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Author Topic: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, Baptism of Desire,, etc.  (Read 53430 times)


With the recent comments of Cardinal Bertone about the Good Friday prayer from the 1962 missal being a “problem we can resolve,” and the CDF document on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, the indications are that the Vatican hierarchy is not going to change, and that they intend on business as usual.  Of course, I am still optimistic about the Pope, and await his next move after he returns to Rome.  

We need to deal with the root of the problem, and stop being whimps. And the problem began long before Vat II and the NO. It has to do with Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus and the necessity of water baptism for entrance into the Church outside of which no one is saved.  Until a strict and vigorous expression of those points is made, defended and spread as the gospel was meant to be, there will be no “turnaround.”

This is the next crusade. It is a battle not for land, but for minds and souls. It may be too late. On this doctrinal issue, Father Feeney was absolutely right. And here we are over fifty years later, and that much deeper into the muck.  

I welcome any thoughts on the topic of EENS, baptism of desire, invincible ignorance or any other subject along these lines.  I will develop this thread on my own if necessary as time permits me.

In the meantime, anyone care to comment?


"[T]hey receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11


Frankly, I don't want to get into such a debate. Why? Because from past experience, it usually breaks down into the unending debate between Fr. Feeney supporters and SSPX supporters over the EENS problem.

And internet discussion boards being what they are, said debate comes with a lot of written rancor and ad hominems by both sides at each other.

So I personally want nothing to do with such a debate.

The only thing I will say on it is that I believe the SSPX is right on this issue, and that Fr. Feeney is wrong on it. I will say nothing more on this matter.

Thank you all for your time.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - G. K. Chesterton


Quote from: tornpage
I welcome any thoughts on the topic of EENS, baptism of desire, invincible ignorance or any other subject along these lines. [...] anyone care to comment?

I already did, in the "Protestant Ecclesiology" thread (the original one, not the debate which is awaiting a contribution from Caminus). I responded to what you said, and then you didn't respond to what I said. Would you care to respond, either in that thread or this one?


Don McMaster
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Thine.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites; et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus!
Pray for the salvation of the ignorant, and the conversion of huge numbers of sinners!

Yes, I too have a blog--A Blog of Two Popes: St. Pius X, Bl. John XXIII
Updated 2009 May 3


Not the SSPX is right, but the eternal Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic Saints of all times. It is not about the SSPX or Fr. Feeney. Fr. Feeney's grotesque errors already were published before the SSPX existed or before the tiara was laid down.


Concerning Baptism of Blood and Desire

(Extract from St Alphonsus Liguori: Moral Theology, Bk. 6, nn. 95-7.)

Baptism, therefore, coming from a Greek word that means ablution or immersion in water, is distinguished into Baptism of water [“fluminis”], of desire [“flaminis” = wind] and of blood.

We shall speak below of Baptism of water, which was very probably instituted before the Passion of Christ the Lord, when Christ was baptised by John. But baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true Baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called “of wind” [“flaminis”] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost who is called a wind [“flamen”]. Now it is de fide that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon Apostolicam, “de presbytero non baptizato” and of the Council of Trent, session 6, Chapter 4 where it is said that no one can be saved “without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.”

Baptism of blood is the shedding of one’s blood, i.e. death, suffered for the Faith or for some other Christian virtue. Now this baptism is comparable to true Baptism because, like true Baptism, it remits both guilt and punishment as it were ex opere operato. I say as it were because martyrdom does not act by as strict a causality [“non ita stricte”] as the sacraments, but by a certain privilege on account of its resemblance to the passion of Christ. Hence martyrdom avails also for infants seeing that the Church venerates the Holy Innocents as true martyrs. That is why Suarez rightly teaches that the opposing view [i.e. the view that infants are not able to benefit from baptism of blood — translator] is at least temerarious. In adults, however, acceptance of martyrdom is required, at least habitually from a supernatural motive.

It is clear that martyrdom is not a sacrament, because it is not an action instituted by Christ, and for the same reason neither was the Baptism of John a sacrament: it did not sanctify a man, but only prepared him for the coming of Christ.

Basta. There is no more to it and no Feeneyite will be able to defeat St. Alphonsus.
„Ja, Ja, wie Gott es will. Gott lohne es Euch. Gott schütze das liebe Vaterland. Für Ihn weiterarbeiten... oh, Du lieber Heiland!” ("Yes, Yes, as God wills it. May God repay it to you. May God protect the dear fatherland. Go on working for him... oh, you dear Savior!") - Clemens August Cardinal von Galen, his last words.


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Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, Baptism of Desire,, etc.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 07:26:am »

One body, and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your vocation. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God...


-St. Paul (Epistle to the Ephesians 4:4-5)



If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church, when the blessed Apostle Paul teaches this very thing and displays the sacred sign of unity when he says: one body and one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one Baptism, one God?... He cannot have God for his Father who does not have the Church for his Mother.                   -St.Cyprian (200-258; "The Unity of the Catholic Church" 4,6)



There is only one Lord and only one Faith (i.e. set of doctrines) revealed by God (Eph.4:5). This must mean that different and contradicting faiths do not lead to, nor come from, the same Lord; and Catholics and all other religions have different and contradicting faiths. Both cannot have the one true Faith revealed by God for our salvation, for divine truth can never be self-contradictory.



What this short work shall demonstrate is that Catholics and all other religions disagree on the very basics and essentials of revealed religion, of the Christian Faith. In fact, Catholicism is completely incompatible with any and all forms of Religion including Protestantism because there is disagreement on:



1) The very nature of the Christian Faith,


2) The content of God's revelation to mankind, and


3) The very God and Lord in Whom we believe and worship.



These facts have been ignored, even out-right denied, by the vast majority of those involved in ecumenism today. Yet they must be recognized if truth really matters.



Because of this, there can be no mere cooperation between a Catholic and a Protestant, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu etc. unless one denies, or at least ignores, his own beliefs. But no honest Christian can do this. There can be no "spiritual unity" (whatever that means) by the very fact that spirituality itself depends on the Spirit of Truth. In fact, any and all types of unity first depend on the three points stated above.



Our beliefs, as will be shown, are completely irreconcilable.






Before we proceed it must be made clear that the differences between Catholics and other religions are not mere differences in degree of Christian truth/doctrine, but differences in kind. We are talking about a qualitative difference. Between Catholics and other religions (this also includes all Protestants), it is a matter of mutually exclusive and irreconcilable beliefs, of opposite beliefs.



Let me put before you some concrete examples:



The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe, profess, obey, and worship was born of a woman who was:



   A) Immaculately conceived


   B) Sinless throughout her life


   C) A perpetual virgin


   D) Assumed body and soul into Heaven



These are all dogmas of the Catholic Faith. Dogmas are truths formally revealed by God and proposed by the Church as necessary for belief, and thus, belief in them is necessary for salvation.



