Heresy of the Week, Week of 5/26/06
By Bro. Michael Dimond and Bro. Peter Dimond
For more see: Heresies of the Week Relating to the Salvation Dogma
“Fr.” Ray Ryland, “No Salvation Outside the Church,” This Rock, Dec. 2005: “Why does the Catholic Church teach that there is "no salvation outside the Church"? 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).
“Since God intends (plans, wills) that every human being should go to heaven, doesn’t the Church’s teaching greatly restrict the scope of God’s redemption? Does the Church mean—as Protestants and (I suspect) many Catholics believe—that only members of the Catholic Church can be saved?
“That is what a priest in Boston, Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J., began teaching in the 1940s. His bishop and the Vatican tried to convince him that his interpretation of the Church’s teaching was wrong. He so persisted in his error that he was finally excommunicated, but by God’s mercy, he was reconciled to the Church before he died in 1978.
“In correcting Fr. Feeney in 1949, the Supreme Congregation of the Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued a document entitled Suprema Haec Sacra, which stated that " extra ecclesiam, nulla salus" (outside the Church, no salvation) is "an infallible statement." But, it added, "this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church itself understands it."
“Note that word dogma. This teaching has been proclaimed by, among others, Pope Pelagius in 585, the Fourth Lateran Council in 1214, Pope Innocent III in 1214, Pope Boniface VIII in 1302, Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Dominus Iesus.
“Our point is this: When the Church infallibly teaches extra ecclesiam, nulla salus [outside the Church there is no salvation], it does not say that non-Catholics cannot be saved. In fact, it affirms the contrary. The purpose of the teaching is to tell us how Jesus Christ makes salvation available to all human beings… Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus does not mean that only faithful Roman Catholics can be saved. The Church has never taught that.” (http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0512fea3.asp)
Allow me to repeat that one: “When the Church infallibly teaches extra ecclesiam, nulla salus, it does not say that non-Catholics cannot be saved. In fact, it affirms the contrary.”
So, when the Catholic Church says that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church – that all who die without the Catholic Faith and outside the Catholic Church are lost – it actually means JUST THE OPPOSITE! Wow, that might be the clearest denial of the dogma, and the most outrageous perversion of its meaning, that I’ve seen by someone who claims to believe in it. And this is coming from a Novus Ordo “priest” who is writing for the largest American apologetics organization in the Vatican II sect, “Catholic Answers.” This shows us again that the Vatican II sect is not Catholic, but totally apostate – remember, this is what is coming from its “conservative” apologetics organizations! – and that the number one crime of the Vatican II sect, the crime which permeates all of its other crimes, is the rejection of Outside the Church There is No Salvation.
Also notice that this heretical “priest” attempts to use the Fr. Feeney incident to advance his heresy, just like all the other heretics who hate the dogma. His line of argumentation to justify his heresy is the same line of argumentation used by the SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, etc., etc., etc. to justify their belief that souls can be saved without being Catholic. This should illustrate, once again, what the Fr. Feeney controversy was all about. Those who stood with him stood for the necessity of the Catholic Faith for salvation, while those who stood against him rejected the necessity of the Catholic Faith for salvation. For those who aren’t familiar with all the particulars of this affair, see the book I’ve written: Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation. There are numerous sections which deal in depth with the Fr. Feeney case.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832, on no salvation outside the Church: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life… You know how zealously Our predecessors taught that article of faith which these dare to deny, namely the necessity of the Catholic faith and of unity for salvation… Omitting other appropriate passages which are almost numberless in the writings of the Fathers, We shall praise St. Gregory the Great who expressly testifies that THIS IS INDEED THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. He says: ‘The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.’ Official acts of the Church proclaim the same dogma. Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of Lateran IV, these things are written: ‘There is one universal Church of all the faithful outside of which no one is saved.’ Finally the same dogma is also expressly mentioned in the profession of faith proposed by the Apostolic See, not only that which all Latin churches use, but also that which… other Eastern Catholics use. We did not mention these selected testimonies because We thought you were ignorant of that article of faith and in need of Our instruction. Far be it from Us to have such an absurd and insulting suspicion about you. But We are so concerned about this serious and well known dogma, which has been attacked with such remarkable audacity, that We could not restrain Our pen from reinforcing this truth with many testimonies.”
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 13), Aug. 15, 1832: “With the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is one God, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5) may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that ‘those who are not with Christ are against Him,’ (Lk. 11:23) and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore, ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” (Athanasian Creed).
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
For more see: Heresies of the Week Relating to the Salvation Dogma
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