THE APOSTOLIC SEE
Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
POPE BONIFACE X
Sancta Sedes, Papa Bonifatius X
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Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (Outside of the Roman Catholic Church there is No Salvation)
Private Epistle #14
Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441 (ex cathedra-
Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Sess. 3, Chap. 2 on Revelation, 1870 (ex cathedra-
The Church has always believed and taught that only those who die as Catholics can be saved.
Pope St. Gregory the Great, quoted in Summo Iugiter Studio, 590-
“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.”
Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208:
“By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.”
Pope Clement VI, Super quibusdam, Sept. 20, 1351:
“In the second place, we ask whether you and the Armenians obedient to you believe that no man of the wayfarers outside the faith of this Church, and outside the obedience to the Pope of Rome, can finally be saved.”
Pius V, Bull excommunicating the heretic Queen Elizabeth of England, Feb. 25, 1570: “The sovereign jurisdiction of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, has been given by Him [Jesus Christ], unto Whom all power in Heaven and on Earth is given, the King who reigns on high, but to one person on the face of the Earth, to Peter, prince of the Apostles... If any shall contravene this Our decree, we bind them with the same bond of anathema.”
Leo XII, Ubi Primum (# 14), May 5, 1824:
“It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members… by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism… This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church.”
Leo XII, Quod hoc ineunte (# 8), May 24, 1824: “We address all of you who are still removed from the true Church and the road to salvation. In this universal rejoicing, one thing is lacking: that having been called by the inspiration of the Heavenly Spirit and having broken every decisive snare, you might sincerely agree with the mother Church, outside of whose teachings there is no salvation.”
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).”
Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832:
“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.”
Pius IX, Ubi primum (# 10), June 17, 1847: “For ‘there is one universal Church outside of which no one at all is saved; it contains regular and secular prelates along with those under their jurisdiction, who all profess one Lord, one faith and one baptism.”
Pius IX, Nostis et Nobiscum (# 10), Dec. 8, 1849: “In particular, ensure that the faithful are deeply and thoroughly convinced of the truth of the doctrine that the Catholic faith is necessary for attaining salvation. (This doctrine, received from Christ and emphasized by the Fathers and Councils, is also contained in the formulae of the profession of faith used by Latin, Greek and Oriental Catholics).”
Pius IX, Syllabus of Modern Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 -
Leo XIII, Tametsi futura prospicientibus (# 7), Nov. 1, 1900: “Christ is man’s ‘Way’; the Church also is his ‘Way’… Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.”
Pius X, Iucunda sane (# 9), March 12, 1904: “Yet at the same time We cannot but remind all, great and small, as Pope St. Gregory did, of the absolute necessity of having recourse to this Church in order to have eternal salvation…”
Pius X, Editae saepe (# 29), May 26, 1910: “The Church alone possesses together with her magisterium the power of governing and sanctifying human society. Through her ministers and servants (each in his own station and office), she confers on mankind suitable and necessary means of salvation.”
Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 11), Jan. 6, 1928: “The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation.”
The Holy Bible: "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added unto the Church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:46-
"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you [Jews:] but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, "I hath set thee to be a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth."" And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:46-
Pope St. Clement I, A.D. 88-
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (died A.D. 107): "Let no man deceive himself. Unless he believes that Christ Jesus has lived in the flesh, and shall confess His cross and passion, and the blood which He shed for the salvation of the world, he shall not attain eternal life, whether he be a king, or a priest, or a ruler, or a private person, a master or a servant, a man or a woman." (Epistle to the Smyrnaeans)
"For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the Bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion of Christ. (Epistle to the Philadelphians)
Saint Justin Martyr (died A.D. 165): "And you deceive yourselves while you fancy that, because you are the seed of Abraham after the flesh, therefore you shall fully inherit the good things announced to be bestowed by God through Christ. For no one, not even one of them, has anything to look for, but only those who in mind are assimilated to the faith of Abraham, and who have recognised all the mysteries. [...] So that it becomes you to eradicate this hope from your souls, and hasten to know in what way forgiveness of sins, and a hope of inheriting the promised good things, shall be yours. But there is no other way than this, -
"Further, I hold that those of the seed of Abraham who live according to the law, and do not believe in this Christ before death, shall not be saved." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.)
Saint Martial of Limoges (died A.D. 165): "All who do not confess Christ to be true God shall go into eternal fire."
Saint Theophilus of Antioch (died A.D. 181): "And as, again, there are other islands, rocky and without water, and barren, and infested by wild beasts, and uninhabitable, and serving only to injure navigators and the storm-
Saint Irenaeus (died A.D. 202): "Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others [heretics] which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money in a bank,] lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thiefs and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. [...]
"Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church, those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in suspicion others who depart from the primitive succession, and assemble themselves together in any place whatsoever, [looking upon them] either as heretics of perverse minds, or as schismatics puffed up and self-
Saint Pionius (died A.D. 250): "I am a Christian and belong to the Catholic Church. Would to God I could persuade all of you to become Christians, for it will be the worse for you to burn eternally after death."
Origen (died A.D. 254): "Let no man deceive himself. Outside this house, that is, outside the Church no one is saved." (In Iesu Nave homiliae)
Saint Cyprian (died A.D. 258): "But if any one considers these things carefully, he will need no long discourse or arguments. The proof is simple and convincing, being summed up in a matter of fact. The Lord says to Peter, "I say to thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not overcome it. It will give to thee the keys to the kingdom of heaven. And what thou shalt bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven." And He says to him again after the resurrection, "Feed my sheep." It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. [...] If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?" (On the Unity of the Catholic Church)
"For whereas in the Gospels, and in the epistles of the Apostles, the name of Christ is alleged for the remission of sins; it is not in such a way as that the Son alone, without the Father, or against the Father, can be of advantage to anybody; but that it might be shown to the Jews, who boasted as to their having the Father, that the Father would profit them nothing, unless they believed on the Son whom He had sent. For they who know God the Father the Creator, ought also to know Christ the Son, lest they flatter and applaud themselves about the Father alone, without the acknowledgement of His Son, who also said, "No man cometh to the Father but by me." But He, the same, sets forth that it is the knowledge of the two that saves, when he says, "And this is life eternal, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." Therefore, from the preaching and the testimony of Christ Himself, the Father who sent must be known first, then afterwards Christ, who was sent, and there cannot be a hope of salvation except by knowing the two together. [...]
