NO SALVATION OUTSIDE
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
BY GRAHAM MOORHOUSE
POSTED BY: WEB TEAM | 10.09.2016
Originally published in The Flock - Spring/Summer Issue 2015
The following is based on a blog by Ann Barnhardt (Abridged and adapted by Graham Moorhouse)
The statement, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, is TRUE. It is time to explain this clearly and forthrightly, because it is actually one of the truths that is most persuasive and attractive in the conversion process. Why? Because the explanation is logical, coherent, and beautiful.
The reason why almost everyone in post-Christian western culture today goes pale at the reiteration of the truth that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church is because we have been brainwashed to deny that there is any such thing as “truth”. We have been conditioned to accept that 2+2 equals 4, and 7, and 8,349,085 – if that is what you want. Because there is “my truth” and “your truth” and “we each have our own truth”, and “life is a pilgrimage of discovering our own truth”. The zeitgeist has not only torn down the notion of truth via soft, cultural means, but also through the hardest of sciences – mathematics. If you are under the age of forty-five, you were almost certainly never taught logic as a branch of mathematics. Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning, that is, truth and falsity. It has been removed from maths curricula in the western world out of necessity, because logic is the hammer that smashes the idol of relativism. The reason why even functionally intelligent people today, simply cannot parse current events and get their heads around what should be extremely simple to grasp dynamics, is because people have been conditioned to view as normal – if not virtuous – the simultaneous holding of contradictory positions.
But there can only ever be one truth, and thus, there can be, by mathematical necessity, only one Church. There cannot be multiple “churches”, each holding contradictory positions (hence self-evidently distinct one from another), because two contradictory things cannot both be the same thing. And we know that there is a Church, because Our Lord Himself in the Gospels mentioned it repeatedly, not the least of which was this impossible-to-get-around statement:
“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”
So we know that Our Lord does have a Church, and that He has one Church, because He used the singular. This doesn’t even take into account the Holy Spirit’s description of the Church as the Body and Bride of Christ through the pen of St. Paul in his epistles. When God Almighty, Incarnate, says, “I will build my Church”, all debates about whether or not there is a Church must end. If a person is so far gone that they cannot grind their way through that gearbox, then I'm afraid there’s nothing I or anyone else can do to help them.
Now let’s discuss what the Church is. The Church consists of three parts:
1. The Church Militant – this is the Church on Earth, this is what we, the living, see.
2. The Church Suffering – this is Purgatory, where the souls of the saved go to be purged of all attachment to sin so that they might enter into the presence of God – the Beatific Vision.
3. The Church Triumphant – this is the Beatific Vision, The Most Holy Trinity, the angels and saints dwelling inside, pondering, adoring and worshiping God from the inside.
Since the domain of the Church Militant is the physical universe, it follows that when there is no longer a physical universe, there will be no Church Militant. Further, some day, the last saved soul will be fully purged of all attachment to sin and will enter Heaven, and on that day the Church Suffering will cease to exist.
The Church Triumphant, however, will always exist, because the domain of the Church Triumphant is the Triune Godhead Himself, Who Is Existence Itself. Ever pray the Gloria Patri? Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
So let’s put our logic cap on now, shall we? The Church, of which there is only one, is the Body and Bride of Christ, and all of the saved either are now or eventually will be in the Church Triumphant, which indwells, now and forever, inside the Triune Godhead. Now grind through this, and fight the contra-education you have received as a child of the post-Christian, postmodern West. How, exactly, could a person be “saved” and be outside the Church? Let’s attack this from the angle of the Judgment. What happens to every person when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ. Do you believe this? No, seriously. Do you believe that every single human being, regardless of race, religious confession, time, place, or any other variable, is judged individually and personally by Jesus Christ? If you do not believe this, then you cannot possibly claim to be a Christian. Now, if you don’t like hearing this, you can always go and listen to some irrational, ecumenical Modernist spew some post-Conciliar heretical garbage, but understand that the heretic's priority is very different from mine. I am interested in the eternal fate of your soul. The heretic just wants to be popular and sound terribly smart.
Let’s go through a list:
What happens to Catholics when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
What happens to Jews when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
What happens to Hindus when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
What happens to atheists when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
What happens to Muslims when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
What happens to Protestants when they die? They are judged by Jesus Christ and will either attain the Beatific Vision in the Church Triumphant or be damned to hell.
Notice how a very clear pattern emerges here. A few years ago I attempted to take a course on Aristotelian and Thomistic Ethics through the Archdiocese of Denver. There was one man in the class – a gentleman in his 60's, who did nothing but sleep and talk on his phone. At the last session I attended there was a discussion, and this guy woke up and said the following, at which point I was climbing the wall:
“I’m a catechism teacher for the teens over at St. Xxxx’s and have been for years. The kids ask about reincarnation for the Hindus, and I tell them, 'Sure, that's possible. If that is what these people believe, why not? Who's to say that there isn't reincarnation? We don't know.'”
