The most comprehensive book, facts, arguments and articles on the Catholic Church’s dogmatic teaching Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the baptism of desire controversy.
This is the most comprehensive book that has been written on this dogma. This book answers all of the major objections on the baptism and salvation issue. It contains the most important papal pronouncements on this issue, a whole history of the “baptism of desire” controversy, many detailed sections covering all angles of the “invincible ignorance” objection, a section responding to every objection you’ve probably heard of on this topic and many that you haven’t. This is the first and only book to have covered all of the dogmatic definitions on this topic about salvation from the ecumenical councils (including the little-known ones from the Council of Vienne and the Fifth Lateran Council – see section 1). Look through the Table of Contents if you are looking for a particular issue or objection. But we strongly recommend that people obtain this book from us so that they can have all the quotations in book form.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832, on no salvation outside the Church: “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 Eugene IV, The Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” Nov. 22, 1439:“Holy baptism, which is the gateway to the spiritual life, holds the first place among all the sacraments; through it we are made members of Christ and of the body of the Church. And since death entered the universe through the first man, ‘unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we cannot,’ as the Truth says, ‘enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5]. The matter of this sacrament is real and natural water.”
The Best Argument Against “Baptism of Desire” (article/video) *This crucial video covers the Church's dogmatic teaching on salvation*
Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation
The dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism can actually be covered in one page (see section 1 and section 8). This is because this truth is exactly the same as defined by our first pope:
“… the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name, under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Church is His Mystical Body. Since there is no entering into the Catholic Church of Christ without the Sacrament of Baptism, this means that only baptized Catholics who die in the state of grace (and those who become baptized Catholics and die in the state of grace) can hope to be saved – period.
“If anyone abideth not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth.” (John 15:6)
The only reason that this document that you are looking at is approximately 300 pages long, and delves into a variety of issues in great detail, is simply because of the almost unceasing attacks against – and almost universal denial of – these otherwise simply expressed truths in our day.
The reader will notice that I’ve gone out of my way to answer every single significant objection raised against the true meaning of Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism, while the people who write books and articles against these truths almost never address any of the arguments from the teaching of the Church that we bring forward, simply because they cannot refute the facts.
Some of the liberals who read this document will also make the objection that it is “bitter” or “uncharitable.” But this is not true. The “foundation of charity is faith pure and undefiled” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #9). The statements in this document relating to Outside the Church There is No Salvation are made out of a desire to be faithful to Jesus Christ and His truth. A Catholic tells his neighbor the truth on this issue without compromise simply because he loves his neighbor.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos #9, Jan. 6, 1928: “Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt form of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you’ (II John 10).”
A Catholic who refuses to denounce heresy and heretics (when necessary) is not acting charitably, but uncharitably.
Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae #14, Jan. 10, 1890: “St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.’ To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe.”
The reader will also notice that each numbered section of this document was intended to be, for the most part, complete in itself; that is to say, one can read an individual section of this document and find the relevant citations from the teaching of the Church re-quoted for him without having to find them in a different part of the document.
I strongly encourage the reader to read the entire document, because the subjects dealt with in this document are all important; but, in my opinion, the most important sections of this document that the reader definitely does not want to miss are: 1- 4, 6-8, 13-16, 18, 21, 24-27, 31- 34.
The reader will see that the conclusions that are formed in this document are formed on the basis of the infallible teaching of the Chair of St. Peter. Those who reject these facts, therefore, are not simply rejecting my opinions; they are rejecting the teaching of the Chair of St. Peter (the dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church).
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).
-Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B. (May 3, 2004),
2nd edition (Oct. 30, 2006)
- The Chair of St. Peter Speaks the Truth that Christ Himself Delivered
- The Fathers are unanimous from the beginning on Water Baptism
- Not all of the Fathers always remained consistent with their own affirmation and the universal Tradition on the absolute necessity of Water Baptism
- The theory of baptism of blood – a tradition of man
- Two of the earliest statements on baptism of blood
- Unbaptized Saints? – the Acts of Martyrs
- The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste and St. Emerentiana
- St. Alban and his converted guard
- Summarizing the Facts on Baptism of Blood
- Miraculous Baptisms
- The Theory of Baptism of Desire – a tradition of man
- St. Augustine
- St. Ambrose
- St. Gregory Nazianz
- Gregory Nazianz and the Roman Breviary
- St. John Chrysostom
- Liturgical Tradition and Apostolic Burial Tradition
- Pope St. Siricius
- The Middle Ages
- St. Bernard
- St. Thomas Aquinas
- The Dogmatic Council of Vienne (1311-1312)
- St. Thomas Aquinas rejected “Invincible Ignorance”
- Pope St. Leo the Great Ends the Debate
- Pope Leo the Great infallibly declares that the water of baptism is inseparable from the spirit of justification
- Major Objections:
- Sess. 6, Chap. 4 of the Council of Trent
- The Dogma, Pope Pius IX and Invincible Ignorance
- What about Pope Pius IX?
