Q. I’ve been reading about the Catholic Church and its stand on “outside the Church there is no salvation” I just read a website from the Society of St. Pius X, South Africa and this is what it said:
Q. Can a good Protestant or a good Pagan save his soul?
SSPX– NO, absolutely not! It is not because he is a good pagan, or a “good” protestant, that he saves his soul, but that he is a Catholic without knowing it. Neither can anyone save his soul in virtue of any other religion but in the Catholic faith alone. All other churches are concoctions of the devil.
A. First let me state that the Society of St. Pius X is currently separated from the Catholic Church and does not speak for the Church. So, what one of their members says does not necessarily reflect on the Catholic Church but we do have much in common.
The situation is much too complex to paint with such a broad brush and dismiss all Protestant churches as “concoctions of the Devil”. However, we do believe:
1. That Jesus Christ founded One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and only one Church to bring salvation to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. We also believe that the Roman Catholic Church is that same church founded by Jesus on Peter.
3. And we do believe that the Devil is our supreme enemy in a spiritual warfare. God wants everyone to be in Heaven with Him and Satan wants everyone in Hell with him. So, there is a constant war for the soul of each human being during earthly life.
Obviously, Our Enemy could further his goal by splitting people off from the One Church with the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth and encourage them to move away from a faith that will save their souls. So, in this sense the division of the Christian faith is a result of the success of Our Enemy but God is able to work in and through these ecclesial communities, as our Holy Father said in July 2007, for the salvation of souls.
From the verses below we see that Jesus wanted one Church and He only
founded One Church. We are to be a part of the One Body of Christ
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
John 17:1-3 “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.…11 Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one….
21-23 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
So, we do believe, that the Catholic Church is a sacrament of salvation for the world and all people. All who are saved are saved by grace through Jesus Christ and through His Church, even if they are not Catholic. Saying that they are Catholic but don’t know it is a humorous way of saying this but I don’t think it is actually theologically correct. God has always chosen to work through people whether they are individuals or a great race as in the Israelites. See my post No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church.
Q. What gives the Catholic Church or any church the right to say, “All other churches are concoctions of the devil”?
A. The Catholic Church does not say this. That was on the SSPX site. They are separated, in schism, from the Catholic Church. The Pope just released a statement on other churches. It is only two pages long. Please read it HERE.
Q. I used to be Catholic until about 16 years old, now 58. I was taught by my mother, of all people, that the Catholic Church is good at making up false doctrine. She gave me good insight about the Catholic Church and all its false doctrine.
A. Well, if one is not a believing Christian, Catholic or Protestant, all doctrine would appear to be “made up” and “false”. But, this view of Church doctrine is dismissive and intellectually inaccurate. Your mother may not have been well taught or she may have lacked faith despite being born into the Catholic Faith. I would be interested in which doctrines she characterized as false and made up.