Now, the Jesus in whom all Protestants profess belief in and worship was born of a woman who was: NOT-A, NOT-B, NOT-C, and NOT-D. Thus, this is not a matter of differences by degrees. This is a different Jesus! This is a rejection of divinely revealed truth. It is an opposite of what Catholics hold and believe. (This example shows just how far away other non Christians are also from the true faith.)



But wait a minute! These are not fundamental truths, are they? It is true, they are not the foundation upon which the Christian Faith rests. Even the Catholic Church holds that these Marian doctrines are not at the top of the "hierarchy of truths." But that does not mean that a rejection of these is NOT a rejection of basics. I will demonstrate how the rejection of even these Marian dogmas is in reality a rejection of God Himself - and you can't get any more basic than this.



Our existence on earth is ultimately to get to Heaven, to be united with God. The Catholic Church has always taught that we were created to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. Since attaining Heaven is the very purpose for our existence here on earth, God would not "waste His time," nor our short time, by revealing things which were not beneficial for our salvation. God does not reveal divine truths to help us win at "Trivial Pursuit," or merely get college degrees, or so we could win on "Jeopardy." No, God's very purpose for revealing His truths is so that we could be made free from sin and its consequences, -eternal death (Jn.8:32). Therefore, IF God formally reveals a truth, which the Catholic Church calls a dogma, THEN our belief in it is necessary for our salvation.



IF God has revealed a truth, THEN not to believe in it, to deny that truth revealed by God is to deny the very authority of God Who revealed it. This is true no matter what that truth is which God has revealed. To deny the authority of God is nothing other than a denial of God Himself, and NO ONE can be saved who denies God. If God has revealed it, then ALL men must believe it. IF God has revealed the above doctrines concerning the very Mother of Jesus Christ, THEN Protestants, (all men, in fact) MUST believe them. Since these doctrines are divinely revealed truths, to deny them is ultimately to deny God Who revealed them.




The issue, then, is not whether the Marian doctrines are basic or foundational to the Christian Faith; it is not whether these doctrines have any direct bearing upon how we are saved, but rather, the issue concerns the very authority of God. And nothing can be more basic to the Christian Faith than the very authority of God. Catholics and all other religions, including other Christians, then, disagree on the very authority of God.



Any supposed "agreements" between false religions and Catholics on even just essentials, while each side professes to maintain faithfulness to their respective traditions, is impossible. By analogy, different fruit (i.e., doctrines) can not come from the same "essential" tree. And what other faiths including Protestants believe and hold (which is not at all uniform) is the opposite from what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.



Opposites Do Not Attract



To make it abstract, in the doctrines which follow, the Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in did A, B, C, D and continues to do E, and His work on the Cross does F (as revealed in Sacred Scripture). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in did NOT-A, NOT-B, NOT-C, NOT-D, does NOT-E, and His death on the Cross does NOT-F. These examples will make it clear that we hold mutually exclusive doctrines, and thus disagree not only one the one Faith revealed by God, but we disagree on the one Lord Himself.



A) The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in, profess, obey, and worship established a visible Church with a visible authority and the hierarchical structure of a kingdom and a body (see Acts 6: 6; 14:23; 1 Cor.12:28; 1 Tim.4:14;Titus 1:5); whose bishops continue to exercise the same teaching and governing authority of the Apostles (see Acts 20:28; 1 Tim.5:21-22; 2 Tim.2:2; 4:2-5; Titus 2:15). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in and worship did NOT establish such a church.



B) The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in... and worship established the Papacy by building His Church upon St. Peter, thereby giving the world a visible teaching and governing authority representing Christ's own teaching and governing authority (Mat.16: 18-19; Lk.22:31-32; Jn.21:15-17). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in did NOT establish such an authority.



C) The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in and worship established a visible, sacerdotal priesthood to consecrate bread and wine into His Sacred Body and Blood, to perpetuate His one sacrifice of the cross, and to apply its fruits and graces down through time to believers, which includes the forgiving of sins (Lk.22:19; Jn.20:21-23; 2 Cor.5:18). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in did not establish such an office or function.



D) The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in and worship established at the Last Supper the one form of Christian worship for the worship of God to fulfil both the First and the Third Commandments. This is none other than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Mat.26:26ff; Mk.14:22ff; Lk.22:19ff; 1 Cor.11:23). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in did NOT establish such a worship service. (This is why Catholics can not, and do not, fulfil their Sunday obligations if they attended Prot services. In fact Catholics are forbidden to actively participate at non-Catholic services.)



E) The Jesus in Whom Catholics believe in and worship makes Himself truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the outward appearance of bread and wine, in the Holy Eucharist (Lk.22:19-20; Jn.6:52, 54-57; 1 Cor.10:16; 11:27). The Jesus in whom Protestants believe in does NOT do such a thing. Yet, since the Holy Eucharist IS literally the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ present on earth, to deny that it is, is to deny Jesus himself. There can be no unity, nor cooperation, with those who deny the Eucharistic Lord since at Vatican II, in the Church's very Decree on Ecumenism (ch.1), it was declared that Christ:



"instituted the wonderful sacrament of the Eucharist by which the unity of the Church is both signified and brought about."



As you can see, it is not a matter of Protestant or other unbelievers not merely believing as much as Catholics believe, or of each side just holding different interpretations which need to be worked through in greater detail, rather, it is a matter of Protestants believing the very opposite what the Catholic Church teaches and other religions not believing at all. You can never reconcile "A" and "NOT-A." Truth, and thus Divine Faith, can never contradict itself. As God has revealed, the preaching of the Apostles is that God is faithful: their preaching was not "It is, and It is not" (see 2 Cor.1:18-19).



What Protestants hold and what Catholics hold are mutually exclusive doctrines and beliefs. But there is only one Lord and one Faith revealed by the Lord. Therefore, the Protestant faith is not the same faith to a lesser degree than that of the Catholic Faith, nay, it is a different faith. It is a different religion. (This was so obvious to men in the 16th through 18th centuries.)



This is why Venerable Pope Pius IX (1846-78) declared ex cathedra (and thus infallibly) that it is an error to hold and believe that "Protestantism is nothing else than a different form of the same true Christian religion, in which it is possible to serve God as well as in the Catholic Church"(Syllabus of Errors, Proposition, 18).



There can be no cooperation with those who hold the very opposite of Catholic teaching, for truth is the prerequisite for both unity and cooperation. Setting aside differences in order to cooperate with those who reject truths revealed by God leads to the sin and error of indifferentism.