"Can the power of baptism be greater or of more avail than confession, than suffering, when one confesses Christ before men and is baptized in his own blood? And yet even this baptism does not benefit a heretic, although he has confessed Christ, and been put to death outside the Church, unless the patrons and advocates of heretics declare that the heretics who are slain in a false confession of Christ are martyrs, and assign to them the glory and the crown of martyrdom contrary to the testimony of the apostle, who says that it will profit them nothing although they were burnt and slain. [..] Not even the baptism of a public confession and blood can profit a heretic, because there is no salvation outside the Church." (Epistle LXXII)
Saint Firmilian (died A.D. 269): "What is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church." (Epistle to Cyprian)
Anonymous Third Century Bishop: "And he on whom, when he should be baptized, invocation should be made in the name of Jesus, although he might obtain baptism under some error [as a heretic], still would not be hindered from knowing the truth at some time or other, and correcting his error, and coming to the Church and to the bishop, and sincerely confessing our Jesus before men; so that then, when hands were laid upon him by the bishop, he might also receive the Holy Spirit, and he would not lose that former invocation of the name of Jesus [his baptism as a heretic]. Which none of us may disallow, although this invocation [his baptism as a heretic], if it be standing bare and by itself, could not suffice for affording salvation, lest on this principle we should also believe that even Gentiles and heretics, who abuse the name of Jesus, could attain unto salvation without the true and entire thing." (Treatise against the Rebaptism of Heretics coming to the Church)
Lactantius (died A.D. 310): "It is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the abode of the Faith, this is the temple of God; into which if anyone shall not enter, or from which if anyone shall go out, he is a stranger to the hope of life and eternal salvation. No one ought to flatter himself with persevering strife. For the contest is respecting life and salvation, which, unless it is carefully and diligently kept in view, will be lost and extinguished." (The Divine Institutes)
Council of Nicea (first ecumenical council, A.D. 325): "Let the patriarch consider what things are done by the archbishops and bishops in their provinces; and if he shall find anything done by them otherwise than it should be, let him change it and order it, as seemeth to him fit; for he is the father of all, and they are his sons. And although the Archbishop be among the bishops as an elder brother, who hath the care of his brethren, and to whom they owe obedience because he is over them; yet the patriarch is to all those who are under his power, just as he who holds the seat of Rome is the head and prince of all patriarchs; inasmuch as he is first, as was Peter, to whom power is given over all Christian princes, and over all their peoples, as he who is the Vicar of Christ our Lord over all peoples and over the whole Christian Church, and whoever shall contradict this, is excommunicated by the synod." (Arabic Canons, Canon XXXIX)
The Synod of Laodicea, A.D. 343-
"Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXIV. Whosoever honours an heretical pseudo-
First Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381: "Canon VII. Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the number of those who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and custom: Arians, and Macerdocians, Quarto-
Saint Ambrose, Doctor, (died A.D. 397): "And He [Christ] affirms that they act with devilish spirit who divide the Church of God, so that he includes the heretics and schismatics of all times, to whom He denies forgiveness, for every other sin is concerned with single persons, this is a sin against all." (Concerning Repentance)
"The Lord severed the Jewish people from his kingdom, and heretics and schismatics are also severed from the kingdom of God and from the Church. Our Lord makes it perfectly clear that every assembly of heretics and schismatics belongs not to God, but to the unclean spirit." (Explanation of Luke)
""But woe unto you who are rich!" We may here however understand by the rich man the Jewish people, or the heretics, or at least the Pharisees, who, rejoicing in an abundance of words, and a kind of hereditary pride of eloquence, have overstepped the simplicity of true faith, and gained to themselves useless treasures." (cf. Catena Aurea by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Lk. 6:24)
"Peter is he to whom the Lord said: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build the Church." Therefore where Peter is, there is the Church; where the Church is, there is no death but only eternal life. And therefore Christ added: "And the gates of hell shall not prevail, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven."" (On Psalm XL)
Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor, (died A.D. 407): "We know that salvation belongs to the Church alone, and that no one can partake of Christ nor be saved outside the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith." (De Capto Eutropia)
"We should mourn for those who are dying without the Faith. [...] And well should the pagan weep and lament who, not knowing God, goes straight to punishment when he dies!" (On the Consolation of Death)
Saint Gaudentius of Brescia (died A.D. 410): "It is certain that all men of Noah's time perished, except those in the Ark, which was a figure of the Church. Likewise, they cannot in any way now be saved who are aliens from the Apostolic faith and the Catholic Church." (De Lect. Evangel.)
The XII Council of Carthage, A.D. 419: "Canon LVII. Those who as were baptized by the Donatists, and not yet being able to know the pernicious character of their error, and afterward when they had come to the use of reason, had received the knowledge of the truth, abhorred their former error, [...] having anathematized their error may be received by the imposition of the hand into the one Church, the pillar as it is called, and the one mother of all Christians, where all these sacraments are received unto salvation and everlasting life; even the same sacraments which obtain for those persevering in heresy the heavy penalty of damnation. So that which to those who are in the truth lighteneth to the obtaining of eternal life, the same to them who are in error tends but to darkness and damnation."
Saint Jerome, Doctor, (died A.D. 420): "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. This is the house where alone can the paschal lamb be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails." (Letter to Pope Damasus)
““Behold we have left all thing and have followed thee. [...] shall possess life everlasting.” (S. Matthew 19:27-
Athanasian Creed circa A.D. 420: "Quiscumque vult salvus esse, * ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem: quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit, * absque dubio in aeternum peribit. [...] Haec est fides catholica, * quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit." (Roman Breviary, Sunday Prime, 1950) (D39):"Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which unless each one preserves whole and inviolate, without doubt he will perish everlastingly. [...] This is the Catholic faith, which unless each one believes faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."
Saint Augustine, Doctor, (died A.D. 430): "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honour, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church." (Sermon to the People of Caesaria)
""But I say," adds he, "have they not heard? "Yea, verily; their sounds went out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."" Before, however, all this had been accomplished, before the actual preaching of the gospel reaches the ends of all the earth -
"For if, according to the word of truth, no one is delivered from the condemnation which was incurred through Adam except through faith in Jesus Christ, and yet from this condemnation they shall not deliver themselves who shall be able to say that they have not heard the gospel of Christ, on the ground that "faith cometh by hearing," how much less shall they deliver themselves who shall say, "We have not received perseverance!" [...] thou mightest persevere if thou wouldest. And, consequently, both those who have not heard the gospel, and those who, having heard it and been changed by it for the better, have not received perseverance, [...] are not made to differ from that mass which it is plain is condemned, as all go from one into condemnation." (On Rebuke and Grace)
"They who are not liberated through grace, either because they are not yet able to hear, or because they are unwilling to obey; or again because they did not receive, at the time when they are unable on account of youth to hear, that bath of regeneration, which they might have received and through which they might have been saved, are indeed justly condemned; because they are not without sin, either that which they have derived from their birth, or that which they have added from their own misconduct. "For all have sinned" -
"The comparison of the Church with Paradise shows us that men may indeed receive baptism outside her pale, but that no one outside can either receive or retain the salvation of eternal happiness. For, as the words of the Scripture testify, the streams from the fountain of Paradise flowed copiously even beyond its bounds. Record is indeed made of their names; and through what countries they flow, and that they are situated beyond the limits of Paradise, is known to all; and yet in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, to which countries those rivers extended, there is not found that blessedness of life which is recorded in Paradise. Accordingly, although the waters of Paradise are found beyond its boundaries, yet its happiness is in Paradise alone. So, therefore, the baptism of the Church may exist outside, but the gift of the life of happiness is found alone within the Church, which has been founded on a rock, which has received the keys of binding and losing. [...]
"This indeed is true, that "baptism is not unto salvation except within the Catholic Church." For in itself it can indeed exist outside the Catholic Church as well; but there it is not unto salvation, because there it does not work salvation; just as that sweet savour of Christ is not unto salvation in them that perish, though from a fault not in itself but in them." (On Baptism against the Donatists)
"Nor indeed, is it of heresies alone that the apostle says, "that they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." But it may be worth while to look for a moment at the things which he groups together. "The works of the flesh," he says, "are manifest, which are these; fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Let us suppose someone, therefore, chaste, continent, free from covetousness, no idolater, hospitable, charitable to the needy, no man's enemy, not contentious, patient, quiet, jealous of none, envying none, sober, frugal, but a heretic; it is of course clear to all that for this one fault only, that he is a heretic, he will fail to inherit the kingdom of God. [...]
"Our faith -
"And it is brought about, on account of this great difference, that although with no possibility of a doubt a persevering integrity of virginity is preferable to conjugal chastity, yet a woman even twice married, if she be a Catholic, is preferred to a professed virgin that is a heretic; nor is she in such wise preferred because this one is better in God's kingdom, but because the other is not there at all." (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians)
""Can the power of baptism," says Cyprian, "be greater than confession? than martyrdom? that a man should confess Christ before men, and be baptized in his own blood? And yet", he goes on to say, "neither does this baptism profit the heretic, even though for confessing Christ he be put to death outside the Church." This is most true. [...] "Salvation," he says, "is not outside the Church." Who says that it is? And therefore whatever men have that belongs to the Church outside the Church, it profits them nothing toward salvation outside the Church." (On Baptism against the Donatists.)
Pope Saint Leo the Great, Doctor, A.D. 440-
"For they who have received baptism from heretics are to be confirmed by the imposition of hands with only the invocation of the Holy Ghost, because they have received the bare form of baptism without the power of sanctification." (Letter CLIX)
"Since they have received the form of baptism in some way or other [from heretics,] they are not to be baptized [again] but are to be united to the Catholics by imposition of hands, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit's power, which they could not receive from heretics." (Letter CLXVII)
Saint Prosper of Aquitaine, A.D. 463: “From every nation and every condition thousands of aged people, thousands of youths, thousands of children daily receive the grace of adoption. [...] For all who at any time will be called and will enter into the kingdom of God, have been marked out in the adoption which preceded all times. And just as none of the infidels is counted among the elect, so none of the god-
Pope Hormisdas, A.D. 514-
Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only all pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels." (To Peter on the Faith)
"I am glad indeed that you have such a concern for keeping the true Faith with no shade of unbelief, the Faith without which conversion not only would be of no use but would not really be conversion at all. Indeed, apostolic authority tells us that, "without faith, it is impossible to please God. For Faith is the foundation of all things. Faith is the beginning of human salvation. Without it, no one can belong to the number of the children of God, because, without it, neither will anyone gain the grace of justification in this world nor possess eternal life in the world to come." (Ibid.)
