone, therefore, must be converted to Him who is known through the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him and into the Church which is his body, by baptism. For Christ Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (Mark 16:16; John 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church, into which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence those cannot be saved, who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded through Jesus Christ, by God, as something necessary, still refuse to enter it, or to remain in it.” (Vatican Council II, Ad Gentes, 7)
  • The Church does not affirm that it is impossible for someone who has not been sacramentally baptized to be saved. However, in spite of recognizing the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics under  extremely arduous conditions, even the most recent Church council that stated, “Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life[1] went on to repeat the two-thousand-year-old consensus, affirming that outside the visible ranks of the Church it is very difficult to attain salvation, that “very often”  men have endangered their salvation:[2]

“But very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become futile in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie serving the creature more than the Creator (see Rom 1: 21, 25), so that living and dying without God in this world they are exposed to the ultimate despair.”[3]

[1] Lumen Gentium no. 16, the key document of the twentieth-century council, Vatican II, 1964.

[2] By Catholic consensus is meant the conclusion held by the vast majority of the Fathers of the Church, saints, orthodox theologians, and official papal and council statements.

[3] Lumen Gentium no. 16, Vatican Council II, 1964. My translation from the official Latin text on the Vatican website: “At saepius homines, a Maligno decepti, evanuerunt in cogitationibus suis, et commutaverunt veritatem Dei in mendacium servientes creaturae magis quam Creatori (cf. Rom. 1, 21, 25), vel sine Deo viventes ac morientes in hoc mundo, extremae desperationi exponuntur.” This document in its footnotes refers to the Vatican document, Suprema haec sacra of August 8, 1949.

Thus, it is utterly urgent to propose conversion to the Catholic Faith to both nominal Catholics and to non-Catholics.