So, lesson number one here is, to be very wary about sending your children to any sort of catechism class in a modern Catholic parish. It really is that simple. They will let anyone whom volunteers teach (unless, of course, they are orthodox Catholics) and most of these people are full-blown heretics, if not apostates. Ah, the New Pentecost - seemingly not as awesome as the original!
The second lesson is, as we discussed above, people today are so far gone that they can recite the Creed at Mass every Sunday, to wit the parts about “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” and “we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come”, and then stand in front of a Catholic catechism class and tell a bunch of children that, sure, if Hindus believe in reincarnation, who’s to say they aren’t reincarnated? Then brag about it in a Catholic adult education class! There is zero sensation of cognitive dissonance or even tension in holding two completely contradictory positions. 2+2 equals 4 - but also 762, and aren’t I just one of the cool kids because I don’t actually believe in the concept of “truth”, because I’m tolerant, and frankly, also completely bonkers. It's enough to make anyone's, who is not certified insane, head explode.
Let’s focus on the so-called Christian denominations now. Do we honestly believe that there are multiple “Heavens”? Do we honestly believe that there is a Presbyterian Heaven, a Methodist Heaven, and a Baptist Heaven? Do we honestly believe that there is a Heaven where sodomy is not a sin, where all of the people who preach that same-sex anal copulating is great will go? Is there a Heaven where contraception is not a sin – because all the Protestant sects today deny the obviously gravely sinful nature of artificial contraception? Again, let’s get our logic caps on. How can the Triune Godhead hold contradictory positions as both being true? Either sodomy is a sin or it's not. Either the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ physically, substantially present, or it's not. Either the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the eternal liturgy of Heaven, or it's not. If God holds contradictory positions as both “true”, then there is no truth, and therefore there is no God. Thus we arrive at the inevitable logical consequence of the Protestant revolt – atheism.
What of people who cannot, through no fault of their own, either know about or enter the Church? Can these people be saved? The answer is, “yes”, it may be extraordinarily difficult, but it is possible. Let’s take all of the people, for example, who lived on the North American continent in the 1459 years between the establishment of the Church by Christ in the Upper Room in 33AD, and the landing of Columbus in North America in 1492AD. How could a man born on the Great Plains in the 5th century, living his entire life 1000 years before any Christian steps foot on the same continent, making it a physical impossibility that he could have known of Christ, much less His Church, much less received baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, be saved? How could such a man, and others like him over the centuries, possibly be not only saved but saved in the Church, outside of which there is no salvation? The answer is, The Natural Law. Christ judged the 5th-century Plains Indian according to the Natural Law, which is inscribed by God on the heart of every human being. Is it more difficult for those outside The Church? Of course, that is why the Catholic Church is an amazing gift from God, and the most wonderful manifestation of His love for us. The 5th-century Plains Indian could not go to the sacrament of confession and hear these deeply consoling words:
"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
But we can go to confession and we can hear those words, and our sins, venial and mortal, can be forgiven at any time. The Catholic Church is God's greatest gift to man.
And so that 5th century Plains Indian, if he lived his life in accord with the Natural Law, coupled with genuine invincible ignorance (due to physical location), made it through his Particular Judgment before Our Lord, and is now far, far, far more Catholic than any of us. He knows the Mass better than the greatest liturgist alive today, because he is right there at the Altar, worshipping God in the perpetual sacrifice and immolation of the Lamb. He isn’t in some separate animist-pagan Heaven for red-skinned Indians. He is in the one and only Heaven that there is, which is indwelling in the only God there is, which is His Mystical Body and Bride, the Church Triumphant, which is most certainly Catholic because the word “catholic” means “universal”.
And so it follows from this that Our Good God has not created one single human being “damned”. Every one of us –and every person who ever will be, has been knit together, atom by atom, cell by cell, personally by God who provided and provides a means and path and grace sufficient for every one of us to make it to Heaven. Many of us, perhaps even the majority, will not make it, but that is our own fault.
Now, isn’t that satisfying? Doesn’t it make sense? Doesn’t it exude integrity and logical coherence - and love? The big obstacle for post-Christian culture is to shake off the pathological need to deny that there is one truth, and thus one true religion, and thus one Church, because the world, ruled as it is by Satan and his minions, calls us “intolerant”, “rigid”, “fundamentalist”, “haters”, “Nazis” and “Taliban”. But every time we deny the truth to please the world, we deny Him who said, "I am the Truth ..."
The Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Christ, instituted by Him in the Upper Room, and is now and always will be His Body and His Bride. There is and can only be one Church. There is and can only be one True Religion. There is and can only be one Heaven, and there is and can only be one God, who is the One and Only Judge of every human being.
Which is why we should be happy and eager to proclaim from the rooftops without the least hesitancy or embarrassment:
EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS
Outside the Church there is no Salvation