"Whoever is outside this Church which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven is not teaching the path to heaven but to hell; nor is he heading toward the house of eternal life, but he is hurrying toward the punishment of eternal death; not only if he remains a pagan without baptism but also, even if he perseveres as a heretic after baptism." (On the Forgiveness of Sins. Fulgentius, Selected Works, Catholic University Press, Washington, 1997.)
"Grace [of justification] is not properly esteemed by any one who supposes that it is given to all men, when not only does the faith not pertain to all, but even at the present time some nations may yet be found to whom the preaching of the faith has not yet come. But the Blessed Apostle says: "How then are they to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? but how are they to hear, without preaching?" Grace, then, is not given to all; for certainly they cannot be participants in that grace, who are not believers; nor can they believe if it is found that the preaching of the faith has never come to them at all." (Synodal Epistle of Saint Fulgentius and other African Bishops. Rev. William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, volume three, Liturgical Press.)
"Anyone who has received the Sacrament of Baptism but remained away from the Catholic Church is never prepared to obtain eternal life. Such a person, even if he is very generous with almsgiving and even pours out his blood for the name of Christ, because of the fact that in this life he has not held tightly to the unity of the Catholic Church, he will not have eternal salvation. [...] Hold most firmly and never doubt that any heretic or schismatic whatsoever, baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, if he will not have been gathered into the Catholic Church, no matter how many alms he may have given, even if he shed his blood for the name of Christ, can never be saved." (To Peter on the Faith)
"In this way, with Jesus coming, they can be found within that house. outside of which no one can be freed from death, because just as in Jericho anyone who was outside that house could gain no assistance for his life, so outside the Catholic Church, no one will receive the forgiveness of sins; and just as within the Catholic Church, "one believes with the heart and so is justified," so outside the same Church, unorthodox faith does not procure justification but punishment, and a wicked confession does not acquire salvation for the one who confesses but brings death. Outside this Church, neither does the Christian name help anyone, nor does baptism save, nor is a pure sacrifice offered to God, nor is the forgiveness of sins received, nor is the happiness of eternal life found." (On the Forgiveness of Sins.)
Pope Pelagius II, A.D. 578-
"We can no more pray for a deceased infidel than we can for the devil, since they are condemned to the same eternal and irrevocable damnation." (Dialogues, IV)
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Doctor, A.D. 590-
"Consider that therefore whoever is not in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have God." (Epistle to Schismatic Bishops)
"And indeed we have learnt from the ancient institution of the Fathers that whosoever among heretics are baptized in the name of the Trinity, when they return to Holy Church, may be recalled to the bosom of mother Church either by unction of chrism, or by imposition of hands, or by profession of faith only. Hence the West reconciles Arians to the Catholic Church by imposition of hands, but the East by the unction of Holy chrism. But mono-
“Since, then, by my own public profession you know the entireness of our belief, it is fitting that you have no further scruple concerning the Church of Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles. But persist in the true Faith, and ground your life on the rock of the Church, that is, in his confession: lest your many tears and your good works avail nothing, if they be separated from the true Faith. For as branches wither without a root, so works, however good they seem, are nothing if separated from the solidity of the Faith." (To Theodelinda, Queen of the Lombards)
John Moschus (died A.D. 619): "There dwelt on the sacred river Jordan a certain old man, Cyriacus by name, of great merit before God. To him came a stranger named Theophanes to ask advice concerning temptations. The old man began to encourage him with talk about temperance. Greatly edified and strengthened, he said to the old man, "Truly, my father, if it were not that in my own country I communicate with the Nestorians, I would remain with you." Now, when the aged man heard the name "Nestorians," distressed for the ruin of a brother, he began to rebuke him, and entreated him to withdraw from that most evil and baneful heresy, and to seek admission into the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, telling him at the same time that there is no other hope of salvation. "But my father and master," said the brother, "surely this is what all heretics say: that, "Unless you communicate with us, you will not be saved." Miserable that I am, I do not know what to do! Therefore beseech the Lord to make me know for certain which is the true faith." The old man was full of joy, and said to him, "Come; sit in the cave with me, and have complete hope in God, for His goodness will discover to you the true faith." Then, leaving the brother in the cave, Cyriacus went forth to the dead sea to pray to God for him.
"Now, about the ninth hour the following day, the brother beheld some one standing before him of terrible appearance, who said, "Come and see the truth!" And, taking him, he led him to a darksome and fetid place where their burned fire and flames; and, in these flames he saw Nestorius, Eutyches, and certain others. And he who had appeared to him said, "This place is prepared for heretics and for those who follow their teachings. If this place pleases you, then continue in your present doctrine; but if you do not want to undergo this punishment, join yourself to the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which that old man is teaching you to do. For I tell you that, although a man should practice all the virtues and yet not believe rightly, he will have to suffer in this place!" At these words, the brother regained consciousness, and told Cyriacus, on his return, all that he had seen. And then he joined the Holy Catholic Church." (The Spiritual Meadow)
St. Maximus the Confessor (died A.D. 650): "Therefore if a man does not want to be, or to be called, a heretic, let him not strive to please this or that man [...] but let him hasten before all things to be in communion with the Roman See. If he be in communion with it, he should be acknowledged by all and everywhere as faithful and orthodox. He speaks in vain who tries to persuade me of the orthodoxy of those who, like himself, refuse obedience to his Holiness the Pope of the most holy Church of Rome: that is to the Apostolic See." (Quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum)
Saint Bede the Venerable O.S.B., Doctor, (died A.D. 735): "He who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of the Church will certainly be damned and enter the gate of hell whether he wants to or not." (Sermon 16) "Without this confession, without this faith, no one can enter the kingdom of God." (Sermon 16)
"Blessed Peter in a special manner received the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the headship of judiciary power, that all believers throughout the world might understand that all those who in any way separate themselves from the unity of this faith and communion, -
Saint Peter Mavimenus (died A.D. 743): "Whoever does not embrace the Catholic Christian religion will be damned, as was your false prophet Mohammed." (Roman Martyrology, February 21st) [Upon this profession of the faith, the infidel murdered him.]
Alcuin of York (died A.D. 780): "He then gives the reason why he who believes not is condemned, viz. because he believeth not on the name of the only begotten Son of God. For in this name alone is there salvation." (cf. Catena Aurea by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Jn. 3:18)
"Behold, thou art, most holy Father, the Pontiff chosen by God, the Vicar of the Apostles, the heir of the Fathers, the Prince of the Church, the Nourisher of the one Spotless Dove. In the kindness of fatherly feeling, by thy most holy prayers, and sweetest exhortations of sacred writings, gather us unto God's holy Church, within the very strong bonds of the Church's soundness; lest any of us, wandering about, should be met on the outside to be devoured by the ravenousness of the wolf." (Epistle)
Saint George of San Saba (died A.D. 852): "Mohammed was a disciple of the devil, and his followers are in a state of perdition." (In "Victories of the Martyrs" by Saint Alphonsus)
Blessed Rhabanus Maurus (died A.D. 856): "But this power of binding and loosing, though it seems given by the Lord to Peter alone, is indeed also given to the other Apostles, and is even now in the Bishops and Presbyters in every church. But Peter received in a special manner the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and a supremacy of judicial power, that all the faithful throughout the world might understand that all who in any manner separate themselves from the unity of the faith, or from communion with him, should neither be able to be loosed from the bonds of sin, nor to enter the gate of the heavenly kingdom." (cf. Catena Aurea by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Mt. 18:18)
"Without this faith, no one can enter Heaven." (cf. Catena Aurea by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Mk. 16:16)
Pope Hadrian II, A.D. 867-
Pope Sylvester II, A.D. 999-
Pope Saint Leo IX, A.D. 1049-
"So little does the Roman Church stand alone, as you think, that in the whole world any nation that in its pride dissents from her is in no way a church, but a council of heretics, a conventicle of schismatics, and a synagogue of Satan."