Since the Catholic Faith is the one true Faith revealed by God, given to us by Jesus Christ and passed down by the Apostles, it is all Protestants who have to repent from their errors affirm the truth and return to Christ's one fold.






We move on now to an example that will bring out clearly the fact that Catholics and Protestants not only have opposite beliefs, but have a fundamentally different concept of God Himself.



F) The Jesus Catholics believe in and worship has by His Passion and Death, by the shedding of His Precious Blood on the Cross, actually made righteous and truly justified those to whom the grace and merit of His Passion is communicated (Rom.5:19; 1 Cor.6:11; 2 Cor.5:17; Eph.4:23-24; 2 Pet.1:4). The Blood of the Catholic Jesus actually cleanses the souls of those who have been (validly) baptized from both Original Sin and any actual sins committed before hand. These souls are objectively made righteous and beautiful before God.



The Passion and death of Jesus for Protestants has no ontological (i.e. actual) effect on the soul. In other words, the application of the fruit of the death of "their" Jesus brings about no objective change upon the soul of believers, it only changes their "position" or "status" before God. They call this "imputed righteousness" or "declared justification," where the believer is covered by Christ's blood and righteousness. For Protestants, God declares the believer justified, but the believer in reality, in his soul, is not so.



Think of the implications of this belief. This is not some minor theological difference. We are speaking here of a completely different concept of God Himself. For in truth, when God declares something it becomes so in reality.



And God said, "Let there be light;" and there was light. (Gen.1:3; see also 1:7, 9,11,etc.)



By the word of the Lord the heavens were made... For he spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood firm. (Psa.33[32-DRV]:6,9)



Praise the name of the Lord. For he spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created. (Psa.148:5)



As the Catholic Church teaches, and the Bible reveals, God's word is creative and causative. An objective effect always occurs when God declares something. Yet, the Protestant view is that God's word -what God declares concerning the believer- has no effect on the soul. This doctrine of imputed righteous-ness/declared justification directly denies what is infallibly declared in Sacred Scripture. This doctrine holds that God's declaration has no effect on reality, but only on the believer's "status." In other words, God's declaration of righteousness has no real effect on the soul itself. Thus, for Protestants, God calls them one thing -justified in "position"- when they are in reality another -objectively still depraved and unjustified.



What does this mean? It means a couple of things.



First, for Protestants, God is either impotent, for he has not the power to cause what he declares, OR God does not mean what He actually declares, -which can only mean that God is lying. Both implications are utter blasphemy. Both deny the very nature of God. The first denies that God is all-powerful; the second denies God's goodness and truthfulness. (As we will see later, to deny these, or any, attributes of God is to deny the reality of God Himself.)



Second, according to this doctrine, it is not the reality of the person or the soul which changes, but it is how God looks at us which changes. Think about this... God's great work of justifying believers is NOT in bringing about a change in us, but rather it is God changing! This is utter blasphemy. God can NEVER change. Either way, according to this belief, for God to save us, He doesn't actually change our spiritual condition but instead, He changes how He thinks about us. For Protestants, the essence of our justification is God changing what He declares about us by either ignoring the true state of our souls, or by not really meaning what He declares.



There is one thing for sure this doctrine reveals: the "God" Protestants believe in and worship is surely NOT the God of the Bible, Whom Catholics profess and worship. We have completely different and irreconcilable concepts of God Himself.



As Pope Pius IX solemnly declared, Protestantism is NOT merely a "different form of the same true Christian religion" It is thus false. It is not the same true Christian religion established by Jesus Christ, nor is it part of it. Catholicism and the Protestantism are totally irreconcilable. The intrinsic unity of divine Faith leaves no other option. As a result, we must of necessity conclude the following: Protestantism believe in and profess a different Jesus. Now, since Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, we are forced to conclude that they believe in a different God. Thus, Catholics and Protestants DO NOT agree on even the basics of revealed truth. There is, then, no ground for cooperation between Catholics and Protestants. For a Catholic to do such, he MUST compromise at least something of his Catholic Faith -if he truly has the Faith. In fact, as just demonstrated, he must deny what is fundamental to the very nature of God.



Thus, true ecumenism for Catholics MUST be that of evangelizing, of making efforts at bringing Protestants into the one Body of Christ, of witnessing to the truth of the Catholic Faith and exposing the damnable errors of our "separated brethren." Even at Vatican II, in the Decree on Ecumenism (Ch.I, 3), the Catholic Church recognized that these divisions are "damnable" as St. Paul pointed out (see 1 Cor.1:11f; 11: 22). Later on in that same chapter it was declared:



"It is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those who belong in any way to the people of God must be fully incorporated."



If Protestants are to belong "in any way to the people of God" they "MUST be fully incorporated" in to Christ's Body, which is the Catholic Church. This is the goal of any authentic ecumenism -to bring professed non-Catholic Christians into the Catholic Church which alone has the fullness of truth.



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Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, Baptism of Desire,, etc.
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 07:27:am »




What must be recognized is that the Catholic Church teaches as the Bible reveals that those who reject the Church founded by Jesus Christ reject Christ Himself and thus the truth. Jesus declared to His chosen representatives, "Anyone who rejects you, rejects me" (Lk.10:16). And it is a dogma of the Catholic Church that she is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ:



Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) solemnly declared in the Profession of Faith for the Waldensians (1208):



By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one true Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside which we believe no one is saved.



At the 14th Ecumenical Council, Lyons II (1274), it was solemnly declared in its Profession of Faith:



The most holy Roman Church... firmly holds, preaches, declares, and teaches;... that the true Church is holy, Catholic, apostolic, and one... Also this same Roman Church holds the highest and complete primacy and spiritual power over the universal Catholic Church.



Pope Pius IX (1846-78) declared in Singulari Quidem (1856):



The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman: unique, the Chair founded on Peter ... Outside her fold is to be found neither the true faith nor eternal salvation, for it is impossible to have God for a Father if one has not the Church for a Mother.



At Vatican Council II none of this historic teaching was changed or modified as many think. For example, in the Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches (no. 2) it was declared:



The holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government.



To make it clear that by "Catholic Church" the Council meant the Roman Catholic Church with the successor of Peter, the Pope of Rome, as its visible head, let me quote these from the Constitution On the Church (8 and 23):



This is the only Church of Christ which we profess in the Creed to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral and shepherding care (cf.Jn.21: 17), commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and to rule it (cf.Mat.18:17-18; 28:18, etc.), and which he raised up for all ages as "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim.3:15). This Church, established and organized as a society present in this world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter (i.e., the Pope) and the Bishops in communion with him.



The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. The individual bishops are the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular churches (i.e. dioceses), ... it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists.



Thus, at Vatican II the Catholic Church still made it clear that she is the one Church established by Christ.