- Singulari Quadam (an allocution to the Cardinals)
- Quanto Conficiamur Moerore
- Invincible Ignorance becomes a destructive heresy, obliterating the necessity of the Catholic Faith all over the world
- St. Paul, Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, St. Augustine and St. Prosper against Invincible Ignorance
- Other Popes and Saints against Invincible Ignorance
- Pope Benedict XIV, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Paul III, Pope Gregory the Great, Fr. De Smet, Pope Pelagius I, etc. against Invincible Ignorance
- Sacred Scripture against Invincible Ignorance, and evidence of the Immediate Dissemination of the Gospel throughout the whole world
- St. Justin Martyr, Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul’s epistles, St. Irenaeus, St. Clement, Tertullian, etc. on the immediate dissemination of the Gospel
- Acts 2:47: the Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved
- Early evidence in China and North and South America
- Salvation for the “Invincibly Ignorant” reduced to its absurd principle
- Jesus Christ against Invincible Ignorance
- The “Private Interpretation” Objection
17. Some Other Objections – page 134
There are a number of other objections that are raised against the true meaning of the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism for salvation. In this section, I will respond to them. These objections, of course, are all proven to be wrong by the infallible teaching of the Church examined thus far; but, once again, for the sake of completeness, each one will be addressed individually.
What the modern proponents of the false doctrine of baptism of desire try to do is to throw together a combination of things which appear to favor their position, but which actually don’t. They throw together a combination of fallible statements (which don’t prove their point), misinterpreted texts and/or mistranslated texts (which don’t say what they claim), as well as some other things which don’t prove their point. The average layperson, however, not having the facts at his or her disposal or not willing to make the effort to see through all of the fallacious arguments, misrepresented points and invalid reasoning, comes away with the impression that “baptism of desire” must be a teaching of the Church. But when each of the things that the baptism of desire advocates claim is examined individually, one can see that not one of them proves the false doctrine of baptism of desire in any way; they all crumble when scrutinized. And while these people misunderstand and misrepresent the teaching of the Church, they dishonestly don’t even attempt to address the many arguments from the highest teaching authority of the Catholic Church (the Chair of Peter) which show that there is no such thing as “baptism of desire” or salvation for those who die as non-Catholics (see Section 33). They don’t address these arguments simply because they can’t answer them.
Since some of the following sections are more involved and technical, those who are not necessarily looking for or interested in the answers to these objections may as well skip over this section to the next section.
- The Catechism of the Council of Trent
- Sess. 7, Can. 4 on the Sacraments – Actually refutes baptism of desire as can be seen when it is compared with similar dogmatic canons
- Pope Innocent II
- Pope Innocent III
- St. Alphonsus Liguori
- Trent’s Teaching on the Necessity of Penance vs. its Teaching on the Necessity of Baptism
- The Argument From Silence
- The 1917 Code
- The Argument that Baptism is impossible for some to receive
- The Errors of Michael Du Bay
- How can baptism of desire be contrary to dogma when…
- Cornelius the Centurion
- The Good Thief and the Holy Innocents
- The “You Can’t Judge” Heresy
- The “Objective-Subjective” Heresy
- The “Within but not a Member” objection of Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton
- Bayside, Medjugorje and Other False Apparitions
- The Brown Scapular
- Tuas Libenter and the so-called common consent of theologians
- The very theologians they bring forward disprove their position
- Theologians are unanimous that only the water baptized are part of the Church
- Theologians unanimously define the Catholic Church as a union of Sacraments
- Universal Tradition on Baptism affirmed even by modern heretical catechisms
- The Baltimore Catechism
- The Catechism attributed to Pope St. Pius X
22. Other Scriptural Considerations
Besides the infallible teaching of the Catholic Magisterium, there are a few other things from Sacred Scripture that are interesting to consider in regard to the topic at hand.
- All true justice meets up with the sacraments
- The instrumental and the efficient causes of Justification
29. Mystici Corporis
35. Recent Attacks
- The Errors of the Current St. Benedict Center
- The Society of St. Pius X
- Against the Heresies, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
- Open Letter to Confused Catholics, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
- Time Bombs of the Second Vatican Council, by Fr. Schmidberger of the SSPX
- Bishop Fellay says Hindus can be saved
- Baptism of Desire, by Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau (SSPX)
- Is Feeneyism Catholic, by Fr. François Laisney (SSPX)
- The Society of St. Pius V
- The CMRI and other priests
In this document I have shown that it is the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church – and therefore the true teaching of Jesus Christ – that only those who die as baptized Catholics can be saved. Anyone who refuses to accept this teaching is not a Catholic. The fact that most of the world refuses to accept this teaching must not get us discouraged. This has been predicted and God is still with His Church, even though it has been reduced to a remnant of faithful Catholics.