"As far as the pillars of the empire are concerned and its wise and honoured citizens, the city is most Christian and orthodox. But we, not enduring the unheard-
Saint Bruno of Segni (died A.D. 1123): "Because baptism consists not in the faith of the giver but in the faith of those who receive it, it is good regardless of by whom it is given. But where there is no Catholic faith, baptism does not work. Consequently, whoever is baptized outside the Church is not released from sin before he returns to the Church. For the remission of sins in no way occurs except within the Church. [...]
"Thus it is clear that no one shall be saved outside the Church, whether he was baptized within it or outside of it. Why is this? Again, let the Lord himself speak: "If someone does not remain in me, let him be cast out like [dead] branches and they shall gather him up, throw him into the fire, and he shall burn." (St. John 15:6) Hence, if the person perishes who was sometimes in Christ but who does not remain in Him, how shall the person not perish who was never in Him and did not remain in Him? For whoever is baptized outside the Church never was nor ever shall be in Christ unless he should be joined to the Church before he departs this life – for he never was nor ever shall be in the body of Christ. For if he is separated from the body of Christ, he is no longer a member of Christ. Moreover, the body of Christ is not outside the Church. Otherwise the Church itself would be outside itself – since the Church is the body of Christ – and this is impossible.
"Consequently, baptism cannot be given and cannot benefit [the person] outside the Church. For although baptism which is given outside the Church does have the form of the sacrament, it does not have the virtue of the sacrament; it has the form, of course, because it is done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It does not have the virtue, because it does not effect the remission of sins. Why then are those who come from the heretics not rebaptized? Do you want to hear why? Because they have the form of baptism, i.e. because they have already been reborn from the water at the invocation of the Trinity. It still remains for them to be reborn as well in the Holy Spirit who effects the remission of sins in them – something which the visible form cannot give. For "unless someone should be reborn from the water and the Holy Spirit, he shall not enter the kingdom of God." (St. John 3:5) [...]
"We have also stated that all sacraments outside the Church have the form, to be sure, but they do not have the virtue [of the sacrament]. We have also said that no one is saved outside the Church." (On Simoniacs)
Pope Innocent III, A.D. 1198-
(D430) ***INFALLIBLE***: Ex cathedra: "One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (IV Lateran Council, A.D. 1215)
Saint Francis of Assisi O.F.M., Founder, (died A.D. 1226): "And so the Friars who are inspired by God to work as missionaries among the Saracens [Mohammedans] and other unbelievers must get permission to go from their minister, who is their servant. [...] We Friars Minor, servants and worthless as we are, humbly beg and implore everyone to persevere in the true faith and in a life of penance; there is no other way to be saved. We beseech the whole world to do this, all those who serve our lord and God within the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, together with the whole hierarchy, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists, lectors, porters, and all clerics and religious, male or female; we beg all children, big and small, the poor and the needy, kings and princes, labourers and farmers, servants and masters; we beg all virgins and all other women, married or unmarried; we beg all lay folk, men and women, infants and adolescents, young and old, the healthy and the sick, the little and the great, all peoples, tribes, families and languages, all nations and all men everywhere, present and to come; we Friars Minor beg them all to persevere in the true faith and in a life of penance." (Rule of 1221)
Saint Thomas Aquinas O.P., Doctor, (died A.D. 1274): "But the unity of the Church exists primarily because of the unity of the faith; for the Church is nothing else than the aggregate of the faithful. And because without faith it is impossible to please God, for this reason there is no room for salvation outside the Church." (Expositio Primae Decretalis ad Archdiaconum Tudertinum, edited by Fr, Raymond A. Verardo, O.P., Opusculum Theologica, Vol. 1, Marietta, Turin, 1954.)
"There is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church." (Summa Theologica III. 73, 3.)
"Unbelief has a double sense. First, it can be taken purely negatively; thus a man is called an unbeliever solely because he does not possess faith. Secondly, by way of opposition to faith; thus when a man refuses to hear of the faith or even contemns it, according to Isaiah, Who has believed our report? This is where the full nature of unbelief, properly speaking is found, and where the sin lies.
"If, however, unbelief be taken just negatively, as in those who have heard nothing about the faith, it bears the character, not of fault, but of penalty, because their ignorance of divine things is the result of the sin of our first parents. Those who are unbelievers in this sense are condemned on account of other sins, which cannot be forgiven without faith; they are not condemned for the sin of unbelief." (Summa Theologica II, II, 10, 1. Blackfriars, 1975. Eyre and Spottiswoode Ltd.)
"The Church's intention in baptizing is to cleanse from sin in accordance with Isaiah, "This is full fruit that sin be taken away." Thus, as far as the Church is concerned, it does not intend to give baptism except to those who have [the] true faith, without which there is no forgiveness of sins. And for this reason, the one being baptized is asked whether he believes. If, however, a person without [the] true faith receives baptism outside the Church, the sacrament does not work to his salvation. Hence, Augustine says, "The Church compared to Paradise indicates to us that men can receive her baptism even outside her, but the salvation of blessedness no one can receive or hold outside her." (Summa Theologica III, 68, 8, 2. As above.)
"And because the consecration of the Eucharist is an act based on the power of Holy Orders, those [validly ordained priests] who are separated from the Church by heresy, schism or excommunication, are able to consecrate the Eucharist, which when consecrated contains Christ's true body and blood; yet they act not rightly and sin by so doing. Consequently they do not gather the fruit of the sacrifice, which is a spiritual sacrifice." (Summa Theolgica, IIIa, 82, 7. As above.)
"On the other hand, the power of jurisdiction is that which is conferred by a mere human appointment. Such a power as this does not adhere to the recipient immovably: so that it does not remain in heretics or schismatics; and consequently they neither absolve nor excommunicate, nor grant indulgence, nor do any thing of the kind, and if they do, it is invalid." (Summa Theologica, II, II, 39, 3.)
"It is shown also that it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Against the Errors of the Greeks. Opuscula Theologica, Vol. I, Part 2, Chap. 36, edited by Fr. Raymond A. Verardo, O.P., Marietta, Turin, 1954)
Saint Bonaventure O.F.M., Doctor. (died A.D. 1274): "Once these conditions [intention and Orders] are present, the sacraments may be conferred by either the good or the wicked, the faithful or the heretical, within the Church or outside it: but within the Church, they are conferred both in fact and in effect, while outside it, although conferred in fact, they are not effective. [...]
"Because none may be saved outside of the communion of faith and love which makes us members of the Church, whenever the sacraments are received outside of it, they are received with no effect toward salvation, although they are true sacraments. They may become effective however, when the recipient returns to Holy Mother Church, the only bride of Christ, whose sons are the only ones Christ the Spouse deems worthy of the eternal inheritance. Wherefore Augustine writes to the Donatists: "A comparison of the Church with paradise reveals that while strangers to the Church may receive its baptism, no one outside the Church may receive or possess beatific salvation."" (Breviolquium VI.)
Pope Boniface VIII, A.D. 1294-
"This Church, moreover, we venerate as the only one, the Lord saying through His prophet, "Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog." He prayed at the same time for His Soul; that is, for Himself the Head, and for His Body; which Body, namely, He called the one and only Church on account of the unity of the Faith promised, of the sacraments, and of the love of the Church. She is that seamless garment of the Lord which was not cut but which fell by lot. Therefore of this one and only Church there is one body and one head; not two heads as if it were a monster: Christ, namely, and the vicar of Christ, Saint Peter [who are one head, Christ and His Vicar:] "Feed my sheep." My sheep, He said, using a general term, and not designating these or those particular sheep; from which it is plain that He committed to him all His sheep.
"If, then, the Greeks or others say that they were not committed to the care of Peter and his successors, they necessarily confess that they are not of the sheep of Christ; for the Lord says, in John, that there is one fold, one shepherd, and one only.
