Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the church there is no salvation)


Scripture is the assured word of God, not merely true statements, for the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

And it is abundantly evidenced that in Bible times the word of God/the Lord was normally written, even if sometimes first being spoken, and that as written, Scripture became the transcendent supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims as the wholly Divinely inspired and assured, Word of God.

And which reveals that the redeemed are those who have come to God as souls damned because of their works - not saved because of them - and destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape their just and eternal punishment in Hell Fire and gain eternal life with God. And with contrite heart have cast their whole-hearted repentant faith upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Divine Lord Jesus to save them by His sinless shed blood — on His account, not ours. (Rm. 3:9 – 5:1; cf. Ps. 34:18) And whose faith is thus counted as righteousness, but it is a faith that will follow Him, which faith justifies one as being a true sheep. (Jn. 10:27; Heb. 6:9)

This means such can be saved anywhere, even in ignorance of the church, and as Peter preached, even before baptism, with God “purifying their hearts by faith,” (Acts 15:9) and with baptism requiring repentance and and wholehearted faith. (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37)

And which is contrary to either the RC doctrine that infant baptism effects regeneration, so that one is justified by his personal holiness, which premise means that one (usually) must spend an indeterminate time suffering fiery torments in unScriptural “Purgatory” until he once again becomes good enough (and atones for sins) to actually enter Heaven.

In addition, while saving faith is one that manifests characteristic holiness and obedience — and repentance when convicted of the contrary — this is contrary to the unScriptural idea of looking to successors to Peter as the exalted infallible head of the church, and the doctrine of perpetual ensured magisterial infallibility.

This is a pertinent preface to the pompous presumptuous papal and conciliar statements below, as while elitist Rome imagines herself One True Church,® the above aspects and other accretions of traditions of men leaves the Roman Catholic church basically invisible in Scripture, and as Rome stands in critical contrast to the NT church then it cannot be the unchanging one true church it claims to be. It is also clear that its pseudo-successors fall critically short of both the qualifications and credentials of the manifest apostles of God, (as do I!: Acts 1:21,22; 1Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:11,12; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12) under which the NT church saw its limited degree of unity (without once being called to submit to an infallible Peter as their universal head in the NT life of the church).

Meanwhile, although the many “tribes” (as far as earthly identification goes) in the kingdom of God (which division began due to the recalcitrance of Rome ) are certainly not the ideal — despite their essential unity — yet the only one true church is that of the body of Christ, as it alone 100% consists of true believers, while the visible church is one in which both the “wheat” and the “tares” express themselves.

The statements below also serve to show why Rome sees conservative sects and schisms due to modern conciliar statements being contrary to past ones, and which can also prepare one for the sophistry exercised by Roman Catholic apologists in attempting to explain how such contrasts are that of Rome merely “defining” herself.

RC statements on Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus

Historical RC teaching


Modern RC teaching


Pius XII, Humani Generis (27,28): 

"Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, 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.[6] Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation...These and like errors, it is clear, have crept in among certain of Our sons." http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis_en.html

Thus the Mystical Body of Christ is said to be the Roman Catholic Church, and which is the true Church, belonging to which is necessary for salvation.

However, the Vatican Two defender could argue that this does not mean the Roman Catholic Church is uniquely the Mystical Body, but which is what the pope seems to be arguing against as being part of the errors of modernism which he is addressing.

Vatican Two: Lumen Gentium 16: "The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (Cf. Jn. 16:13) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical [Protestant] communities...

Thus rather than the Mystical Body of Christ being uniquely the Roman Catholic Church, she is united in faith with many (properly) baptized Protestants.

Pope Innocent III and Lateran Council IV: "One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved, in which the priest himself is the sacrifice, Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the species of bread and wine; the bread (changed) into His body by the divine power of transubstantiation, and the wine into the blood..." Pope Innocent III and Lateran Council IV (A.D. 1215) [considered infallible by some]

Thus the universal Church of the faithful is said to be one that holds to the erroneous doctrine of transubstantiation with its NeoPlatonic explanation, outside which no one at all is saved.

"They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood." — LUMEN GENTIUM: 16.

Thus rather than salvation requiring being part of the universal Church of the faithful which holds to the Catholic transubstantiation, with rejection of which excluding one from salvation, baptized Protestants are generally affirmed as being part of the universal body of Christ.

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical Singulari Quidem, March 17, 1856):There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded on Peter by the word of the Lord, outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation. He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church. (On the Unity of the Catholic Church) http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9singul.htm

Thus the pope decrees (imagines) that the Apostolic Roman Church under Peter is the One True Church® outside of which one cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation, and is not in the Church. He thinks this bombast will prevent dissent, but it has not worked.

Dominus Iesus: "those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.” “All who have been justified by Faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ: they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” — http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html

While Rome, of course, asserts that all grace to be found in separated Churches and communities come from her, and thus ecumenical RCs can try to use this as meaning Protestants are part of the church, it is certain that Popes Boniface VIII, Pius IX, Pius XI, Pius XII, Innocent III, Eugene IV and the Council of Florence and the authors of the other exclusive elitist assertions here — would not stand for this.

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos: Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius [the eastern “Orthodox “schismatics] and the reformers, obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls?...Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned...” Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, PTC:873) The Promotion of True Religious Unity), 11, Encyclical promulgated on January 6, 1928, #11; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19280106_mortalium-animos_en.html

Thus the specific stipulation that recognition and submission to the pope as supreme is stated to be necessary to be in the One True Church and for salvation, which excludes even the EOs.