Protestants, by definition, reject the teachings and authority of the Catholic Church. Thus, in effect, they reject Christ. Though these sound arguments should be enough to those who are open to truth, the following authoritative Church statements should make it quite clear that Catholics and  Protestants have no real grounds for cooperation.



Pope Boniface I (418-22) declared in his letter to the Thessalonians that "whosoever has cut himself off from the Church of Rome has become alien to Christianity."



Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) declared in Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church, 1896):



Remember and understand well that where Peter is, there is the Church; that those who refuse to associate in communion with the Chair of Peter belong to Anti-Christ, not to Christ. He who would separate himself from the Roman Pontiff has no further bond with Christ.



In his Apostolic Letter, Quotiescumque Nobis (1961) Pope John XXIII (1958-62) gives us the logical sequence for those who would be joined to Christ:



It is impossible to be joined to God except through Jesus Christ; it is impossible to be united to Christ except in and through the Church, which is His Mystical Body; finally, it is impossible to belong to the Church except through the bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles and united to the Supreme Pastor, the successor of Peter.



Pope Paul VI (1962-78) declared in Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the World, 1975):



It happens that not without sorrow we hear people... continually claiming to love Christ but without the Church; to listen to Christ, but not to the Church; to belong to Christ; but outside the Church. The absurdity of this is clearly evident in this phrase of the Gospel: "Anyone who rejects you, rejects me" (Lk.10:16).



There are many who think Pope John Paul II has never taught what has been presented so far. But this is not so. In his address to the theologians of Spain (December 20, 1982), the Holy Father made it clear that:



One cannot believe in Christ without believing in the Church, the Body of Christ... Faithfulness to Christ, therefore, implies faithfulness to the Church.



The teaching of the Church is clear: those who do not belong to the Catholic Church, nor hold the Catholic Faith, do NOT belong to Christ, Whose Body is the Catholic Church. Any relations with Protestants, then, must be that of evangelization, of giving witness to the Catholic Faith, and not that of mere cooperation. Pope Pius XI (1922-39) made this clear in Mortalium Animos (On Fostering True Christian Unity, 1928), when he declared that Christian unity:



Can arise only from one teaching authority, one law of belief, and one Faith of Christians... There is only one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ for those who are separated from her; for far from that one true Church they have in the past fallen away...



In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint, Pope John Paul II stated numerous times that for there to be authentic Christian unity, those not in communion with the Catholic Church must come into full unity with her who alone holds the fullness of truth:



The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety. In matters of faith compromise is in contradiction with God who is Truth. (# 18)



Full unity will come about when all share in the fullness of the means of salvation entrusted by Christ to his Church. (# 86)



The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is - in God's plan- an essential requisite of full and visible communion. (# 97)



The Pope, then, admits that the only way for Christians to be united with the unity willed by God is "by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety." Revealed faith in its entirety exists only in the Catholic Church. This means that all non-Catholics who profess belief in Jesus Christ must, for example, accept and believe the divinely revealed truths of: Papal infallibility, the Marian dogmas, Purgatory, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence, the seven Sacraments, etc. In other words, they must convert to Catholicism and become members of the Catholic Church. Otherwise, they exist in opposition to God's will.



Of course, unity is not an end in and of itself. The purpose of working for Christian unity is to bring those outside of the one true fold into it that they might be saved. Thus, ultimately, what is at stake here is the salvation of souls.



With the most solemn and highest exercise of Church authority, Pope Eugene IV (1431-47), in the Bull Cantata Domino at the Council of Florence in 1441, defined and declared ex Cathedra, and thus infallibly, that:



The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that none of those who are not within the Catholic Church, not only Pagans, but Jews, heretics and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but are to go into the eternal fire ‘'prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mat.25:41), unless before the close of there lives they shall have entered into that Church; also that the unity of the Ecclesiastical body is such that the Church's Sacraments avail only those abiding in that Church... moreover, that no one, no matter what alms he may have given, not even if he were to shed his blood for Christ's sake, can he be saved unless he abide in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.



Of course, no one can enter into and "abide in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church" unless (presuming they have been validly baptized) they hold in its entirety the Catholic Faith. This is why Pope Pius IX infallibly declared that "to believe that good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ" is to be "absolutely rejected and condemned by all the sons of the Catholic Church" (Syllabus of Errors, 17).



Nevertheless, the above facts and this defined dogma are ignored, if not denied, by those "Catholics" who cooperate with and seek unity with those non-Catholics who profess belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, for the latter by definition reject dogmas of the Church. In doing so, the former are misleading both themselves and those with whom they cooperate, for there can be no real cooperation, let alone unity, when truth is either ignored or rejected -by either party.



It must, again, be recognized that those who ignore or reject divine truth, ignore or reject God Himself who is truth. This is what we will look at next.



You may ask, "Couldn't one claim that, though much of their theology is wrong, it does not mean that Protestants are separated from Christ and actually believe in a different God?" No, this could not be true. Some fundamental theology will help us to see why.



To believe in God is to believe in who He is. This should be self-evident. "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one" (Deut.6:4). God's unity, or "oneness," means that He is indivisible. God's oneness includes all His divine attributes; for God is Eternal, Everywhere Present, All-mighty, All-knowing, All-wise, Holy, Just, Good (this includes loving), Merciful, True, Faithful, and Unchangeable.



Because God is infinite, His attributes are infinite. We must recognize that there is no distinction between God's attributes and Himself. As God is one and indivisible, so His attributes are one and indivisible. Since our minds are finite we must think of God's attributes as distinct, if we are to think of them at all. Nevertheless, as God is one and indivisible, so His attributes are one and indivisible. Thus, the attributes of God are not distinct from His very Self, and in God neither are they distinct from one another.



This means that not to believe in just one of these attributes is to not believe in God at all. God cannot be God if He did not have only one of these attributes; nor could God be God even if He lacked absolute perfection in only one attribute. God, by definition, can NEVER lack even absolute perfection in any of these attributes.



This is all fundamental theology, the foundation upon which everything else pertaining to God, and thus to Christ and Christianity, is built. We will now look at one of God's attributes in relation to ecumenism. This attribute will be truth.



The Attribute of Truth



Since God is true, it necessarily follows that God reveals only Truth; God speaks only Truth; God acts only in Truth; God can only be known in truth; God demands belief in and conformity to Truth. Now, since God is also one, and thus, indivisible (i.e. God has no parts), the same must be said concerning the attribute of Truth. Truth, divine Truth, MUST be one and indivisible if it is an attribute of God. As it is an attribute of God, Who has no parts, so there is no division or parts in Truth. As a result of this, the following must be held and affirmed:



Since Truth cannot be divided, to deny, or to fail to believe in just ONE divinely revealed truth (i.e. a dogma of the Church) is to fail to believe ENTIRELY what God has revealed. Again, as an attribute of God, Truth has NO parts. It can only be believed in its entirety or it is not held at all, for Truth cannot be divided. Think about this...



Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, identified Himself with the Truth and as the Truth (Jn.14:6), and as belief in and submission to Christ is necessary for salvation, so, then, is belief in Truth necessary for salvation. The very nature of God demands belief in and conformity to truth, if one is to be saved. Again, since Truth is indivisible it must be believed in its entirety. As a result of this, the following position and conclusion is unavoidable:



We must of necessity conclude that one who fails to believe in just one particular divine truth, that is, one who rejects just one dogma of the Catholic Church, cannot in reality believe in the God of the Bible, the God of the Catholic Church. By definition, this person cannot be united to Christ Who is Truth Incarnate. Thus, this person cannot be saved.



Since all Protestants, let alone all other non-Catholics, reject what the Catholic Church teaches as truths revealed by God (i.e., Papal infallibility, the Marian dogmas, Purgatory, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence, etc.), we must of necessity conclude that in rejecting just one particular divine truth, that is, in failing to believe in just one dogma of the Church, these persons are rejecting God. Remember, there is no distinction between God and His attributes. Thus Protestants, as they are, cannot be saved.



It is either that, or one the following MUST be held:



1) Truth, and our belief in it, does not really matter for salvation. IF this were true, THEN, Jesus does not matter for salvation since He equated Himself with the Truth and identified Himself as the Truth (see Jn.14:6). Of course, no real Christian can hold this, OR:



2) Truth is divisible, which means it does not need to be completely accepted and embraced, for some "parts" of Truth can be held while at the same time others can be rejected. IF this were true, THEN Truth can not be an attribute of God because God is one and indivisible and His attributes are identical with Him. But this would mean that God is NOT true. IF God were not true, THEN God is not perfect. IF this were true, THEN there is no God, for God is, by definition, infinitely perfect and true. Thus, to hold this option makes one an atheist.



What do these undeniable facts reveal? First, these facts reveal that Catholics and Protestants cannot truly join in prayer together at ecumenical gatherings, for the "God" of Protestants is not the one true God, indivisible in all of His attributes. Catholics and Protestants may profess to believe in the same God, in the same Jesus, etc., but that to which we attribute to God in both His nature and works are contradictory and irreconcilable. Second, these facts reveal the need, again, not for mere cooperation or ecumenical prayer services, but evangelization.



To hold and believe that a person can still be united to Christ and be saved without having to believe those truths which God has revealed for our salvation, which is what the dogmas of the Faith are, one is holding either #1 or #2 (or both). There are no other options. To hold #1 makes one a non-Christian. To hold #2 makes one a complete atheist. Neither of which can be saved. The only other choice is to believe the absolute necessity of holding in its entirety the One True Faith revealed by God and given to us by Christ -the Catholic Faith. This is what the Catholic Church has always formally taught:



In the ancient Athanasian Creed, composed sometime before the year 400 A.D., it is declared:



Whoever wishes to be saved needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity... This is the Catholic faith; unless each one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.



Pope Eugene IV (1431-1437) solemnly declared in his Bull Exultate Deo (1439):



Whoever wishes to be saved needs, above everything else, to hold the Catholic faith. Unless one preserves this faith whole and inviolate he will perish in eternity, without a doubt.



At Vatican Council I, in the Dogmatic Constitution On Faith (chap.3), it was solemnly declared:



Since without faith it is impossible to please God, no one may be justified without it, nor will anyone attain eternal life unless he perseveres to the end in it... all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church either in solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching office as divinely revealed truths which must be believed.



In the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ (ch.3) it was solemnly declared:



We teach and declare that the Roman Church, by the disposition of the Lord, holds the sovereignty of ordinary power over all others... When, therefore, this bond of unity with the Roman Pontiff is guarded, both in government and in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ is one flock under one supreme shepherd. This is the doctrine of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate without losing his faith and salvation.



Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), in his first Encyclical Ad beatissimi (1914), repeated this same principle:



The nature of the Catholic faith is such that nothing can be added, nothing taken away. Either it is held in its entirety or it is rejected totally. This is the Catholic faith which, unless a man believes faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.



May all who claim to be Catholic recognize the true teachings of Mother Church on the necessity of holding the Catholic Faith in its entirety for salvation. May all Protestants who honestly seek Christian unity in response to the prayer of our Lord Jesus in John 17, recognize that, 1) this is the true teaching of the Catholic Church, and 2) this teaching is revealed from God, from which the Catholic Church can never deviate.






You may also hold that, despite the fact that Protestants misinterpret (or misunderstand) a divine truth revealed by God, they can still be united to Christ and thus be saved. Hence, there is a basis for cooperation between Catholics and, at the least, Evangelicals. If you hold this, then please consider the following:



First, a misinterpretation of divine truth is still, by definition, error. It is still a failure to affirm and believe a truth which God has revealed as necessary for belief. This objective fact must never be ignored.



Second, by misinterpreting a divine truth revealed by God one does so either intentionally (i.e., conscious rejection of divine truth) OR accidentally (i.e., unintentional rejection of divine truth). There are no other options.



I will presume for the sake of argument that you hold that the person who is the conscious rejecter of divine truth shall be damned, and the person who unintentionally misinterprets what God has revealed can still enter heaven and who will have all his misinterpretations and misunderstandings straightened out.



If you hold this, in either case you must admit that, if the unintentional misinterpreter goes to heaven and the intentional misinterpreter goes to hell, then Truth still does not really matter. Why?






This is the objective fact of both examples. Yet both end up in eternally opposite places! The objective fact that both did not believe the truth, then, is not the determining factor in their eternal fates. Please think this through... This contradicts what God has declared when, through St. Paul, He made it clear that those who do not believe the truth will be judged and condemned (2 Thes.2:12).



To hold the above can ONLY mean that Truth does NOT, in fact, matter; and since Jesus is the Truth, it means Jesus does not matter for salvation. (It would also necessarily mean that faith -correct faith- does not matter.) It means that only intentions matter because BOTH of these persons failed to actually believe the Truth before they died.



Therefore, you MUST conclude that to hold this means that man is saved by his own intentions. This is none other than a gospel of works. It is the heresy of salvation by works. (Any act of body, mind or will is a work.) It is well known that liberal "Catholics" hold this heresy, but any Protestant (this includes Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and fundamentalists) who holds such is guilty of the damnable heresy of salvation by works.



Jesus did not say he who misinterprets revealed truth, even though he does not believe, will still be saved. Rather, Jesus declared without qualification, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe shall be condemned" (Mk.16:16).