"We are told by the word of the Gospel that in this His fold there are two swords; a spiritual, namely, and a temporal. For when the apostles said, "Behold here are two swords", the Lord did not reply that this was too much, but enough. Surely he who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter wrongly interprets the word of the Lord when He says, "Put up thy sword in its scabbard." Both swords, the spiritual and the material, therefore, are in the power of the Church; the one, indeed, to be wielded for the Church, the other by the Church; the one by the hand of the priest, the other by the hand of kings and knights, but at the will and sufferance of the priest. One sword, moreover, ought to, be under the other, and the temporal authority to be subjected to the spiritual. For when the Apostle says "There is no power but of God, and the powers that are of God are ordained," they would not be ordained unless sword were under sword and the lesser one, as it were, were led by the other to great deeds.
"For according to St. Dionysius the law of Divinity is to lead the lowest through the intermediate to the highest things. Not, therefore, according to the law of the universe are all things reduced to order equally and immediately; but the lowest through the intermediate, the intermediate through the higher. But that the spiritual exceeds any earthly power in dignity and nobility we ought the more openly to confess, the more spiritual things excel temporal ones. This also is made plain to our eyes from the giving of tithes, and the benediction and the sanctification; from the acceptation of this same power, from the control over those same things. For, the truth bearing witness, the spiritual power has to establish the earthly power, and to judge if it be not good. Thus, concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power, is verified the prophecy of Jeremias: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms," and the other things which follow.
"Therefore if the earthly power err, it shall be judged by the spiritual power; but if the lesser spiritual power err, by the greater. But if the greatest, it can be judged by God alone, not by man, the Apostle hearing witness. A spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is judged by no one. This authority, moreover, even though it is given to man and exercised through man, is not human but rather divine, being given by divine lips to Peter and founded on a rock for him and his successors through Christ Himself whom He has confessed; the Lord Himself saying to Peter: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind," etc. Whoever, therefore, resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordination of God, unless he makes believe, like the Manichean, that there are two beginnings. This we consider false and heretical, since by the testimony of Moses, not "in the beginnings," but "in the beginning," God created the heavens and the earth.
*** INFALLIBLE ***: Ex cathedra: "We declare, we say, we define, and we pronounce that it is wholly necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. The Lateran, November 14th, in our eighth year. As a perpetual memorial of this matter." (Unam Sanctam, A.D. 1302)
Pope Clement VI, A.D. 1342-
Blessed Nicholas Talvilich (died 1391): "You Mohammedans are in a state of everlasting damnation. Your Koran is not God's law nor is it revealed by Him. Far from being a good thing, your law is utterly evil. It is founded neither in the Old Testament nor in the New. In it are lies, foolish things, buffooneries, contradictions, and much that leads not to virtue and goodness but to evil and to all manner of vice."
Vincent Ferrer (died A.D. 1419): "One who dies a Jew will be damned." [He converted tens of thousands of them by his preaching.]
Juliana of Norwich (died A.D. 1423): "I knew in my faith that the Jews were accursed and condemned without end, except those who were converted." (Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love)
Pope Eugenius IV, A.D. 1431-
Pope Paul III (A.D. 1534-
There follows some quotes from the English martyrs before we return to the general chronological presentation:
John Fisher (died A.D. 1535): "Consectanteum est vt quisquis huius veritatis fidem aspernatur, is omnino periturus sit, quum extra Catholicam ecclesiam, nemini salus obuenire queat." (Ver. Corp. 4. prooem, Opera, p.998.)
Thomas More (died A.D. 1535): "Outside the Church there is no salvation, and therefore if the claims of the pope be true at all, then he who denies them imperils his soul." (Dialogue concerning Heresies.)
Edmund Campion, S.J. (died A.D. 1581): "There is but one plain known road: when you wander from this you are lost. You must be altogether within the House of God, within the walls of salvation, to be sound and safe from injury. If you wander or walk abroad ever so little, if you carelessly thrust hand or foot out of the Ship, you shall be thrust forth: the door is shut, the ocean roars, you are undone." (Letters from the Saints, Fr. Claude Williamson, London: Wyman and Sons, 1948.)
Henry Walpole, S.J. (died A.D. 1595): "He said that by the grace of God he was in peace with all the world, and prayed God for all, particularly those who were the cause of his death; yet he heartily prayed for them, that God would enlighten them with His truth, bring them back to His Church, and dispose them for His mercy. He also said: "May His Divine Majesty never suffer me to consent to the least thing by which He may be dishonoured, nor you to desire it of me, and God is my witness, that to all here present, and particularly to my accusers, I wish as to myself the salvation of their souls, and that to this end they may live in the true Catholic Faith, the only way to eternal happiness.""
Robert Southwell, S.J. (died A.D. 1595): "Embrace His mercy before the time of rigour and return to His Church lest He debar you from His kingdom. He cannot have God for his Father who does not possess the Catholic Church for his Mother. Turn now the bias of your heart towards the Sanctuary of Salvation and the city of refuge."
"He cannot have God for his Father that refuses the Catholic Church for his Mother; neither can he attain to the Church Triumphant who is not a member of the Church Militant."
James Duckett (A.D. 1602): "James Duckett showed great alacrity in his mind, and spoke boldly and cheerfully, to the astonishment of many beholders. He said of how he professed that he died a Catholic, and that so he had lived; [...] telling the people in general that he was most willing to die for that cause, and that it was as impossible for any one to be saved outside of the Catholic Church as for any to avoid the deluge that was outside of Noah's ark. [...] And so the cart was drawn from him." (Life of James Duckett, Duckett's Bookshop)
Edmund Arrowsmith, S.J. (died A.D. 1628): "You gentlemen, who are come hither to see my end, bear witness with me that I die a constant Roman Catholic, and for Jesus Christ's sake. Let not my death be a hindrance to your well-
Fr. William Ward or Webster (died A.D. 1641): "Hereunto the Sheriff replied, saying, "You die not for point of religion, but for seducing the King's liege subjects." To this the Holy Martyr answered, he had seduced none, but reduced or converted many, the which he was glad of, and did wish he could not only have converted more, but even all England; because there was no other saving faith than that of the Roman Catholic Church, "and as for this faith, I die myself most willingly, so I say unto you all, that will hope for salvation, you must die in the same faith at least, if not for it." He hung till he was dead."
Fr. Hugh Green or Ferdinand Brooks (died A.D. 1642): "I am here condemned to die for my religion, and for being a priest. [...] Against this Roman faith all the sectaries cried out; and all heretics that have been since Christ oppugn this faith, and yet truly out of it none can be saved."
Fr. Edward Morgan or Singleton (died A.D. 1642): "Before he spoke the servant of God kneeled down in the cart, [...] He began by signing himself with the sign of the cross, [...] "There is but one God," said he, "one faith, one baptism, one true Church in which is found true hope of salvation, out of which there can be none; and for this true Church of Christ I willingly die." [...] Then after he had recommended his departing soul by prayer to God, the cart was drawn away, and he was suffered to hang until he was dead, and then he was cut down, bowelled, and quartered."
Fr. Thomas Holland, S.J. (died A.D. 1642): "Arising from the sledge, and perceiving the people to be very silent and attentive in expectation of what he should say, he began to speak to them (making the sign of the cross) to this effect: [...] Then he proceeded to tell the people that there could be but one true faith, one true Church, and no salvation out of it. [...] Then shutting his eyes for a while in silent prayer, then looking towards his confessor who was there in the crowd, at this signal given, received his last absolution; after which the cart was drawn away and he was left hanging till he quietly expired; his eyes being observed to remain fixed on heaven, and his hands all the while joined before his breast."
Francis Bell O.S.F. (died A.D. 1643): "Many officers and other were drawn to the place where he was imprisoned. One of them asked him what religion he was of. [...] In fine, at parting, he told them plainly and sincerely that no salvation could be hoped for out of the Catholic Church, and that he wished them all to be even as he was, excepting his present state of confinement. [...] Then being put up into the cart, and having leave of the Sheriff (who treated him with a great deal of humanity) to speak to the people, he delivered himself to them in these, or the like words: "[...] But above all, I exhort you to renounce heresy, in which you have been so long engaged; for this (with grief I speak it) has cut you off like putrid members from the true body of Christ, and like dead branches from the tree of His Church. [...] There can be only one Catholic Church, of which I am a member. This, with the help of God, I will profess till my dying hour. Rest assured, outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation." He hanged for the space of one Miserere, and then was cut down, dismembered, bowelled, and quartered."
