26 settembre 2006

Extra ecclesia nulla salus

Acts 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Some people lately have gotten the idea that the Church no longer really believes today's verse and that there are "many roads to God besides Jesus." But the fact remains that the Church still teaches (and must always teach) that "there is no other name under heaven [than Jesus Christ] given among men by which we must be saved." On the other hand, other Christians assume from this that it is only by knowing the name of Jesus that we can be saved. But this is also not Catholic teaching. It is the case that only Jesus can bring us to God since only Jesus is both God and Man. It is not the case that we must, in every case, be conscious of the fact that it is Jesus who is doing this in order for him to do it. This does not relieve us of the need to tell people about Jesus, any more than the fact that people sometimes miraculously recover from a deadly illness without medical help relieves us from the need to take sick people to the doctor. But neither does it give us the right to make prognostications about the eternal fate of non-Christians or non-Catholics. Rather it is a call to work in hope for the salvation of the world with the help of the Holy Spirit and to leave all the judging to God. He's the One in charge.

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