Fr. William Jurgens: “At one point in the Church’s history, only a few years before Gregory’s [Nazianz] present preaching (+380 A.D.), perhaps the number of Catholic bishops in possession of sees, as opposed to Arian bishops in possession of sees, was no greater than something between 1% and 3% of the total. Had doctrine been determined by popularity, today we should all be deniers of Christ and opponents of the Spirit.”
Fr. William Jurgens: “In the time of the Emperor Valens (4th century), Basil was virtually the only orthodox Bishop in all the East who succeeded in retaining charge of his see… If it has no other importance for modern man, a knowledge of the history of Arianism should demonstrate at least that the Catholic Church takes no account of popularity and numbers in shaping and maintaining doctrine: else, we should long since have had to abandon Basil and Hilary and Athanasius and Liberius and Ossius and call ourselves after Arius.”
If the Arian heresy in the 4th century was so bad that approximately 1% of the jurisdictional bishops remained Catholic and 99% became Arian, and the Great Apostasy preceding the Second Coming of Christ is predicted to be even worse – the worst apostasy of all time (2 Thess. 2) – then one should not be incredulous at the fact that there are barely any authentically Catholic priests in the world today who believe in the true meaning of Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism.
Luke 18:8 “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?”
We must surge forward in defense of this faith and preserve it undefiled. We must inform in charity those non-Catholics whom God puts on our path that they must embrace the Catholic Faith – the traditional, historical Catholic Faith – if they want to be saved. And we must inform those professing to be Catholic, but who don’t believe in these dogmas, how they are in error so that they can be corrected.
We believe in this dogma only because it is the truth of Jesus Christ. And because we love non-Catholics and have true concern for their eternal happiness as their true friends, we tell them that they cannot obtain eternal happiness except in the Catholic Church (the traditional Catholic Church, not the Novus Ordo/Vatican II sect).
Luke 12:4-5: “[Jesus saith] And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.”
Finally, one cannot compromise this faith at any cost. One cannot financially support any priest who does not hold that only baptized Catholics can be saved, which includes almost every priest today. One cannot financially support or give Mass stipends to any priest who accepts baptism of desire or the heresy of salvation for the “invincibly ignorant.” One cannot join or be affiliated with any religious society which does not preserve and publicly defend this dogma and all the teachings of the Church.
A Catholic should not attend funerals of deceased non-Catholics, since this implies that non-Catholics can be saved, which is heresy. A Catholic also should not attend the funerals of “Catholics” who were known to deny this dogma or who were known to obstinately support those who denied it. Further, a Catholic should not attend the Weddings of non-Catholics or members of the Novus Ordo, since this gives scandal and it gives the non-Catholics getting married the impression that you approve of them where they are. Nor should a Catholic attend the wedding of a person who claims to be a “traditional Catholic” yet obstinately supports the heretical positions or heretical groups exposed in this document. To do so would be a scandal and a compromise of the Faith.
On Judgment Day, God will separate those who have preserved the true Faith and the state of grace from those who have not. Those who have defiled this faith will have to line up with the reprobate. So those who, knowing these facts, continue to financially support, even in the slightest way, groups which believe in baptism of desire or salvation for the “invincibly ignorant” or which deny any other teaching of the Church, can expect to line up behind the reprobate who have defiled the Faith on Judgment Day.
The Church teaches that in a necessity such as the one we are dealing with now, one may receive the sacraments from a validly ordained priest who holds a heretical position (if the priest does not notoriously preach or impose that heresy), but one may not support him financially or compromise the Faith. To put money in the collection basket of a priest or a group who does not uphold the Faith is to deny the Faith. To give them donations is to deny the Faith. Obviously, the Catholic Faith does not forbid us to buy Catholic books (etc.) from a group which may be heretical, but one must not donate to such a group or even give them Mass stipends. If it comes down to compromising the faith or attending Mass and receiving Communion, one must stop attending Mass and receiving Communion, because one can be saved without attending Mass and receiving Communion, especially in a state of necessity; but one cannot ever be saved without the true faith.
Apoc. 2:10 “Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.”
Apoc. 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints, who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Apoc. 3:11 “Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
- The Form of Baptism
- The Profession of Faith for converts to the Catholic Faith
- The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 39.
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 3.
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