Henry Morse, S.J. (died A.D. 1645): "I am come hither to die for my religion, for that religion which is professed by the Catholic Roman Church, founded by Christ, established by the Apostles, propagated through the ages by an hierarchy always visible to this day, grounded on the testimonies of holy scriptures; upheld by the authority of fathers and councils, out of which, in fine, there can be no hopes of salvation."
Fr. William Lloyd (died A.D. 1679): "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; amen. Dearly beloved countrymen: It is, even by God's holy providence, that now I am come to the last hour of my mortal life in this miserable world and therefore am desirous to give an account to all the world, in what faith and religion I lived while I was in this world, and in which I am resolved to depart out of this world, which is the only holy Catholic and Apostolical faith and religion, that is, the very same in all points as the apostles themselves lived and died in, [...] which is the only faith in which a man can be saved, and no other. [...] And to find out the apostolic faith, without which no man can please God, nor consequently be saved, we must find out the eldest faith amongst Christians, which was planted by our Saviour Himself amongst His apostles, which doth still last, and will last for ever."
John Kemble (died A.D. 1679): ""It will be expected I should say something, but as I am an old man, it cannot be much. [...] I die only for professing the old Roman Catholic religion, which was the religion that first made this kingdom Christian, and whoever intends to be saved must die in that religion." [...] The cart was drawn away, and he hanged at least half and hour before he was quite dead, the knot of the rope not being rightly applied; though this, as it is believed, happened rather by accident than design."
We shall now return to the more general chronological presentation.
Francis Xavier, S.J. (died A.D. 1552): "Many, many people hereabouts [the East] are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: "What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!" (Letter to Saint Ignatius Loyola, S.J.)
"Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers have been created by Thee, and formed to Thine own image and likeness. Behold, O Lord, how hell is being filled with these very souls. Remember that Jesus Christ Thine only Son, for their salvation, suffered a most cruel death. Do not permit, O Lord, I beseech Thee, that Thy Divine Don be any more slighted by unbelievers, but rather being appeased by the prayers of Thy saints, and of the Church, the most holy Spouse of Thy Son, deign to be mindful of Thy mercy, and forgetting their idolatry and their unbelief, bring them to know Him Whom Thou didst send, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who is our health, life and resurrection, through Whom we have been redeemed and saved, to Whom be all glory forever. Amen." (Saint Francis Xavier's Prayer for Unbelievers)
Pius V (A.D. 1566-
Pius issued the Roman Catechism (1566), known also as that of the Council of Trent by which it was ordered, the Council called to deal with the "Protestant" apostasy, and edited under Saint Charles Borromeo:
"That faith thus understood is necessary to salvation no man can reasonably doubt, particularly since it is written: "without faith it is impossible to please God." For as the end proposed to man as his ultimate happiness is far above the reach of human understanding, it was therefore necessary that it should be made known to him by God. This knowledge, however, is nothing else than faith, by which we yield our unhesitating assent to whatever the authority of our Holy Mother the Church teaches us to have been revealed by God." (Part One, The Creed)
"Infidels are outside the Church because they never belonged to, and never knew the Church, and were never made partakers of any of her Sacraments. Heretics and schismatics are excluded from the Church, because they have separated from her and belong to her only as deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted." (Part 1 article 9 section 3)
"Among these figures [of the Church] the ark of Noah holds a conspicuous place. It was built by the command of God, in order that there might be no doubt that it was a symbol of the Church, which God has so constituted that all who enter therein through Baptism, may be safe from danger of eternal death, while such as are outside the Church, like those who were not in the ark, are overwhelmed by their own crimes." (Part 1 article 9 section 5)
"Moreover, the Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice, and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. [...] All other societies arrogating to themselves the name of "church," must necessarily, because guided by the spirit of the devil, be sunk in the most pernicious errors, both doctrinal and moral. [...] In Jerusalem only was it lawful to offer sacrifice to God, and in the Church of God only are to be found the true worship and true sacrifice which can at all be acceptable to God." (Part 1 article 9)
1 Corinthians 13:3: ""And if I should distribute all my goods to be meat for the poor, and if I should deliver my body so that I burn, and have not charity, it doth profit me nothing."
"3. "Deliver my body".] "Believe (saith St. Augustine) assuredly and hold for certain, that no Heretic and Schismatic that uniteth not himself to the Catholic Church again, how great alms so ever he give, yea or shed his blood for Christ's name, can possibly be saved." For, many Heretics by the cloak of Christ's cause, deceiving the simple suffer much. But where true faith is not, there is no justice, because the just liveth by faith. So it is also of Schismatics, because where charity is not, justice can there be none: which if they had, they would never pluck in pieces the body of Christ which is the Church. (Aug. seu. Fulg. de fid. ad Pet. c. 39.) So saith St. Augustine in divers places, not only of Heretics that died directly for defense of their heresy, as the Anabaptists and Calvinists now a days do (for that it is more damnable): but of some Heretics and Schismatics that may die among the Heathen or Turks for defense of truth or some Article of Christ's religion. (Aug. de verb. Do. sr. 50 c. 2. & in Psal. 34 conc. 2 prope finem.; Cypr. de unit. Ec. nu. 8.)"
Ephesians 5:23: ""Because the man is the head of the woman: as Christ is the head of the Church. Himself, the Saviour of his body."
"Marginal note: No salvation out of the Catholic Church.
"23. "Saviour of his body".] None hath salvation or benefit by Christ, that is not of his body the Church. And what Church that is, St. Augustine expresseth in these words. "The Catholic Church only is the body of Christ, whereof he is head. Out of the body the Holy Ghost quickeneth no man.""
Hebrews 11:6: ""But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him."
"6. "He that cometh".] Faith is the foundation and ground of all other virtues and worship of God, without which no man can please God. Therefore if one be a Jew, a heathen, or an heretic, that is to say, he be without the Catholic faith, all his works shall profit him no whit to salvation."
1 St. John 1:3: ""that you also may have society with us, and our society may be with the Father and with his Son JESUS Christ."
"Marginal note: No salvation but in the Society of the Church.
"3. "You may have society".] St. John showeth manifestly, that whosoever desire to be partakers with God, must first be united to the Church's society, learn that faith, and receive those Sacraments, which the Disciples received of the Truth itself, conversant with them in flesh. So saith Venerable Bede upon this place. Whereby we see there is no society with God in sects or schisms, nor anywhere but in the unity, fellowship, and commandment of that Church which can prove itself to descend from the Apostles."
Charles Borromeo, Founder, (died A.D. 1584): "I wish to die in the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in which all the saints since Jesus Christ have died, and out of which there is no salvation." (Prayer to Guardian Angel)
Peter Canisius S.J., Doctor, (died A.D. 1597): "Outside of this communion, as outside of the ark of Noah, there is absolutely no salvation for mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never received the faith of the Church, nor for heretics who, having received it, corrupted it; not for schismatics who left the peace and unity of the Church; and finally neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the Church like pernicious members. For the rule of Cyprian and Augustine is certain: he will not have God for his Father who would not have the Church for his mother." (Catechismi Latini et Germanici)
Robert Bellarmine S.J., Doctor, (died A.D. 1621): "Outside the Church there is no salvation [...] therefore in the symbol [Apostles Creed] we join together the Church with the remission of sins: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins" [...] For this reason the Church is compared with the ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church." (On the Sacrament of Baptism)
"I believe that for the good Christians there is eternal life full of every happiness and free from every sort of evil; as, on the contrary, for the infidels and bad Christians, there is eternal death full of every misery and deprived of every good." (Compendium)
Francis de Sales, Doctor, Founder, (died A.D. 1622): "Neither faith without the Church nor the Church without the faith can save you, any more than the eye without the head or the head without the eye could see light."
