Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus
This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (October 2015)
The Latin phrase extra Ecclesiam nulla salus means "outside the Church there is no salvation". The 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church explained this as "all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body."
This expression comes from the writings of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a bishop of the 3rd century. The axiom is often used as shorthand for the doctrine that the Church is necessary for salvation. It is a dogma in the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches in reference to their own communions. It is also held by many historic Protestant Churches. However, Protestants, Catholics and the Orthodox each have a unique ecclesiological understanding of what constitutes the Church. The theological basis for this doctrine is founded on the beliefs that (1) Jesus Christ personally established the one Church; and (2) the Church serves as the means by which the graces won by Christ are communicated to believers.
Kallistos Ware, a Greek Orthodox bishop, has expressed this doctrine as follows:
"Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
The Catholic Church also teaches that the doctrine does not mean that everyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned in case of inculpable ignorance.
Some of the most pertinent Catholic expressions of this doctrine are: the profession of faith of Pope Innocent III (1208), the profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the bull Unam sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII (1302), and the profession of faith of the Council of Florence (1442). The axiom "No salvation outside the Church" has been frequently repeated over the centuries in different terms by the ordinary magisterium.
The doctrine is based largely on Mark 16: 15-16, "He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned."
The original phrase, "Salus extra ecclesiam non est" ("there is no salvation out of the Church") comes from Letter LXXII of Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258). The letter was written in reference to a particular controversy as to whether or not it was necessary to baptize applicants who had previously been baptized by heretics. In Ad Jubajanum de haereticis baptizandis, Cyprian tells Jubaianus of his conviction that baptism conferred by heretics is not valid. Firmilian (died c. 269) agreed with Cyprian reasoning that those who are outside the Church and have not the Holy Spirit cannot admit others to the Church or give what they do not possess. Cyprian was not expressing a theory on the eternal fate of all baptized and non-baptized persons.
Early Church FathersEdit
The concept was also referred to by Origen in his Homilies on Joshua, but neither he nor Cyprian were addressing non Christians, but those already baptized and in danger of leaving the faith, as that would involve apostacy. Earlier, Justin Martyr had indicated that the righteous Jews who lived before Christ would be saved. He later expressed a similar opinion concerning Gentiles. Those who act pleasing to God, while not "being" Christian are yet in some sense "in" Christ the Logos.
...Each one,...shall be saved by his own righteousness,...those who regulated their lives by the law of Moses would in like manner be saved...Since those who did that which is universally, naturally, and eternally good are pleasing to God, they shall be saved through this Christ in the resurrection equally with those righteous men who were before them, namely Noah, and Enoch, and Jacob, and whoever else there be, along with those who have known this Christ."
Irenaeus (died A.D. 202) wrote: "One should not seek among others the truth that can be easily gotten from the Church. For in her, as in a rich treasury, the apostles have placed all that pertains to truth, so that everyone can drink this beverage of life. She is the door of life." (Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, III.4) But he also said, "Christ came not only for those who believed from the time of Tiberius Caesar, nor did the Father provide only for those who are now, but for absolutely all men from the beginning, who, according to their ability, feared and loved God and lived justly. . . and desired to see Christ and to hear His voice Irenaeus recognized that all who feared and loved God, practiced justice and piety towards their neighbors, and desired to see Christ, insofar as they were able to do so, will be saved. Since many were not able to have an explicit desire to see Christ, but only implicit, it is clear that for Irenaeus this is enough.
