Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
Outside The Catholic Church There Is No Salvation?


Mark 9:33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
Mark 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Luke 9:46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
Luke 9:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
Luke 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
Luke 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

In the above two passages, while on the way to Capernaum, the disciples in a moment of egotism and pride were discussing which among themselves would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Jesus, being aware of their discussion, said that the humble lowly servant of God will be great in the kingdom, not the haughty or prideful. Then John, not perceiving his arrogance, mentions that he (and his brother James) saw a total stranger casting out demons in Jesus' name. Because this man was not known to the apostles and not authorized by them to either preach or cast out devils, they forbid him to continue. The implication is also that this stranger refused to submit to them and continued to cast out devils despite the prohibition. The issue to James and John was one of apostolic authority and complete subjection to that presumed authority by all members of "the church." Jesus however, corrects John, and tells him not to forbid anyone from doing the work of the Lord, and this applies whether they know who it is or not. In context, it is clear that John is being rebuked for his arrogance, that he does not have the authority over others that he presumed he had. One did not need to be under apostolic control or authority to be laboring for the glory of God and spreading the Gospel message.

The alleged successors of Peter have had the precisely same problem as James and John:

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 which we believe that no one is saved. -- Pope Innocent III, in Profession of Faith Prescribed for Durand of Osca and His Waldensian Companions [From the letter "Eius exemplo" to the Archbishop of Terraco, Dec. 18, 1208].

Source: The Sources of Catholic Dogma, translated by Roy J. Deferrari from the Thirtieth Edition of Henry Denzinger's Endiridion Symbolorum, Library of Congress catalogue card number 57-5963, copyright 1957 by B. Herder Book Co., published by Marian House, Powers Lake, N.D. 58773, pages 166,167.


There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.

Source: Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.


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

Source: Papal Bull Unam Sanctam, by Pope Boniface VIII, 1302.


The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.

Source: Papal Bull Cantate Domino, by Pope Eugene IV, 1441.


Excerpt from the Creed of the Council of Trent (1564):

I unhesitatingly accept and profess all the doctrines (especially those concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching authority) handed down, defined, and explained by the sacred canons and ecumenical councils and especially those of this most holy Council of Trent (and by the ecumenical Vatican Council). And at the same time I condemn, reject, and anathematize everything that is contrary to those propositions, and all heresies without exception that have been condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church. I, N., promise, vow, and swear that, with God's help, I shall most constantly hold and profess this true Catholic faith, outside which no one can be saved and which I now freely profess and truly hold. With the help of God, I shall profess it whole and unblemished to my dying breath; and, to the best of my ability, I shall see to it that my subjects or those entrusted to me by virtue of my office hold it, teach it, and preach it. So help me God and his holy Gospel. [The words in parentheses in this paragraph are now inserted into the Tridentine profession of faith by order of Pope Pius IX in a decree issued by the Holy Office, January 20, 1877 (Acta Sanctae Sedis, X [1877], pp. 71 ff.).]

Source: The Church Teaches, by Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Kansas, published by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 61105, Copyright 1973, pages 8-9.


... that man who has not a due subordination and connection to the head and common councils thereof, (that is, the Pope and general councils from whence under Christ we have our spiritual life and motion, as we are Christians,) must needs be dead, nor indeed can he be accounted a member of that mystical body.

Source: The Douay Catechism (An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine) of 1649, by Henry Tuberville, D.D., published by P. J. Kenedy, Excelsior Catholic Publishing House, 5 Barclay Street, New York, approved and recommended for his diocese by the Right Rev. Benedict, Bishop of Boston, April 24th, 1833, page 21.


[p. 246]
    Q. Who are they who are not members of the church?
    A. Infidels, heretics, schismatics, and rebellious Christians, whom the church cuts off from her body, by excommunication.
...
[p. 247]
    Q. Which is the true church?
    A. The Roman Catholic Church is the true church, because she alone is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. All the sects have sprung up since the time of the apostles, and have separated from the Roman Catholic Church.
...
    Q. What is the remission of sins?
    A. The remission of sins is the power given to the church to forgive sins. This power is found only in the church, for it is only in the church our Lord has said, Whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.

Source: Catechism of Perseverance, translated from the French of Abbe Gaume by Rev. F. B. Jamison, Fiftieth Edition, 1850, revised and enlarged, with the approbation of the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore, Published by Thomas B. Noonan & Co, 17, 19, and 21 Boylston Street, Boston, pages 246, 247.


The Church of Rome Consigns to Perdition all who reject Her Faith.

   The bull "In Cœna Domini" is one of the most notorious documents ever issued by the pontiffs; it has been ratified, confirmed, or enlarged by more than twenty popes, whose names and constitutions are prefixed to the bull itself; it has been published for ages in the Eternal City every Maundy-Thursday.* One section of this document reads:

 †"We do, on the part of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and also by the authority of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and by our own, excommunicate and curse all Hussites, Wicliffites, Lutherans, Zwinglians, Calvinists, Huguenots, Anabaptists, Trinitarians, and Apostates from the faith of Christ, and all and sundry other heretics, by whatso- [p. 387] ever name they may be reckoned, and of whatever sect they may be; and those who believe in them, and their receivers, abettors, and in general, all their defenders whatsoever; and those who without our authority and that of the Apostolic See knowingly read, or retain, or print, or in any way defend the books containing their heresy, or treating of religion."