"Either you had the true Faith, or you had it not. If not, O unhappy ones, you are damned! ~ Or else men can be saved outside the true Church, which is impossible! Here is the definition of the Church: The Church is a holy university or general company of men united and collected together in the profession of the one same Christian Faith; in the participation of the same Sacraments and Sacrifice; and in obedience to the one same Vicar and lieutenant-
“All Protestants will be damned.” (In, On the Church of Christ by Jacques Maritain)
Peter Claver S.J. (died 1654): "Saint Ursula gave her life, together with that of all her friends, for the sake of that faith which I am now describing to you, and think how contrary is the religion you profess to that which they professed; and that Saint Lucius, King of England, was so obedient to the Roman Apostolic See, and had so great a respect for the Chair of Peter, that every year he sent to Rome rich gifts and jewels as tokens and tributes of his recognition. So too did all his descendants until Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. And consider how that you and all your flock, misled, are following a road that ends in Hell!" (Peter Claver: Saint of the Slaves, Fr. Angel Valtierra, S.J. Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1954.)
John Eudes (died A.D. 1680): "If I had died as a pagan, a heretic, or an apostate, you would have reason indeed to weep. [...] Weep! Weep! Burst into tears, tears of blood! For those are the people who are really dead. [...] It is for such a death that one must shed tears of blood, for those who have not lived as Christians. [...] Let infidels and heretics, let the relatives and the friends of bad Catholics weep without consolation and weep unceasingly for the death of their departed ones!"
Clement XI (A.D. 1700-
Response of the Holy Office: (D. 1349b): "QUESTION: Whether it is possible for a crude and uneducated adult, as it might be with a barbarian, to be baptized, if these were given to him only an understanding of God, and some of His attributes, especially His justice in rewarding and in punishing, according to the remark of the Apostle: "He that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder", from which it is inferred that a barbarian adult, in a certain case of urgent necessity, can be baptized although he does not believe explicitly in Jesus Christ. RESPONSE: A missionary should not baptize one who does not believe explicitly in the Lord Jesus Christ, but is bound to instruct him about all those matters which are necessary, by a necessity of means, in accordance with the capacity of the one to be baptized."
Louis Marie de Montfort, Founder, (died A.D 1716): "The learned and pious Jesuit, Suarez, the erudite and devout Justus Lipsius, doctor of Louvain, and many others have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers (among others, Saint Augustine, Saint Ephrem, deacon of Edessa, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Saint Germanus of Constantinople, Saint John Damascene, Saint Anselm, Saint Bernard, Saint Bernardine, Saint Thomas and Saint Bonaventure), that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary to salvation, and that it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin; while on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her." (True Devotion to Mary)
"The heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and clearly bear the sign of God's reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary." (The Secret of the Rosary)
"My heart is penetrated with grief when I think of the almost infinite number of souls who are damned for lack of knowing the true God and the Christian religion. The greatest misfortune, O my God, is not to know thee, and the greatest of punishments not to love thee."
Benedict XIV, A.D. 1740-
Pompilio Mary Pirrotti (died A.D. 1756): "In the presence of the Most Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Holy Guardian Angel, and the entire heavenly host, I protest that I wish to live and die under the standard of the holy cross. I firmly believe everything our Holy Mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, believes and teaches. It is my steadfast intention to die in this holy faith in which all the holy martyrs, confessors and virgins of Christ have died, as well as all those who have saved their souls." (The Raccolta)
Alphonsus Maria Liguori CSSR., Doctor, Founder, (died A.D. 1797): "We must believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church; hence, they who are out of our Church, or they who are separated from it, cannot be saved." (Instructions on the Commandments and Sacraments)
"The Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is the only true Church, outside the pale of which no one can be saved." (Instructions on the Commandments and Sacraments)
"How thankful we ought to be to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! What would have become of us if we had been born in Asia, Africa, America, or in the midst of heretics and schismatics? He who does not believe is lost. This, then, was the first and greatest grace bestowed on us: our calling to the true faith. O Saviour of the world. what would have become of us if Thou hadst not enlightened us? [...] we would all have perished." (Preperation for Death)
"The so called reformers have revived ancient heresies and have sought by sophisms and false doctrines to destroy the faith of Jesus Christ, and, if possible, to bring with themselves all souls to eternal perdition." (on the Council of Trent.)
Elizabeth Mother Seton of New York, Founder, (died A.D. 1821) to Mrs. Livingston a protestant: "I told her it was a curious contradiction in principles which allowed every sect that could obtain a name to be right and in the way of salvation." (Mother Seton by Father Feeney, Ravensgate Press, 1975.)
Leo XII, A.D. 1823-
Pius VIII, A.D. 1829-
Gregory XVI, A.D. 1831-
"For in fact, you know as well as We do, Venerable Brothers, with what constancy our Fathers endeavoured to inculcate this article of faith which these innovators dare to deny, namely, the necessity of Catholic faith and unity to obtain salvation. This is what was taught by one of the most famous of the disciples of the Apostles, Saint Ignatius Martyr, in his Epistle to the Philadelphians: "Do not deceive yourselves," he wrote to them, "he who adheres to the author of a schism will not possess the kingdom of God." Saint Augustine and the other bishops of Africa, assembled in 412 in the Council of Cirta expressed themselves in the following terms on the subject: "He who is separated from the body of the Catholic Church, however laudable his conduct may otherwise seem, will never enjoy eternal life, and the anger of God remains on him by reason of the crime of which he is guilty in living separated from Christ." And without citing here the witness of almost innumerable other ancient Fathers, We will limit Ourselves to quoting Our glorious predecessor, Saint Gregory the Great, who gives explicit testimony to the fact that such is the teaching of the Catholic Church on this head. "The holy universal Church," he says, "teaches that God cannot be truly adored except within its fold: she affirms that all those who are outside her will not be saved." It is also stated in the decree on faith published by another of Our predecessors, Innocent III, in concert with the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the Lateran, "one indeed is the universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all is saved." Finally, the same teaching is expressed in the professions of faith which have been proposed by the Apostolic See; in the one which all the Latin Churches use; as also in the two others, one of which is received by the Greeks, and the other by all other Eastern Catholics. If we have cited these authorities among so many others We might have added to them, it was not, Venerable Brothers, with the intention of teaching you an article of faith as if you were ignorant of it. Far be it from us to entertain so absurd and so damaging a suspicion in your regard! But the astonishing boldness with which certain innovators have dared to attack one of our most important and obvious dogmas has made so painful an impression upon Us that We could not prevent Ourselves from speaking at some length on this matter. Strive to eradicate these slithering errors with all your strength." (Summo Iugiter Studio)
Pius IX, A.D. 1846-
I Vatican Council, A.D. 1870: (D. 1791): "Moreover, although the assent of faith is by no means a blind movement of the intellect, nevertheless, no one can "assent to the preaching of the gospel" as he must to attain salvation, "without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all a sweetness in consenting to and believing in the truth." [... (D. 1793):] Since without faith it is impossible to please God, no one is justified without it, nor will anyone attain eternal life unless he perseveres to the end in it. Moreover, in order that we may satisfactorily perform the duty of embracing the true faith and of continuously persevering in it, God, through His only-
"The true Church is one, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman; unique: the Chair founded on Peter by the Lord's words; outside her fold is to be found neither the true faith nor eternal salvation, for it is impossible to have God for Father if one has not the Church for Mother, and it is in vain that one flatters oneself on belonging to the Church, if one is separated from the Chair of Peter on which the Church is founded. There could be no greater crime, no more detestable injury than opposition to Christ, than the rending of the Church purchased and engendered in His divine Blood, than the furious attacks of pernicious discord against the peaceful and single-
The following three propositions are condemned as errors: (D1716): "In the worship of any religion whatever, men can find the way to eternal salvation, and can attain eternal salvation." (D1717): "We must have at least good hope concerning the eternal salvation of all those who in no wise are in the true Church of Christ." (D1718): "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)
William Joseph Chaminade (died 1850): "Since our lamentable fall in the garden of Eden, faith in Jesus Christ has been indispensably necessary to salvation, so that whoever has not believed in Him has not been saved." (Mary in our Christ-
"The union of Christ with the members of the Mystical Body is obtained only by membership in the Church, for outside this chaste Spouse there is no union with the Bridegroom. She alone has the advantages of this divine union, and she alone has received the keys which are a mark of the power attached to the union. She alone is united to the Bridegroom, and she alone possesses the fecundity which is the fruit of this union. There is no life outside the Church for all the life that is to be had can come only from her, and no one possesses this life unless he belongs to her. Outside the Church there is no salvation." (Mary in Our Christ-
John Marie Vianney (died 1859): "My children, why are there no Sacraments in other religions? Because there is no salvation there! We have the Sacraments at our disposal because we belong to the religion of salvation."