Joint Catholic-Orthodox declaration: Grateful to God, who mercifully favored them with a fraternal meeting...Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I have not lost sight of the determination each then felt to omit nothing thereafter which charity might inspire and which could facilitate the development of the fraternal relations thus taken up between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Constantinople. They are persuaded that in acting this way, they are responding to the call of that divine grace which today is leading the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, as well as all Christians, to overcome their differences in order to be again "one" as the Lord Jesus asked of His Father for them.

So much for recognizing and obeying the authority and supremacy of Peter for life and salvation. Note the substantial differences between the two.

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam:

We declare, say, define, and pronounce [ex cathedra] that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

"If, therefore, the Greeks or others say that they are not committed to Peter and to his successors, they necessarily say that they are not of the sheep of Christ, since the Lord says that there is only one fold and one shepherd (Jn.10:16). Whoever, therefore, resists this authority, resists the command of God Himself."Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam (Promulgated November 18, 1302) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/b8-unam.html

Pope, Pius XII: encyclical Mystici Corporis (1943): :

22. 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, whether bond or free.” 17 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. 18 And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican. 19 It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit....not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. (http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061943_mystici-corporis-christi.html)

Here we have an accepted (by many) “infallible” clear statement — made when Rome had no real lasting competition besides the EO, and used an unholy sword to deal with dissent, and could control the press — that submission to the Roman pope is necessary for salvation, with “subject” not meaning the EOs view of the pope, but the RC manner of submission.

CCC 838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

Evidently Vatican Two sees some Prots as somehow being subject to the Roman Pontiff, which Boniface VIII say is absolutely necessary for salvation.

While Lumen Gentium 14 does say,
“Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved,” in context this refers to baptism being the door by which men enter the Church. Thus to refuse baptism would be refusing to enter the Church, and not those whop know of the exclusive claims of the Roman church but are not convinced of them, and thus do not enter it.

Fifth Lateran Council: Moreover, since subjection to the Roman pontiff is necessary for salvation for all Christ's faithful, as we are taught by the testimony of both sacred scripture and the holy fathers, and as is declared by the constitution of pope Boniface VIII of happy memory, also our predecessor, which begins Unam sanctam, we therefore...renew and give our approval to that constitution... Fifth Lateran CouncilSession 11, 19 December 1516, http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum18.htm

Thus the presumptuous pompous decree of Boniface VIII is affirmed by the Fifth Lateran Council, adding to Rome collective guilt.

Dominus Iesus: "...these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation...

Obviously, if “separated brethren” are part of the Body of Christ, and are instruments for salvation, then it cannot be held that subjection to the Roman pontiff is necessary for salvation for all Christ's faithful. Period.

Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence: "The sacrosanct Roman Church...firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that..not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart into everlasting fire...unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that..no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence (Seventeenth Ecumenical Council),  Cantate Domino, Bull promulgated on February 4, 1441 (Florentine style),  [considered infallible by some]

Here is specified who is excluded from becoming participants in eternal life, which includes heretics and schismatics, yet in reality some dissent from Rome it is necessary to be saved. Rebellion to errors of Rome is obedience to God.

Lumen Gentium 8; This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,(13*) although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. . These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

Consistent with what has been said previously is the change here regarding the word “subsist.” Noted RC theologian Yves Congar states,

The problem remains if Lumen Gentium strictly and exclusively identifies the Mystical Body of Christ with the Catholic Church, as did Pius XII in Mystici Corporis. Can we not call it into doubt when we observe that not only is the attribute "Roman" missing, but also that one avoids saying that only Catholics are members of the Mystical Body...Vatican II admits, fundamentally, that non-Catholic christians are members of the Mystical Body and not merely ordered to it. (Le Concile de Vatican II, (Paris: Beauchesne) p. 160.)

Pope Gregory XVI: "The holy universal Church teaches that God cannot be truly adored except within its fold; she affirms that all those who are separated from her will not be saved." (Summo Iugiter Studio, encyclical of Pope Gregory XVI

May 27, 1832, quoting “Gregory the Great” in Moral. in Job. XIV,5 [ch 158]).

Truly adored is in contrast to falsely adored.

Lumen Gentium 16: But the plan of salvation ( propositum salutis ) also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place ( in primis ) among these there are the Moslems, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind

Nostra Aetate's §3 Upon the Moslems, too, the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God, living and enduring, merciful and all-powerful, Maker of heaven and earth and Speaker to men.., They strive to submit wholeheartedly even to His inscrutable decrees, just as did Abraham, with whom the Islamic faith is pleased to associate itself.

Here is it affirmed that Muslims along with RCs adore the one and merciful God. There is no parsing this to mean Muslims only “profess” to do so, as instead it is affirmed that they adore/worship the one and merciful God, and strive to serve the same, just as did Abraham.

Meanwhile, Dominus Iesus states "the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery [meaning the unscriptural Catholic priesthood and Eucharist ], are not Churches in the proper sense. (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html)

Therefore we can see that Vatican Two Rome has contradicted previous church teaching, even if that was not consistent. But which latest magisterial teaching is what RCs are to obey, and not interpret for themselves what church teaching really is by examination of the past,. For,

It follows that the Church is essentially an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of per sons, the Pastors and the flock...the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors." - VEHEMENTER NOS, an Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on February 11, 1906.

However, both pre and post Vatican Two Roman Catholicism was and is a serious deformation of the NT church, as partly detailed here by God's grace.