Jesus is concerned with objective reality, -whether we actually believe the truth or not- for there is no subjective circumstance which He cannot overcome. To hold that there is, is to deny God's omniscience and omnipotence. Here's why:



1) Since nothing is impossible with God (Lk.1:37), there is nothing which he can not foresee and no circumstance in which He can not overcome.


2) Since God promises that He will reward those who seek Him (Heb.11:6), and


3) Since God desires ALL men to come to know the truth (1 Tim.2:4), there is nothing which would keep God from revealing His truth to those who are open to it (Jn.18:37) and who sincerely seek it (Mat.7:7f). Only bad will can do this.



Therefore, we must conclude that if someone does not know and believe in the dogmas of the Catholic Church before they die (including those who misinterpret the truth), they are either not open to the truth and not sincerely seeking it OR they are rejecting truth when made aware of it. As a result of the above promises, no one could "sincerely" misinterpret God's truths up till the day they die, for Christ promised that we shall know the truth (Jn.8:32). Ignorance of the Truth, then, is due to the individuals own fault of ultimately not being open to the Truth.



St. Thomas Aquinas recognized this truth when he stated in his Summa Theologica (I-II, q.84, art.4, ad 5; II-II, q.53, art.2, ad 2) :



All sins which are due to ignorance can be reduced to sloth, to which pertains the negligence of a man who declines to acquire spiritual goods because of the labour associated with them... Since knowledge is further removed from morality than prudence,... it follows that ignorance has the nature of mortal sin, not of itself, but on account either of a preceding negligence or the consequent result, and for this reason ignorance is reckoned one of the general causes of sin... All sin proceeds from some ignorance.



In dealing with this same subject, Pope St. Pius X (1903-14), forcefully declared that:



We pray and conjure you to reflect on the ruin of souls which is wrought by this single cause: ignorance of those most sublime truths, so far beyond the natural understanding of the multitude, which must nonetheless be known by all men alike in order that they may attain eternal salvation... We positively maintain that the will of man cannot be upright nor his conduct good while his intellect is the slave of crass ignorance!... If, as a result of ignorance, lack of faith is added to corruption, the situation scarcely admits of remedy, and the road to eternal ruin lies open. This we solemnly affirm: the majority of those who are condemned to eternal punishment fall into this everlasting misfortune through ignorance of the mysteries of the faith which must necessarily be known and believed by all who belong to the Elect.


("Acts of the Supreme Pontiff Pius X," Vatican Press, Rome, 1904.)



Misinterpretation is still, in effect, ignorance of truth, and ignorance is ultimately due to sin.



With the true nature of misinterpretation exposed, there is another fatal problem for those who think that the person who misinterprets God's revealed Truth until his death can still be united to Christ and thus still be saved. It concerns, again, God's attributes. If God were to make exceptions by allowing those who misinterpret his revealed truths to be saved, then, God would be making an exception with one of His attributes and its necessary consequences. Remember, to truly believe in God is to believe His attributes can never be separated from Him.



It must be recognized that even those who end up "unintentionally" misinterpreting what God has revealed nonetheless still, objectively speaking, do NOT believe the Truth. If these could still be saved in such a state, then, God makes an exception with His attribute of Truth. But this cannot be. God cannot make any exceptions with His attributes. If He did, then God would be denying one of His own attributes. But this would mean that God would, in fact, be denying Himself. By definition of what is meant by "God," this is an absolute impossibility. God can NEVER deny Himself (2 Tim.2:13).



Thus, we MUST conclude that God cannot make an exception when it comes to both His Truth and the absolute necessity for those who would be saved to believe in His revealed truths. Again, as God and His attributes are one and indivisible, and as Truth is an attribute of God, and thus is identified with God and cannot be divided, we MUST hold that to be saved one must believe in ALL that God has revealed.



Those who believe God makes exceptions for the "unintentional" misinterpreter of His truths end up holding by consequence that God must deny Himself to do such. This would make them, by definition, atheists. It must be held by any person of reason (and reason and faith can never contradict each other) that if the necessary consequences of a belief or position were to lead to a denial of God and truth, then the belief itself is false and damnable for those who hold it. The truths revealed by God MUST be held in their entirety or they will be of no benefit to those who hold only some of them. This is so because divine truth is indivisible.



By the fact that Evangelicals in particular, and Protestants in general, reject certain truths revealed by God, the truths they do profess will be of no avail to them. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), in his encyclical Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church: June 29, 1896), spelled this out clearly:



"Such is the nature of the faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and to reject others. If, then, it be certain that anything is revealed by God, and this is not believed, then NOTHING WHATEVER is believed by divine faith... But he who dissents even in ONE POINT from divinely-revealed truth absolutely rejects ALL faith, since he refuses to honour God as the Supreme Truth and formal motive of faith. In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me, the many in which they are WILL NOT PROFIT THEM... for they who take from Christian doctrine what they please lean on their own judgment, not on faith... and they obey themselves more truly than they obey God." (Capitals added to emphasize point.)



There can be no TRUE ecumenism until the one true God and His revealed truths are acknowledged and believed in their entirety. And there can be no authentic cooperation with those who deny God and His truth. There can only be evangelization and the hope for their conversion.






So, what basis is there for ecumenical prayer meetings, ecumenical/social out-reach programs to the poor and even ecumenical pro-life efforts? Well, it should be quite clear by now that the ecumenical efforts of today are based on false and erroneous assumptions, i.e. that Catholics and Protestants at least believe the fundamentals and basics of the Christian Faith, -which thus establishes some ground for some unity and cooperation. On the contrary, as this work has demonstrated, even though there is a similar profession on some aspects of the Christian Faith, there is no objective ground of basic agreement between Catholics and Protestants. Thus, the very notion that there can be some sort of "spiritual unity" (whatever "spiritual" may mean here) is a complete fallacy. There can be no dichotomy allowed between what one truly believes, what one professes, and what exterior communion to which one belongs; for this would only be disunion within the individual. To function on this level would be to live a lie. The Incarnation is the union of Spirit with flesh, the eternal with the historical, the invisible with the visible, the interior with the exterior. As a result, there can be no unity in one realm (spiritual) while there is none in the other (creed, authority, and faith). True ecumenism must reflect the reality of the Incarnation. This reality exists only in the Catholic Church.



No social issue, no political issue, not even moral issues can take priority over God's revealed truths and the necessity of men to affirm and believe in them. In fact, true cooperation in any of these areas is ultimately contingent upon a common acknowledgment and profession of Christian truth -doctrinal and moral.