Gregory of Nazianzus took a rather broad view in his understanding of membership in the Body of Christ. In the funeral oration for his father's death in 374, Gregory stated, "He was ours even before he was of our fold. His manner of life made him one of us. Just as there are many of our own who are not with us, whose lives alienate them from the common body, so too there are many of those outside who belong really to us, men whose devout conduct anticipates their faith. They lack only the name of that which in fact they possess. My father was one of these, an alien shoot but inclined to us in his manner of life." In other words, by their charity of their life, they are united to Christians in Christ, even before they explicitly believe in Christ. Fulgentius of Ruspe took a much stricter view, "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Jerome wrote "This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails." Bede continues this theme, "And according to this sense the ark is manifestly the Church, Noah the Lord who builds the Church..." Thomas Aquinas Peter Canisius, and Robert Bellarmine (De Sacramento Baptismi) also used the image of the life-saving ark as a representation of the Church.
Augustine of Hippo famously said, "Whoever is without the Church will not be reckoned among the sons, and whoever does not want to have the Church as mother will not have God as father.” Pope Leo XII quoted Augustine in his 1824 encyclical Ubi primum in discussing religious Indifferentism, saying "A certain sect, which you surely know, has unjustly arrogated to itself the name of philosophy, and has aroused from the ashes the disorderly ranks of practically every error. Under the gentle appearance of piety and liberality this sect professes what they call tolerance or indifferentism. It preaches that not only in civil affairs, which is not Our concern here, but also in religion,..." Likewise, Augustine is again quoted in Pope Pius IX 1856 encyclical Singulari quidem in reference to "this belief embraces people who have strayed from the truth, who are enemies of the true faith and forget their own salvation, and who teach contradictory beliefs without firm doctrine. They make no distinction between the different creeds, agree with everybody, and maintain that the haven of eternal salvation is open to sectarians of any religion."
- Pope Clement I teaches that the grace of salvation has been made available to the whole world by Christ's death, and proves this by the examples of those before Christ who were saved through their faith in God. Many after Christ's coming, who have faith in God, but cannot have explicit faith in Christ, fit Clement's description of justified persons, and therefore would seem to be included in those whom he teaches are saved through Christ.
- Pope Gregory the Great, Moralia, sive Expositio in Job (An Extensive Consideration of Moral Questions) said "Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved." Pope Gregory XVI later quoted his predecessor in his 1832 encyclical Summo jugiter studio (on mixed marriages).
- Pope Leo XII, (Ubi Primum #14, May 5, 1824): "It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members… by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church." 
- Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."
- Fourth Lateran Council (1215): "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved."
- Council of Florence, Cantate Domino (1441): "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" (Matthew 25:41), 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." The same council also ruled that those who die in original sin, but without mortal sin, will also find punishment in hell, but unequally: "But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains."
Pope Boniface VIII's bull Unam sanctam of 1302 promulgated during an ongoing dispute between Boniface VIII and Philip the Fair, King of France. In it Boniface declared, "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins." The bull notably extends what had been ecclesiastical dictum into relations with temporal powers. According to Robert W. Dyson, there are some who hold that Giles of Rome, might have been the actual writer of the bull. It is notable for the claim, "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."
Pope Pius IX wrote a number of times against religious Indifferentism. In the 1863 encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore he said, "And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom 'the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,' (Council of Chalcedon, Letter to Pope Leo I) cannot obtain eternal salvation..".
Pope Pius XI saw the ecumenical movement of the early twentieth century ""as nothing else than a Federation, composed of various communities of Christians, even though they adhere to different doctrines, which may even be incompatible one with another." in his 1928 encyclical Mortalium Animos, he quotes from Lactantius: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is 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… 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."
Bishop John Carroll recognized a distinction between being in communion with the Church and being a member therof:
To be in the communion of the Catholic Church and to be a member of the Church are two different things. "They are in the communion of profession of her faith and participation of her sacraments, through the ministry and government of her lawful pastors. The members of the 'Catholic Church are all those who with a sincere heart seek the true religion and are in unfeigned disposition to embrace the truth wherever they find it. It never was our doctrine that salvation can be obtained only by the former.
