The Catholic Church… Portalof allsalvation
This document was prompted by a discussion on the CAF Forum about salvation through the Catholic Church. As ought to be expected the root of the problem leading to this discussion is both a lack of clarity within the bible [God caused this by specific intent], further aggravated by what some wish to belief, and enabled to do so only by culling passages that seem to support their position; while ignoring or not knowing that contradictory teachings exist in the same book.
Yet in the strictest sense of the word; we are truly “Brethren”. We share a common belief in One True God; The Blessed Trinity and a common Baptism, by water and in the name of the Trinity. And we ought to take seriously their love of God. While some branches of Christianity do not adhere to these essential elements and are further endangering their salvation. There is no substitute for charity. There would be no Christian faiths, were Catholicism not preexistent.
This discussion seemed to me to elicit two important questions: 1. Why & 2. How?
So let us begin our own discussion by once again repeating the “Infallible Rule” for right understanding of the bible.
“Never-Ever, can, may or Does one passage, verse, or teaching
Have the power or authority to invalidate, override, or make void another,
passage, verse or teaching.”
If this were even a possibility [it’s not] it would render the entire bible as worthless for teaching or learning ones faith. So if one seems to encounter such a teaching, be assured that it stems from Not using the entirety of God’s WORDS. [Jesus answered: “ It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God” Which in turn leads to 2nd. Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”
Because one can find and cull passages that seem to indicate salvation for “all”; and because even the passages that seemingly contradict it with “many” are assumed to include them, with little evident effort to seek truth beyond what seems to them as “the obvious”, and because non-Catholic Christians tend to lump the bibles teachings on the topic of salvation as including both “Redemption” and “Salvation” being synonymous terms, which they are not; …the Devil IS hiding in the details.
Matt.22: 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt.26: 28 “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” Mark.10: 45 “For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Luke.13: 24 “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able”
John.1: 7 “He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.” Heb.9: 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” 1Pet.3: 18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” Eph.1: 7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace”
1 Timothy 2: 6 “Who gave himself [as] a redemption for all, a testimony in due times” Mark 10:45 “For the Son of man also is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many”
Titus 11:2 is rendered thus in the Douay Bible: “For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men”; In the Catholic RSV one reads the following:“ For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men,” & The King James reads: “ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” …Hebrews 5:9 reads “And being consummated, he became, to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation” and The King James: “And being made perfect , he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him… Romans 1:16 teaches “For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first and to the Greek”. The King James reads the same here”. So salvation seems to be clearly conditional; seemingly not a problem for our non-Catholic Brethren who often lump themselves into both the “all” and the “many” categories.
The lack of a single clear message here is evidence of the Wisdom of God, and proof of a Divinely Inspired bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. … Christ was not reinventing something “as new” in setting up His Catholic church, Matthew 16:15-19, he was in fact following His Own, Old Testament model for rightful and faithful practice of religion, where Yahweh freely selected only One chosen people, gave them only One set of faith beliefs and declared that He Alone would be their God.
Lev. 26: 12 “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.” Exodus 15:26 “Saying: If thou wilt hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and do what is right before him, and obey his commandments, and keep all his precepts, none of the evils that I laid upon Egypt, will I bring upon thee” Lev. 18: 4 “You shall do my judgments, and shall observe my precepts, and shall walk in them. I am the Lord your God.”
God obligates himself to be merciful and fair
Luke.12: 51 “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” John.5: 43 “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” John.3: 36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him”, Matt. 19:17 …”If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
Christ chose to manifest His Divine Mercy and charity by sticking to the Old Testament model of just, and only …”One”. After all when there is only “one” there are no room for debates, envy, only one boss, and clear direction. That is precisely why God has always chosen “just one”. Then it’s His One way or it’s the wrong way.
One God: 1Tim.2: 5 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
One Faith: Eph. 4: 5 “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”
One Church: Matt 16:18-19 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, [SINGULAR] and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you [SINGULAR] the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 28: 16-19 “And the eleven disciples [Apostles] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have [taught &] commanded you:and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”
Hopefully, I have now answered the “WHY?” question. Because God’s infinite and perfect wisdom choose only one, God; Faith and Church, so man could [& would] know where to find Christ truth. It then follows logically that because Redemption is offered to “All” and Salvation to the Many who hear and obey fully His teachings, precepts, Commandments and Mandates, that it HAS to flow through the Only Church and Faith that He founded under the New Covenant, which supersede but do not replace OT Covenants. It is completely logical that because Salvation is from Christ; that it must FLOW through the only Church and Faith of Christ.
Heb. 9: 15 “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant” Therefore ALL salvation must necessarily flow through the Catholic church; which is not proclaiming that all, necessarily, be actual members of Her. Still The Catholic Church has an essential role to fulfill in everyone’s salvation. That is WHY the CC is the Portal to ALL salvation, and why this teaching has always been and continues to be a Doctrine of our Catholic Church.
So now I will attempt to clarify the “How?“ Question.
From our Catholic catechism:
CCC 780 “The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.”
CCC 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”.
CCC 847 “This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”
CCC 1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity”
From this we ought to be able to understand the complexity of the TASK of Fair and Just Judgment God has created for Himself. Only God is able to judge our thoughts, motives and hearts. And because God MUST BE both fair and just; he alone is able to make a just and fair judgment on all; but especially those outside of the Catholic Church. … That “particular”- Judgment has to factor in not only our personal chosen beliefs and practices; but of critical importance, the OPPORTUNITY God has and must give to each us, to actually know his singular truth, His one- Faith in His one -Church. This is especially relevant to all those outside of His Catholic Church who choose not to be members of Her for a variety of reasons that THEY find important and relevant to themselves. Will God agree with them and their motives, seems to be the unanswered question?
James 3: 13- 18”Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth. For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work. But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.”
Psalm 94: 11 “And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest. Psalm 118: 5 “O! that my ways may be directed to keep thy justifications” Ezek. 18:25 “And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel [people]: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?”
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
A final word of advice to my fellow Catholics. Because we are given so much more than our Brethren; especially Sacramental graces, & Jesus Himself in Person, very much more is to be expected from us. Matt. 13:11-12 “Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven:but to them it is not given.For he that hath, to him shall be given, [very much more] and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath.”
the “Ones” add up to a higher probability of salvation.
One God- One Faith- One Church- One set of keys to heaven and only one
Thee Portal; Christ Catholic Church. Amen