As we have shown, in the Catholic Faith, Jesus did A, B, C, D, E, etc., and God, by His nature, is A, B, and C. In the Protestant faith Jesus did NOT-A, NOT-B, NOT-C, etc., and God is NOT-A, NOT-B, and NOT-C. Because they do not believe in numerous dogmas of the Catholic Faith, Protestants do not believe in the same God Who has revealed Himself. Thus, they cannot be saved unless they repent from their errors and profess and believe the whole Catholic Faith - as all must.



As mentioned before, not to believe or to reject a truth revealed by God is to reject the very authority of God Who revealed it. This is true no matter what that truth is which God has revealed. To reject the authority of God is nothing but the rejection of God Himself, and NO ONE can be saved who rejects God.  Hence, the necessity of belief in every dogma for salvation. To reject just one, is to reject God Who revealed it.



What must we conclude then? There can be no cooperation with those who reject Christ, for those who reject Christ are in reality enemies of Christ, even if they don't think they are. Evangelicals, and all Protestants, have invented their own "Christ," who is NOT the biblical/historical Jesus Christ of Roman Catholicism.



Catholics, then, have the obligation, the divine mandate, to evangelize not only professed non-Christians, but even those who profess to believe in Jesus and yet are not Catholic. Since love rejoices in the truth (1 Cor.13:6), we can never tolerate error in matters of religion. In fact, we can never cooperate with error, but must seek to correct it and bring those in it out of it.



Therefore, it would be uncharitable to leave a Protestant in his error, for error is ultimately a rejection of truth, and only truth is salvfic. This truth is the Catholic Faith, revealed by God and given by Christ to His Church for our salvation.



Ecumenism and cooperation are, by definition, absolutely contingent upon truth, and men's belief in all of it, confession of it in its entirety and adherence to it. Truth comes before unity, for unity must be built upon it and Christ Who is Truth; and unity can come no other way except by way of union with and submission to Truth's vicar on earth - the Pope of Rome.



We end this short work with a quote by Venerable Pope Pius IX from his 1863 Encyclical, Quanto Conficiamur (On Religious Indifferentism, 1863), which presents the true attitude Catholics must have towards our "separated brethren."



"But let the children of the Catholic Church in no way be hostile to those who are not joined with us in the bonds of the same faith and of charity... above all let them strive to snatch them away from the darkness in which they lie miserably, and lead them back to the Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to extend her maternal arms lovingly to them and to call them back to her bosom, so that being grounded and made firm in faith, hope and charity... they may attain eternal salvation."




The fact that it’s been debated before, that the debates have been rancorous in the past, that the opposite views have been saddled with various labels . . . none of this diminishes the importance of the issues - rather, it kinds of shows their importance.  Sorry you’ll sit this one out.


Think of it as a new start, a fresh start.


I noticed that St. Alphonsus, in a lengthy quote, cited one authority.  Let’s begin this debate with the principles of preponderance of the evidence, weight of the evidence in mind. Let’s approach this like a jury that has to deal with “all” the evidence and make the best judgment we can, on the evidence. If there weren’t two sides, there’d be no discussion. Thanks for your initial “testimony.” Let’s see where we’re at when the “trial’s” over.


I have’nt had a chance to read deeply all you posted, but I think we approach this the same way.  Thanks for getting this started with some great observations and a cogent analysis.

Perhaps we can effectively continue this this way.  I’d like McMaster, HmiS, and anyone else who supports baptism of desire (“BOD”), baptism of blood (BOB”), or invincible ignorance to supply their authority - try to make it the Magisterium at this point, actual councils, encyclicals, not some theologian musing on the issue. That’s a good  way to start, and won’t take up much space.  :) HmiS has already given us the Council of Trent citation. Great. Now someone can give the Pius IX citatations, theCatechism of Trent citations. You can even give the Augustine or the odd citation from one or two of the only of hundreds of Church fathers who support those ideas.  As I implied, there’s not a lot out there.

After providing the "evidence," we can make our arguments.

Thanks again for a great start.


"[T]hey receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11


Quote from: tornpage
I'd like McMaster, HmiS, and anyone else who supports baptism of desire (“BOD”), baptism of blood (BOB”), or invincible ignorance to supply their authority - try to make it the Magisterium at this point, actual councils, encyclicals, not some theologian musing on the issue. That’s a good  way to start, and won’t take up much space.  :)

I already supplied most of the authority I know of, although I admit some of it was just from "some theologian" (i.e., St. Thomas Aquinas, the Common Doctor of the Church). But I don't think I previously mentioned this striking combination of invalid water baptism with valid baptism of desire, discussed by Pope Innocent III in a letter to Berthold, Bishop of Metz (Denzinger 413):

You have, to be sure, intimated that a certain Jew, when at the point of death, since he lived only among Jews, immersed himself in water while saying: "I baptize myself in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."

We respond that, since there should be a distinction between the one baptizing and the one baptized, as is clearly gathered from the words of the Lord, when he says to the Apostles: "Go baptize all nations in the name etc." [cf. Matt. 28:19], the Jew mentioned must be baptized again by another, that it may be shown that he who is baptized is one person, and he who baptizes [is] another. . . . If, however, such a one had died immediately, he would have rushed to his heavenly home without delay because of the faith of the sacrament, although not because of the sacrament of faith.


Don McMaster
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Thine.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites; et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus!
Pray for the salvation of the ignorant, and the conversion of huge numbers of sinners!

Yes, I too have a blog--A Blog of Two Popes: St. Pius X, Bl. John XXIII
Updated 2009 May 3



I already supplied most of the authority I know of, although I admit some of it was just from "some theologian" (i.e., St. Thomas Aquinas, the Common Doctor of the Church).

First, St. Thomas is merely a theologian when it comes to determining what revealed truth is. It is only the Magisterium of the Church that does that. St. Thomas can be  fallible, and among his views was the view that the Blessed Mother was conceived in original sin. The Holy Spirit doesn't protect and guarantee everything that comes out of the mouth of St. Thomas. I wouldn’t stake my soul on an opinion of the Angelic Doctor.

But that doesn’t diminish my admiration for St. Thomas, and I don’t want to imply otherwise. It was St. Thomas, after all, who explained why God revealed His truths despite the ability of reason to arrive at many of them.  He said it was because - I paraphrase - God is too wise and just to base salvation on the reasoning abilities of men, which are widely divergent, and therefore clearly and directly revealed what is necessary for dumbos like me, so we could benefit eternally from the same grace as St. Thomas himself, with his huge cranium.

Anyway, here’s the authority you relied on; let me know if I left out anything.

Pius IX, From the Allocution, "Singulari quadem," Dec. 9, 1854

[Denzinger1647] For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains "we shall see God as He is" [ 1 John 3:2], we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is "one God, one faith, one baptism" [ Eph. 4:5 ]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.