If God the Creator speaks, the creature is bound to listen and to believe what He utters. Hence the axiom ‘outside the Church there is no salvation’. But, as it is equally true that without the deliberate act of the will there can be neither fault nor sin, so evidently this axiom applies only to those who are outside the Church knowingly, deliberately, and wilfully…. And this is the doctrine of the Catholic Church on this often misunderstood and misrepresented aphorism. There are the covenanted and the uncovenanted dealings of God with His creatures, and no creature is outside His fatherly care. There are millions — even at this day the vast majority of mankind — who are still unreached or unaffected by the message of Christianity in any shape or form. There are large numbers who are persuaded that the old covenant still prevails and are perfectly sincere and conscientious in their observance of the Jewish Law. And there are millions who accept some fashion of Christian teaching who have never adverted to the idea of Unity as I have described it, and have no thought that they are obliged in conscience to accept the teaching and to submit to the authority of the Catholic Church. All such, whether separated wholly from acceptance of Christ and His teaching, or accepting that teaching only to the extent in which they have perceived it, will be judged on their own merits.
Second Vatican CouncilEdit
Pope John XXIII noted a distinction between the truths of faith, and how those truths are conveyed. In the 1973 declaration, Mystertium Ecclesiae, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recognized that the articulation of revealed truth will necessarily be influenced by historical factors.
The Second Vatican Council declared that the Christian communities that are not in full communion, but only in "partial communion" with the Catholic Church, "though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church". It explained that "some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ." These elements, it said, "as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity." And "it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one body of Christ into which all those must be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God."
The Council also said that even those who do not believe in Christ are related to the Church: "All men are called to be part of this catholic unity of the people of God which in promoting universal peace presages it. And there belong to or are related to it in various ways, the Catholic faithful, all who believe in Christ, and indeed the whole of mankind, for all men are called by the grace of God to salvation." However, it added immediately that those who, "knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved".  In this way, the Catholic Church teaches that any person who knows that the Catholic Church is necessary for eternal salvation and knowingly rejects the Church with deliberate consent cannot be saved. On the other hand, "those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life."
In its decree on missionary activity, the Council, quoting Lumen gentium, 14, said: "Christ Himself 'by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door....' Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him, yet a necessity lies upon the Church, and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel."
The Council also warned that full incorporation in the Church does not ensure salvation: "They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner and not 'in his heart'. All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged."
- Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 14: "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."
- Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 16: ". . .Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. . .But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. . ."
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church states that the phrase, "Outside the Church there is no salvation", means, if put in positive terms, that "all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body", and "is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church".
At the same time, it adds: "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."
The Church has also declared that "she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter", and that "those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."
The 2000 declaration Dominus Iesus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states that "it must be firmly believed 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 (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door." It then adds that "for those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit; it has a relationship with the Church, which, according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit."
In its statements of this doctrine, the Church expressly teaches that "it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God"; that "outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control"; and that "they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life."
Inculpable ignorance is not a means of salvation. But if by no fault of the individual ignorance cannot be overcome (if, that is, it is inculpable and invincible), it does not prevent the grace that comes from Christ, a grace that has a relationship with the Church, saving that person. Thus it was taught by St. Thomas Aquinas that God would make known to such a person at or before the moment of death, by either natural or supernatural means, the Catholic faith, the "faith without which it is impossible to please [God]", and this entails, for even the unbaptized, at the very least baptism of desire.
The Feeneyite Most Holy Family Monastery teaches that the medieval Church statements indicate that no person could possibly be saved unless an explicitly professed and baptised member of the Catholic Church on Earth, and that this was the meaning intended by the popes of the time; that, whether baptized or not, those who have the use of reason and are therefore capable of wishing to be saved cannot be saved, unless they believe in the Trinity and the Incarnation; that those in ignorance, even invincible, of the Catholic faith cannot be saved; and that baptism of desire and baptism of blood are heresies.