"The Cur of Ars once gave a medal to a Protestant who visited him, who exclaimed: "Dear sir, you have given a medal to one who is a heretic. At least I am a heretic from your point of view. But although we are not of the same religion, I hope we shall both one day be in heaven." The holy priest took the gentleman's hand in his own, and giving him a look which seemed to reach into his very soul, answered him, "Alas! My friend, we cannot be together in heaven, unless we have begun to live so in this world. Death makes no change in that. As the tree falls so shall it lie. Jesus Christ has said, "He that does not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican." And He said again, "There shall be one fold and one shepherd." and He made Saint Peter the chief shepherd of His flock." Then in a voice full of sweetness, he added, "My dear friend, there are not two ways of serving Jesus Christ; there is only one way, and that is to serve Him as He Himself wishes to be served." Saying this the priest left him. But these words sank deeply into the good man's heart, and led him to renounce the errors in which he had been brought up, and he became a fervent Catholic." (Life of the Cure of Ars)
"The angels sin, and are cast into Hell. Man sins, and God promises him a Deliverer. What have we done to deserve this favour? What have we done to deserve to be born in the Catholic religion, while so many souls are every day lost in other religions? What have we done to deserve to be baptized, while so many little children in France, as well as in China and America, die without baptism?" (The Little Catechism of the Cure of Ars)
John Neumann (died 1860): "Can we be saved in every religion? No, we can be saved only in the religion that Jesus Christ has taught. Where do we find this religion of Jesus Christ? We find it in the Roman Catholic Church." (Catechism of the Christian Religion)
Peter Julian Eymard (died 1868): "Unfortunate are the nations that do not live in the Church of Jesus Christ. They are like men outside the Ark at the time of the flood. Outside the Church, these poor travellers wander without a guide in the desert. They are like a sailor on a boat without either rudder or pilot. Alas, unfortunate children, abandoned on the road, without a mother to nourish and love them; they will soon die of cold and hunger! The gift of the Church as our mother and teacher in the Faith is therefore the greatest grace Jesus Christ could bestow upon us. And the greatest charity we can do to a man is to lead him to the true Church, outside which there is no salvation." (Eucharistic Handbook)
Anthony Mary Claret (died A.D. 1870): "When we say, I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, we are not speaking of the material church, the place in which we faithful unite to pay God that tribute of love, honour, and attention which we owe to Him, and which is called religion. In this sense "church" means temple, house of God, or house of prayer. But by those words of the Creed, we affirm belief in the Church as the society or congregation of the faithful, united by the profession of one and the same Faith, united also by participation in the same Sacraments, and by submission to the legitimate prelates, principally to the Roman Pontiff. [...] In the first place He made it One. Not having more than One God, nor been given more than One Faith, as Saint Paul says, and One Baptism, which is the door of His Church and of the other Sacraments, neither can there be more than One True Religion in which men can please God and accomplish His most holy will. [...] By this the true Church is distinguished from the synagogues of Satan or heretical sects, of which some teach one thing, others another. [...] And, actually, there have been, there are now, and there always will be saints in the Catholic Church. But heretical sects can count not even one, nor will they ever have them. Do you know how they evade this argument? They make fun of the saints and even of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. But they will stop laughing when they are presented to the tribunal of God, where they will find that those Catholics who observed the laws and doctrine taught by our Holy Church are saved -
Leo XIII, A.D. 1878-
"By the ministry of this Church so gloriously founded by Him, He willed to perpetuate the mission which He had Himself received from His Father; and, on the one hand, having put within her all the means necessary for man's salvation, on the other hand, He formally enjoined upon men the duty of obeying His Church as Himself, and religiously taking her as a guide of their whole lives. "He that heareth you, heareth Me; he that despiseth you, despiseth Me." Therefore, it is from the Church alone that the law of Christ must be asked: and consequently, if for man Christ is the way, the Church, too, is the way, the former of Himself and by His nature, the latter by delegation and communication of power. Consequently, all those who wish to reach salvation outside the Church, are mistaken as to the way and are engaged in a vain effort. [...]
"Man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them and keep them inviolate through life -
"Another head like to Christ must be invented, that is, another Christ, if besides the one Church, which is His body, men wish to set up another. 'See what you must beware of; see what you must avoid; see what you must dread. It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off -
"The Church of Christ, therefore, is one and the same for ever; those who leave it depart from the will and command of Christ, the Lord; leaving the path of salvation they enter on that of perdition. 'Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adulteress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ. [...] He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation' (St. Cyprian). [...]
"The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held any beliefs one point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. 'There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition' (Auctor, died A.D. 254).
"The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. 'No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic' (St. Augustine). [...]
"Let all those, therefore, who detest the wide-
"And with the same yearning Our soul goes out to those whom the foul breath of irreligion has not entirely corrupted, and who at least seek to have the true God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, as their Father. Let such as these take counsel with themselves, and realize that they can in no wise be counted among the children of God, unless they take Christ Jesus as their Brother, and at the same time the Church as their mother." (Satis Cognitum)
"This is Our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church; the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate." (Allocution for the 25th Anniversary of His Election, February 20, 1903)
John Bosco (died A.D. 1888): "If you die as an unbeliever, you will be damned and lost." (Don Bosco: A Spiritual Portrait)
Pius X, A.D. 1903-
"Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: "We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect."" (Acerbo Nimis)
The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, under Pope Saint Pius X, in 1907, in answer to a question as to whether Confucius could have been saved, wrote: "It is not allowed to affirm that Confucius was saved. Christians, when interrogated, must answer that those who die as infidels are damned."
Benedict XV, A.D. 1914-
Frances Xavier Cabrini, Founder, (died 1917): "Many Protestants have almost the same practices as we, only they do not see their way to submit to the Holy Father and attach themselves to the true Ark of Salvation. [...] They do not want to become Catholics and unite themselves under the banner of truth wherein alone there is true salvation. [...] He who does not enter by the door of the fold shall not have salvation. The door of the fold is the Catholic Church and union with the Head who represents Jesus. [...] Of what avail is it children, if Protestants lead naturally pure, honest lives, yet possess virtues which lack the interior impulse of the Holy Ghost? They may well say: "We do no halm; we lead good lives;" but, if they do not enter the true fold of Christ, all their protestations are in vain, because a really good life is that which is so formed and ordered as to lead to the Way that is blessed and Eternal. Without this admirable order and relationship, a good life is of no value. These poor people do not enter the door of the true fold of Christ because they do not know Christ perfectly, or at least do not follow His commands in their entirety." (Travels of F. X. Cabrini)
Pius XI, A.D. 1922-
Pius XII, A.D. 1939-
"No one can depart from the teaching of Catholic truth without loss of faith and salvation." (Ad Apostolorum Principis)
"O Mary Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners! We beseech thee to look with pitying eyes on poor heretics and schismatics. Do thou, who art the Seat of Wisdom, enlighten the minds wretchedly enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly recognize the Holy, Catholic, Roman Church to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither sanctity nor salvation can be found." (The Raccolta, Benzinger Brothers, Boston, 1957, No. 626. The prayer was also indulgunced by Pope Pius IX.)
"If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ -
"That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. "Christ," says the Apostle, "is the head of the Body of the Church." If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: "Though many we are one body in Christ." But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: "the Church is visible because she is a body." Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely "spiritual" as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond. [...]
"Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free." As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuses to hear the Church, let him be considered -
"They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous errors who believe that they can accept Christ as the head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it. [...]
"We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical." (Mystici Corporis (on the Mystical Body of Christ;) cf. The Papal Encyclicals 1939-
"Some think that they are not bound by the doctrine proposed in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago [Mystici Corporis] and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation." (Humani Generis)
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (died A.D. 1942): "Jesus, in establishing His religion, required that everyone believe what that religion teaches under pain of eternal damnation." (Maria Was His Middle Name)
Holy Mother the Church (A.D. always): "And may the souls of the departed Faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace; amen."