Friday, December 04, 2009

Forgotten Teachings: No Salvation Outside the Church

EUGENIUS IV (AD 1431-1447)
Ecumenical XVII 
(Union with the Greeks, Armenians, Jacobites) 
Decree for the Armenians  

[From the Bull "Exultate Deo," Nov. 22, 1439]

DS 714 [1351]: [The sacrosanct Roman Church, founded by the voice of our Lord and Savior,] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, 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.

DS 714 [1351][Sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia, Domini et Salvatoris nostri voce fundata] firmiter credit, profitetur et praedicat, 'nullos extra catholicam Ecclesiam exsistentes (intra cath. E. non exs.), non solum paganos', sed nec Judaeos aut haereticos atque schismaticos, aeternae vitae fieri posse participes; sed in ignem aeternum ituros, 'qui paratus est diabolo et angelis eius' (Mt 25, 41), nisi ante finem vitae eidem fuerint aggregati: tantumque valere ecclesiastici corporis unitatem, ut solum in ea manentibus ad salutem ecclesiastica sacramenta proficiant, et ieiunia, eleemosynae ac cetera pietatis officia et exercitia militiae christianae praemia aeterna parturiant. 'Neminemque, quantascumque eleemosynas fecerit, etsi pro Christi nomine sanguinem effuderit, posse salvari, nisi in catholicae Ecclesiae gremio et unitate permanserit'.
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