Protestant interpretation of the dogmaEdit
The doctrine is upheld by many in the Protestant tradition. Martin Luther, the foremost leader of the Protestant Reformation, spoke of the necessity of belonging to the church (in the sense of what he saw as the true church) in order to be saved:
Therefore he who would find Christ must first find the Church. How should we know where Christ and his faith were, if we did not know where his believers are? And he who would know anything of Christ must not trust himself nor build a bridge to heaven by his own reason; but he must go to the Church, attend and ask her. Now the Church is not wood and stone, but the company of believing people; one must hold to them, and see how they believe, live and teach; they surely have Christ in their midst. For outside of the Christian church there is no truth, no Christ, no salvation.
Modern Lutheran churches do agree with the traditional statement that "outside the catholic church there is no salvation," but in the statement the word catholic refers not to the Roman hierarchy but to the Holy Christian Catholic and Apostolic Church, which consists of all who believe in Christ as their Savior. Lutheran's interpret catholic to mean all Christian churches, whereas, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, the Catholic Church is believed to be the one true Church. This would make further sense for the different Protestant denominations all believe in Christ, but vary on moral and theological teachings, whereas the Catholic Church has one teaching, thus there is unity. This makes the interpretation of the Lutherans considered faulty, by Roman Catholic doctrine, because it interprets the Lutheran understanding of this doctrine as being inherently contradictory.
The Genevan reformer John Calvin, writing his Institutes of the Christian Religion at the very time of the Reformation, wrote therein "beyond the pale of the Church no forgiveness of sins, no salvation, can be hoped for". Calvin wrote also that "those to whom he is a Father, the Church must also be a mother," echoing the words of the originator of the Latin phrase himself, Cyprian: "He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother."
Reformed scholastics accepted the phrase so long as the church is recognized by the marks of the church, which they defined as proper administration of the Word and sacrament, rather than apostolic succession.
The idea is further affirmed in the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 that "the visible Church . . . is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation." Despite this, it is not necessarily a commonly held belief within modern Protestantism, especially Evangelicalism and those denominations which believe in the autonomy of the local church. The dogma is related to the universal Protestant dogma that the church is the body of all believers and debates within Protestantism usually centre on the meaning of "church" (ecclesiam) and "apart" (extra).
Books written on the dogmaEdit
- 1587 The Firme Foundation of Catholike Religion against the bottomles pitt of heresies: wherin is shewed that only Catholiks shalbe saued, & that all heretikes of what sect so euer are excluded from the kingdome of heauen. [pp. 1–124 in the PDF is the book; the rest is another book] translated from "Du firmament des Catholiques, contre l'abisme des heretiques: ou est monstré que le seul Catholique sera sauué, & que tous heretiques de quelque sacte que ce soit, & tous leurs fauorisans, sont exclus du royaume de Iesuschrist, tout autant que les idolatres & adorateurs du diable" by Jean de Caumont, S.J. (Published in 1587)
- 1609 A Consultation what Faith and Religion is Best to be Imbraced by Leonardus Lessius translated into English from the original Latin Quae fides et religio sit capessenda, consultatio (Published in 1609)
- (The section in the book that treats on the dogma: Whether Everyone may be Saved in his own Religion )
- 1625 Qui Non Credit Condemnabitur by Rev. William Smith, S.J. (Published in 1625)
- 1822 An Inquiry, Whether Salvation Can Be Had Without True Faith, and out of the Communion of the Church of Christ by Bp. George Hay
- 1888 The Catholic Dogma: Extra Ecclesiam Nullus Omnino Salvatur by Rev. Michael Müller
- 2004 (First edition) and 2006 (Second edition) Outside The Catholic Church There Is Absolutely No Salvation by Br. Peter Dimond
- An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies, (Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff, eds.), Liturgical Press 2007, ISBN 978-0-8146-5856-7, p. 439
- Pohle, Joseph. "Religious Toleration." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 15 February 2016
- Catechism of the Catholic Church §§846-848, 851 Archived April 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Ware, Kallistos (1993). The Orthodox Church. Penguin. pp. 247–248. ISBN 9780140146561.