    In this instrument the popes curse every denomination of Protestants, and every individual who declines to obey the bishops of Rome; or who aids non-Catholics in any manner; or who, without papal authority, knowingly reads, or retains a Protestant book, or prints it. The curse and excommunication involve and mean the damnation of the soul in its severest pains.

* Bower's "History of the Popes," vol. III. p. 484. Philada., 1845.
† —Constitutio Pauli V [1605-1621]., 63., Perceval on the Roman Schism, Introduction, p. 37, London, 1836.

Source: The Papal System: From Its Origin to the Present Time, by William Cathcart, D.D., published in 1872 by Menace Publishing Company, Aurora, Mo., pages 386, 387.


4. ... There is only one divine faith which is the beginning of salvation for mankind and the basis of all justification, the faith by which the just person lives and without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the community of His children.[2] There is only one true, holy, Catholic church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church. There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord,[3] 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.[4] Thus, there can be no greater crime, no more hideous stain than to stand up against Christ, than to divide the Church engendered and purchased by His blood, than to forget evangelical love and to combat with the furor of hostile discord the harmony of the people of God.[5]

2. Rom 1; Heb 11; Council of Trent, session 6, chap. 8.
3. St. Cyprian, epistle 43.
4. Ibid., de unitat. Eccl.
5. Ibid., epistle 72.

Source: Encyclical SINGULARI QUIDEM, ON THE CHURCH IN AUSTRIA, of Pope Pius IX, March 17, 1856.


8. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom "the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior."

Source: Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore of Pope Pius IX, On Promotion of False Doctrines, August 10, 1863.


But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.

Source: Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Sapientiae Christianae (On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens), from paragraph 22, dated January 10, 1890, trans. in The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger, 1903), p. 193.


8. ... It was thus the duty of all who heard Jesus Christ, if they wished for eternal salvation, not merely to accept His doctrine as a whole, but to assent with their entire mind to all and every point of it, since it is unlawful to withhold faith from God even in regard to one single point. ...

9. 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 beliefs on any 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 Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).

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" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).

Source: Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, SATIS COGNITUMON, THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH, June 29, 1896.


   Who is alienated & utterly separated from the Church of Christ?

The Jews, and all Infidels, and they that by Apostasy forsake their faith. And heretics which although they be christened, yet obstinately defend error against the Catholic faith. Moreover Schismatics, which separate themselves from peace and Catholic unity: also they that be lawfully excommunicated. All these manner of people are excluded from the Communion of Saints, the participation of Sacraments, & sufferages of the Church: which be clean void of a spiritual life, & are in bondage of the devil.

What is the most plain rule of faith whereby Catholics be discerned from heretics?

The most plain rule to know a Catholic is: They that do profess the faith of Christ, & the whole authority of the Church, and steadfastly do hold the doctrine and faith of the Church, which the Doctors and Pastors of the Catholic Church do define and teach to be believed, are Catholics. For he that will not obey the Church (Christ him self says) let him be taken as a Heathen & Publican. He shall not have God to be his Father, that will not have the Church to be his mother.

Source: A Catechisme or Christian Doctrine, by Laurence Vaux, B.D., reprinted from a 1583 edition by The Chetham Society in 1885, Manchester England, (updated to modern spelling for this excerpt) page 18.


64. If the Catholic Church is to lead all men to eternal salvation, and has, for that purpose, received from Christ her doctrine, her means of grace, and her powers, what, for his part, is every one obliged to do?

   Every one is obliged, under pain of eternal damnation, to become a member of the Catholic Church, to believe her doctrine, to use her means of grace, and to submit to her authority.

Source: Deharbe's Catechism, translated by Rev. John Fander, published by Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 53 Park Place, New York, Sixth American Edition, Copyright 1912, 1919, 1924, page 148.


11. 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. ... "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this 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." ... [26]

Source: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI MORTALIUM ANIMOS, on Religious Unity, January 6, 1928.


"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846     How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

Source: The Catechism of the Catholic Church online.


John and his brother James tried to assert their apostolic authority in precisely the same manner, and Jesus made it clear they were in error and being overly presumptuous. James and John had a hard time learning this lesson. Note the following:

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Luke 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
Luke 9:53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
Luke 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Merely because a Samaritan village was not hospitable to them as Jews, James and John wanted to destroy everyone in it! Note that Jesus responds that they were not acting in the spirit of God, which seeks to save men, not destroy them. Yet, this same destructive attitude has been displayed by the Catholic Church down through time. Those who have dared to oppose or refused to submit to the presumed authority of the Catholic Church have been hunted down in inquisitions, imprisoned and even burned at the stake as heretics. The fundamental issue to them, as demonstrated above, is not whether you accept Jesus Christ as your saviour, but rather, do you submit to the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church!

The above passages in Mark and Luke make plain the attitude that prevails when men take unto themselves supreme authority and then attempt to lord it over others. It also makes clear that this is not in the spirit of God. The true church of God will not be known by boasts of infallible authority, inquisitions, persecution, or extermination of alleged heretics, but rather by their willingness to serve their fellow man by spreading the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them (the disciples) unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
Mark 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Mark 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
Luke 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
Luke 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

See also:
Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica on Heresy and Heretics.
Papal Claims of Authority and 2 Thess 2:3-4.



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