This video will focus on the dogma that one must be subject to the Roman Pontiff to be saved and how this dogma also proves that no one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism. In the famous bull Unam Sanctam of 1302, Pope Boniface VIII declared that there is no salvation nor remission of sins outside the Catholic Church. He then solemnly defined:
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302: “Furthermore, we declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
This is an ex cathedra pronouncement. That means that it’s an infallible proclamation from the Chair of St. Peter. Therefore, it’s absolutely certain that no man can be saved without being subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff (when there is a true pope) and thus that no man can be saved without being subject to the authority of the Catholic Church. Adults who believe in the true faith become subjects of the Church when they receive the Sacrament of Baptism (i.e. water baptism). Infants also become subjects of the Church and are numbered among the faithful when they receive baptism.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Canons of the Sacrament of Baptism, Canon 13: “If anyone says that children, because they have not the act of believing, are not after having received baptism to be numbered among the faithful, and that for this reason are to be rebaptized when they have reached the years of discretion; or that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the faith of the Church alone, let him be anathema.”
But the Catholic Church also infallibly teaches that it cannot exercise spiritual jurisdiction or authority over anyone who has not received the Sacrament of Baptism. This is rooted in divine law, and it was proclaimed at the Council of Trent.
Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, On the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Sess. 14, Chap. 2: “… since the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not previously entered it by the gate of baptism. For what have I to do with those who are without [1 Cor. 5:12], says the Apostle. It is otherwise with those of the household of the faith, whom Christ the Lord by the laver of baptism has once made ‘members of his own body’ [1 Cor. 12:13].”
This truth, that the Church does not exercise spiritual jurisdiction or authority over anyone who has not received the Sacrament of Baptism, is repeated by many theologians, including by theologians who wrongly believed that certain people could be saved without baptism by ‘baptism of desire’. The principle proclaimed by Trent and rooted in St. Paul’s words, that the Church does not exercise jurisdiction or authority over anyone who is not baptized, is connected to the truth that it is only through water baptism that one becomes a member of Christ’s Church. This video is not about membership in the Church per se, but rather about jurisdiction and subjection to the Roman Pontiff with regard to the necessity of baptism.
The theologians who believed in baptism of desire, yet admitted that the Church exercises no jurisdiction over the unbaptized, simply failed to see, among other things, the significance of that admission about jurisdiction in light of Boniface VIII’s dogmatic definition. Here are a few quotes that are relevant. Pre-Vatican II theologians Salaverri and Nicolau, writing with an imprimatur in 1955, stated:
Fr. Joachim Salaverri and Fr. Michaele Nicolau, On The Church Of Christ, On Holy Scripture, Imprimatur 1955, p. 419: “Baptism is not necessary for catechumens in order to be catechumens, conceded; in order for them to be subjects and members of the Church, denied.”
Fr. Joachim Salaverri and Fr. Michaele Nicolau, On The Church Of Christ, On Holy Scripture, Imprimatur 1955, p. 412: “That all and only the baptized are members of the Church is implicitly defined in the Council of Trent.”
They admit that no one can be subject to the Church without baptism; and you must be a subject of the Church to be saved, as we saw in Unam Sanctam.
Fr. Amleto Cigonani, in a work given an imprimatur in 1934, stated:
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, Canon Law, Imprimatur 1934, pp. 562-563: “By divine law, the unbaptized are not subject to ecclesiastical laws… Catechumens are not held to the laws of the Church, for the simple reason that they have not yet received the sacrament of baptism and therefore have no juridic personality in the Church.”
Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Membership in the Church, p. 309: “3. Among the members of the Church are not to be counted: a) The unbaptized… Catechumens are not to be counted among the members of the Church… The Church claims no jurisdiction over them (D 895). The Fathers draw a sharp line of separation between Catechumens and ‘the faithful.’”
St. Robert Bellarmine, De Justificatione, Book I, Chap. 9 “… catechumens believe that the Church is holy, and nevertheless they know themselves to not yet be part of it…”
Latin: “Catechumeni enim credunt Ecclesiam sanctam, et tamen sciunt, se nondum partem ejus esse…”
St. Robert Bellarmine, De Ecclesia Militante, Chap. III, On the Unbaptized: “… it is certain that catechumens are not in the Church in actuality and properly… Catechumens do not have the right to any of the sacraments, nor to the other things which are common to the universal Church.”
“… certum est, catechumenos non esse in Ecclesia actu et proprie… catechumeni non habent jus ad ulla sacramenta, neque ad alia, quae sunt communia universae Ecclesiae.”
Msgr. Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 2, Christ’s Church, Imprimatur 1956, pp. 240-241: “Those who have not received baptism of water are not members of the Church… the Church does not have power of ‘government’ over catechumens…”
As we can see, it’s widely admitted by theologians that no one can be a member of the Church or subject to the Church’s spiritual authority without water baptism. On this point these theologians were correctly repeating what the Chair of St. Peter and the Magisterium have taught.
Since it’s absolutely necessary for salvation to be subject to the Roman Pontiff, as we saw in Boniface VIII’s definition, and one cannot possibly be subject to the Roman Pontiff or the Church without having received the Sacrament of Baptism, it follows that no one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism. And only water baptism is the Sacrament of Baptism.
Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei (#43), Nov. 20, 1947, addressed to the universal Church, referring to the Sacrament of Baptism: “… the washing of baptism distinguishes and separates all Christians [christianos omnes] from the rest whom this stream of atonement has not washed and who are not members of Christ…”
These points confirm what Jesus Christ proclaimed, as recorded in John 3:5, that unless a man is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. This is the dogmatic teaching of the Church.
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