- Martin, Ralph. Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012 pp. 57 et seq. ISBN 978-0802868879
- Cyprian, "Epistle 72", §21, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. (Robert Ernest Wallis, trans.) Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.)
- "Epistle 74", Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5., (Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds.) (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight
- Ratzinger, "Ratzinger Speaks", The Catholic World Report, January 1994, p. 23
- Kasper, Walter. The Catholic Church: Nature, Reality and Mission, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015 ISBN 9781441117540
- Sullivan SJ, Francis A. Salvation Outside the Church?: Tracing the History of the Catholic Response, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002, p. 10 ISBN 9781592440085
- Justin Martyr (1884). "Dialogue with Trypho, XLV". In Roberts, Alexander; Donaldson, James (eds.). Ante-Nicene Christian Library. II. Translated by Reith, George. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark..
- "St. Irenaeus of Lyon", Orthodox Church Quotes
- Most, William G., The Holy Spirit and the Church, Notre Dame Institute Press, 1991, p. 76
- Jurgens, William A., The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 2, Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1979, p. 29
- Fulgentius of Ruspe, "De fide, ad Petrum" 38 (79) (Migne, Patrologia Latina (PL 65:704)
- "Letter 15", Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6. (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds.) (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.)
- Anlezark, Daniel. Water and fire: The myth of the flood in Anglo-Saxon England, Oxford University Press, 2018, p. 75 ISBN 9781526129659
- Thomas Aquinas. "Of the Sacrament of the Eucharist", Summa Theologica, R. & T. Washbourne, Limited, 1914, p. 236
- Augustine of Hippo, De symbolo ad catechumenos (On the Creed: A Sermon to Catechumens), Book. 4, chap. 13
- Pope Leo XII. Ubi Primum, §12, May 5, 1824, Papal Encyclicals Online
- Pope Pius IX. Singulari Quidem, §§3&4, March 17, 1856, Papal Encyclicals Online
- Pope Gregory I. Moralia, sive Expositio in Job, 16.5
- Pope Gregory XVI. Summo jugiter studio, §5, May 27, 1832
- "Pope Leo XII 5 May 1824 on his assuming the Pontificate". web.archive.org. 2004-06-20. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- Denzinger, no. 802
- Denzinger, no. 1351
- Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Unam Sanctam." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 5 March 2016
- Giles of Rome (2004) . Giles of Rome's On ecclesiastical power: a medieval theory of world government. Records of Western civilization. Translated by Dyson, Robert W. New York: Columbia University Press. p. xx. ISBN 9780231128032.
- Pope Boniface VIII. Unam Sanctam, November 18, 1302, Papal Encyclicals Online
- Pope Pius IX. Quanto conficiamur moerore, §§7&8, August 10, 1863, Papal Encyclicals Online
- "Enciclica Quanto conficiamur (Roma, 10 agosto 1863)". w2.vatican.va. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- Pope Pius XI, Mortalium animos, 6 January 1928, §6, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
- Mortalium animos, §11.
- Clinton, Finley. "The Leonard Feeney Quarrel and Pius IX on Invincible Ignorance", The Wanderer, 2001
- Bourne, Francis. True Religious Unity, Catholic Truth Society, No. Pe1928a (1933)
- Letter of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office Archived March 11, 2000, at the Wayback Machine "The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as she is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he beincorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing. However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, <On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ> (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire."