Pius IX, From the Encyclical, "Quanto conficiamur moerore," to the bishops of Italy,Aug. 10, 1863

[Denzinger 1677] And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life [see n. 1717]. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of PETER, to whom "the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior," * cannot obtain eternal salvation.

The Letter of the Holy Office in 1949, written to Archbishop Cushing of Boston

The infallible dictum which teaches us that outside the Church there is no salvation, is among the truths that the Church has always taught and will always teach. But this dogma is to be understood as the Church itself understands it. For the Saviour did not leave it to private judgment to explain what is contained in the deposit of faith, but to the doctrinal authority of the Church.

The Church teaches, first of all, that there is question here of a very strict command of Jesus Christ. In unmistakable words He gave His apostles the command to teach all nations to keep whatever He had commanded (cf. Mt. 28:19). Not least among Christ's commands is the one which orders us to be incorporated by baptism into the mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, and to be united to Christ and to His vicar, through whom He Himself governs the Church on earth in a visible way. Therefore, no one who knows that the Church has been divinely established by Christ and, nevertheless, refuses to be a subject of the Church or refuses to obey the Roman Pontiff, the vicar of Christ on earth, will be saved.

The Saviour did not make it merely a necessity of precept for all nations to enter the Church. He also established the Church as a means of salvation without which no one can enter the kingdom of heavenly glory.

As regards the helps to salvation which are ordered to the last end only by divine decree, not by intrinsic necessity, God, in His infinite mercy, willed that their effects which are necessary to salvation can, in certain circumstances, be obtained when the helps are used only in desire or longing. We see this clearly stated in the Council of Trent about the sacrament of regeneration and about the sacrament of penance. The same, in due proportion, should be said of the Church in so far as it is a general help to salvation. To gain eternal salvation it is not always required that a person be incorporated in reality (reapse) as a member of the Church, but it is required that he belong to it at least in desire and longing (voto et desiderio). It is not always necessary that this desire be explicit, as it is with catechumens. When a man is invincibly ignorant, God also accepts an implicit desire, so called because it is contained in the good dispositions of soul by which a man wants his will to be conformed to God's will.

This is clearly taught by the Sovereign Pontiff Pope Pius XII in his doctrinal letter on the mystical Body of Christ. . . . Toward the end of the encyclical, when with all his heart he invites to union those who do not pertain to the body of the Catholic Church, the Pope mentions those "who are ordained to the mystical Body of the Redeemer by some kind of unconscious desire or longing." He by no means excludes these men from eternal salvation, but, on the other hand, he does point out that they are in a condition "in which they cannot be secure about their salvation . . . since they lack many great gifts and helps from God which they can enjoy only in the Catholic Church."

With these prudent words the Pope censures whose who exclude from eternal salvation all men who adhere to the Church only with an implicit desire; and he also censures those who falsely maintain that men can be saved equally well in any religion.

It must not be imagined that any desire whatsoever of entering the Church is sufficient for a man to be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which a man is related to the Church be informed with perfect charity. And an implicit desire cannot have its effect unless a man has supernatural faith.

MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII "On the Mystical Body of Christ" on June 29, 1943

102. Likewise, We must earnestly desire that this united prayer may embrace in the same ardent charity both those who, not yet enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, are still without the fold of the Church, and those who, on account of regrettable schism, are separated from Us, who though unworthy, represent the person of Jesus Christ on earth. Let us then reecho that divine prayer of our Savior to the heavenly Father: "That they all may be one, as thou Father in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." [193]

103. As you know, Venerable Brethren, from the very beginning of Our Pontificate, We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church, solemnly declaring that after the example of the Good Shepherd We desire nothing more ardently than that they may have life and have it more abundantly. [194] Imploring the prayers of the whole Church We wish to repeat this solemn declaration in this Encyclical Letter in which We have proclaimed the praises of the "great and glorious Body of Christ," [195] and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. [196] For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church. Therefore may they enter into Catholic unity and, joined with Us in the one, organic God of Jesus Christ, may they together with us run on to the one Head in the Society of glorious love. [197] Persevering in prayer to the Spirit of love and truth, We wait for them with open and outstretched arms to come not to a stranger's house, but to their own, their father's home.

104. Though We desire this unceasing prayer to rise to God from the whole Mystical Body in common, that all the straying sheep may hasten to enter the one fold of Jesus Christ, yet We recognize that this must be done of their own free will; for no one believes unless he wills to believe. [198] Hence they are most certainly not genuine Christians [199] who against their belief are forced to go into a church, to approach the altar and to receive the Sacraments; for the "faith without which it is impossible to please God" [200] is an entirely free "submission of intellect and will." [201] Therefore whenever it happens, despite the constant teaching of this Apostolic See, [202] that anyone is compelled to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, Our sense of duty demands that We condemn the act. For men must be effectively drawn to the truth by the Father of light through the Spirit of His beloved Son, because, endowed as they are with free will, they can misuse their freedom under the impulse of mental agitation and base desires. Unfortunately many are still wandering far from Catholic truth, being unwilling to follow the inspirations of divine grace, because neither they [203] nor the faithful pray to God with sufficient fervor for this intention. Again and again we beg all who ardently love the Church to follow the example of the Divine Redeemer and to give themselves constantly to such prayer.

Pope Innocent III in a letter to Berthold, Bishop of Metz, August 1206

[Denzinger 413]  You have, to be sure, intimated that a certain Jew, when at the point of death, since he lived only among Jews, immersed himself in water while saying: "I baptize myself in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."

We respond that, since there should be a distinction between the one baptizing and the one baptized, as is clearly gathered from the words of the Lord, when he says to the Apostles: "Go baptize all nations in the name etc." [cf. Matt. 28:19], the Jew mentioned must be baptized again by another, that it may be shown that he who is baptized is one person, and he who baptizes another. . . . If, however, such a one had died immediately, he would have rushed to his heavenly home without delay because of the faith of the sacrament, although not because of the sacrament of faith.

Catechism of Pius X, Baptism

17 Q: Can the absence of Baptism be supplied in any other way?

A: The absence of Baptism can be supplied by martyrdom, which is called Baptism of Blood, or by an act of perfect love of God, or of contrition, along with the desire, at least implicit, of Baptism, and this is called Baptism of Desire.

Anything else you want to add?

"[T]hey receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11


I’ll add a couple that most advocates of BOD rely on, and they are the most important from my perspective:


Council of Trent, Session VI


A description is introduced of the Justification of the impious, and of the Manner thereof under the law of grace. By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.

Catechism of the Council of Trent

On adults, however, the Church has not been accustomed to confer the Sacrament of Baptism at once, but has ordained that it be deferred for a certain time. The delay is not attended with the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.

Again, feel free to add anything else.

"[T]hey receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10-11

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