Outside the Church there is no Salvation

“Outside the Church there is no salvation” (extra ecclesiam nulla salus) is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith that was taught By Jesus Christ to His Apostles, preached by the Fathers, defined by popes and councils and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the Church. Here is how the Popes defined it:

“There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
“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.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

But man, following the example of his natural father, Adam, often disobeys the authority of God. The fact that the doctrine had to be thrice defined itself proves the Church’s paternal solicitude in correcting her erring children who fall into indifferentism. The first goal of Saint Benedict Center’s doctrinal Crusade is to defend this doctrine. We present here a selection of various articles written for that end.

Here are some recommended starting points on this all-important subject:

The Popes on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
The Fathers of the Church on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
Doctrinal Summary
Sentimental Theology
Pelagius Lives
Our Status in the Church (focusing on the doctrinal stance of Saint Benedict Center and the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)

Reply to a Liberal: Conclusion

Modern liberalism, which makes membership in the Catholic Church unnecessary for salvation, undermines something more than the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. In postulating the existence of an Invisible Church, or in suggesting that membership … Continue reading

Zenit Accuses Pope of Indifferentism

News agency falsely reports statement concerning non-believers and salvation. Summary: Under the headline “Nonbelievers Too Can Be Saved, Says Pope,” Zenit International News Agency gave an indifferentist spin to Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday audience of November 30. “Nonbelievers Too Can … Continue reading

Two Brothers Profess Vows on October 11, 2005

“Most beloved brothers, you have left the world behind and have taken refuge in God.” — from the profession ceremony On Tuesday, October 11, 2005, our community had the great joy of witnessing the religious profession of two brothers:

The Church, The Mystical Body

(From a talk Brother gave at the 1997 St. Benedict Center Conference) I will begin this talk with a basic question, but a question I’m afraid most of us don’t think enough about: What was the purpose of the Incarnation?