- Eleuterio F. Fortino, "The Holy Spirit's Presence among Other Christians"
- Unitatis redintegratio, 3 Archived March 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Lumen gentium, 8 Archived September 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium Archived September 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, 13
- Ramage, Matthew. "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus and the Substance of Catholic Doctrine: Towards a Realization of Benedict XVI’s “Hermeneutic of Reform”." Nova et vetera, vol. 14 no. 1, 2016, pp. 295-330. Project MUSE doi:10.1353/nov.2016.0007
- Second Vatican Council, Decree Ad gentes Archived June 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, 3
- Lumen gentium, 14
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 846-848 Archived April 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 848
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 838-839
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Dominus Iesus Archived April 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Inculpable or invincible ignorance has never been and will never be a means of salvation. To be saved, it is necessary to be justified, or to be in the state of sanctifying grace. To obtain sanctifying grace, it is necessary to have the proper dispositions for justification; that is, true divine faith in at least the necessary truths of salvation, confident hope in the divine Savior, sincere sorrow for sin, together with the firm purpose of doing all that God has commanded, etc. Now, these supernatural acts of faith, hope, charity, contrition, etc., which prepare the soul for receiving sanctifying grace, can never be supplied by invincible ignorance; and if invincible ignorance cannot supply the preparation for receiving sanctifying grace, much less can it bestow sanctifying grace itself. "Invincible ignorance", says St. Thomas Aquinas, "is a punishment for sin". (De Infid. q. x., art. 1.) It is, then, a curse, but not a blessing or a means of salvation. But if we say that inculpable ignorance cannot save a man, we thereby do not say that invincible ignorance damns a man. Far from it. To say, invincible ignorance is no means of salvation, is one thing; and to say, invincible ignorance is the cause of damnation, is another. To maintain the latter would be wrong, for inculpable ignorance of the fundamental principles of faith excuses a heathen from the sin of infidelity, and a Protestant from the sin of heresy; because such invincible ignorance, being only a simple involuntary privation, is no sin." (Michael Müller, Invincible or Inculpable Ignorance Neither Saves nor Damns a Person, Questions and Answers on Salvation by Rev. Michael Muller, C.SS.R)
- Questiones Disputatae de Veritate: Question Fourteen: Faith. "Granted that everyone is bound to believe something explicitly, no untenable conclusion follows even if someone is brought up in the forest or among wild beasts. For it pertains to divine providence to furnish everyone with what is necessary for salvation, provided that on his part there is no hindrance. Thus, if someone so brought up followed the direction of natural reason in seeking good and avoiding evil, we must most certainly hold that God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him as he sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10:20)."
- Peter Dimond, Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation
- Sermon for the Early Christmas Service Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine; Luke 2:15-20 (1521-1522). Luther's Works, American Ed., Hans J. Hillerbrand, Helmut T. Lehmann ed., Philadelphia, Concordia Publishing House/Fortress Press, 1974, ISBN 0-8006-0352-4 (Sermons II), vol. 52:39-40
- WELS Topical Q&A: No Salvation Outside Catholic Church
- Institutes, Book IV, Chapter i, Section.iv
- Institutes, Book IV, Chapter i, Section.i.
- The Unity of the Catholic Church, ch. 6
- Muller, Richard (2006). Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology. Baker Book House. p. 112. ISBN 978-0801020643.
- Jean Caumont. The Firm Foundation of the Catholic Religion.
- Oxford Text Archive, Bodleian Libraries. "The firme foundation of Catholike religion, against the bottomles pitt of heresies wherin is shewed that only Catholiks shalbe saued, & that all heretikes of what sect so euer are excluded from the kingdome of heauen. Compyled by Iohn Caumont of Champany: and translated out of French into English, by Iohn Pauncefote the elder Esquyre, in the tyme of his banishement. Du firmament des catholiques, contre l'abisme des heretiques. English". ota.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Dimond, Peter (2004-01-01). Outside the Catholic Church There Is Absolutely No Salvation. Most Holy Family Monastery. ISBN 9780975551400.
- Without the Church There Is No Salvation Catholic Education Resource Center
- Church Fathers on Salvation Outside the Church
- Can Non-Christians Be Saved? by Kenneth J. Howell. - Catholic Answers
- Declaration of the Holy See under Pope Pius XII on the meaning of the teaching, 8 August 1949
- Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 31 May 1995