Pope Pius IX Did Not Teach Salvation Outside The Church
July 4, 2022
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Bro. Peter Dimond

Many people misuse and misunderstand statements of Pope Pius IX on the salvation issue.  This video will cover the matter.  First, it must be recognized that the dogma Outside The Church There Is No Salvation and the necessity of Christian/Catholic faith was defined and settled before Pope Pius IX was even born.  The Church had already dogmatically declared that the Catholic faith and baptism are required for salvation.  It had declared that all who die as pagans, Jews, heretics and schismatics are not saved and that there’s no other name under Heaven given to men by which they must be saved other than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).  Concerning adults who had no opportunity to hear the Gospel, the Church teaches that they cannot be saved without the Christian/Catholic faith.  Such ignorant adults are not damned for the sin of infidelity or for the sin of not having heard the Gospel, but they are damned for their other sins. 

St. Thomas Aquinas put it well when he stated:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Pt. II-II, Q. 10, A. 1: “If, however, we take it [unbelief] by way of pure negation, as we find it in those who have heard nothing about the faith, it bears the character, not of sin, but of punishment, because such ignorance of divine things is a result of the sin of our first parent.  However, infidels of this kind [i.e. those who lack the faith through ignorance rather than contrariety] are in fact damned on account of other sins, which cannot be remitted without faith, but they are not damned on account of the sin of infidelity.  Hence Our Lord said (John 15:22): ‘If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin’; which Augustine expounds (Tract. lxxxix in Joan.)  as ‘referring to the sin whereby they believed not in Christ.’”

This is the traditional doctrine, articulated by many saints and doctors.  Most importantly, it’s proven by the teaching of the Chair of St. Peter.  Pope Pius IX was one of the longest reigning popes in history.  He made many strong statements on the salvation issue, such as:

Pope Pius IX, Nostis et Nobiscum (# 10), Dec. 8, 1849: “In particular, ensure that the faithful are deeply and thoroughly convinced of the truth of the doctrine that the Catholic faith is necessary for attaining salvation. (This doctrine, received from Christ and emphasized by the Fathers and Councils, is also contained in the formulae of the profession of faith used by Latin, Greek and Oriental Catholics).

Pope Pius IX, Ubi primum (# 10), June 17, 1847: “For ‘there is one universal Church outside of which no one at all is saved; it contains regular and secular prelates along with those under their jurisdiction, who all profess one Lord, one faith and one baptism.”

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 2, Profession of Faith, 1870: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold…”

Now, let’s examine the three statements from Pius IX that are most frequently referenced and misused on this issue. 

SINGULARI QUADAM – POPE PIUS IX TO CARDINALS, DEC. 9, 1854

Pope Pius IX, Allocution Singulari Quadam, Dec. 9, 1854: “For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of the Lord.  Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things?  For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains ‘we shall see God as He is’ [1 John 3:2], we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is ‘one God, one faith, one baptism’ [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.” 

Pius IX says that people who are invincibly ignorant are not held guilty in this matter in the eyes of the Lord – let me repeat that, in this matter – that is, in the matter about which they are invincibly ignorant.  That’s absolutely true.  As we mentioned (and cited from St. Thomas), the traditional teaching is that people who’ve never heard the Gospel, if they die ignorant of the faith, are not damned for the sin of infidelity or for a sin of not having heard the Gospel but rather for their other sins.  Hence, they are not held guilty in that matter before God.  But that doesn’t mean that they are not held guilty in other matters or that they can be saved without the Catholic faith.  They can’t. 

As 16th century Dominican theologian Bishop Francisco de Vittoria stated:

Bishop Francisco de Vitoria, De Indis et de Iure Belli, 16th century: “But the mistake which the teachers in question make is in thinking that when we postulate invincible ignorance on the subject of baptism or of the Christian faith it follows at once that a person can be saved without baptism or the Christian faith, which, however, does not follow.  For the aborigines to whom no preaching of the faith or Christian religion has come will be damned for mortal sins or for idolatry, but not for the sin of unbelief, as St. Thomas says (Secunda Secundae...), namely, that if they do what lies within their power, accompanied by a good life according to the law of nature, it is consistent with God’s providence that He will illuminate them regarding the name of Christ; but it does not therefore follow that if their life is bad, ignorance or unbelief in baptism may be imputed to them as a sin… Further, it is needful for their salvation that they believe in Christ and be baptized (St. Mark, last chapter)…”

Hence, Pius IX’s statement they are not held guilty in this matter before God is completely consistent with the Church’s traditional teaching that all adults who die ignorant of the essentials of the Catholic faith cannot be saved.  Pius IX then affirms that God’s mercy and justice are united, and we must hold most firmly that there is one God, one faith, one baptism and that it’s unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.  This contradicts the idea ‘baptism of desire’ and all who posit salvation by other baptisms (other than water baptism) or in other faiths. 

That’s because in the context of discussing the necessity of the Catholic faith and the issue of ignorance, Pius IX teaches that it’s unlawful to affirm anything besides the one God, the one faith, and the one baptism of divine revelation.  Well, the one baptism of revelation is water baptism, as the Council of Vienne dogmatically declared.  According to Pius IX, to hold anything beyond that is nefas – which means criminal or against the divine law.  Let me repeat that: Pius IX teaches that it’s criminal and against the divine law to affirm anything other than the one God, the one faith, and the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5, which is the Sacrament of Baptism.  He thereby implicitly denounces theories of salvation through other baptisms and in other faiths in this speech.  He should have been even more explicit in denouncing those ideas, but he affirms the true position and the true rule of faith.  Those who hold and teach that people can be saved without the one faith and the one baptism transgress the divine law, according to Pius IX.

Pius IX goes on to say that we should pray that all nations are converted to Christ, and that “the gifts of heavenly grace are never lacking to those who sincerely wish and ask to be refreshed by this light.”  This is also consistent with the traditional teaching, articulated by people such as St. Thomas and St. Bellarmine, which is that if someone is ignorant of Christ, does what is within his power, and asks God for help, God will reveal the faith to him.  Notice that Pius IX associates conversion to Christ with the receiving divine light.  That will become important as we proceed.

QUANTO CONFICIAMUR – TO THE CARDINALS AND BISHOPS OF ITALY, AUG. 10, 1863

The next document of Pius IX that’s misused and misunderstood is Quanto Conficiamur, a letter to cardinals and bishops of Italy, dated Aug. 10, 1863.  Pius IX wanted to emphasize that God’s mercy is compatible with His justice and with the truth that no one is saved without the Catholic faith.  That’s why he discussed the matter of invincible ignorance on a number of occasions, as did many theologians in the past (who simultaneously correctly affirmed that no adult who dies ignorant of the Catholic faith can be saved).  Hence, just because a person discusses the concept of invincible ignorance does not mean that he is teaching that such people can be saved without the Catholic faith.  Pius IX states:

Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur, Aug. 10, 1863: “Again it is necessary to recall and censure a most grave error, in which some Catholics miserably dwell, who suppose that men living in error and as aliens from the true faith and from Catholic unity are able to attain eternal life.  Which indeed is particularly opposed to Catholic doctrine.  It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance concerning our most holy religion and who – while diligently observing the natural law and its precepts engraved on the hearts of all by God, and being prepared to obey God – live an honest and upright life, are able by the operating power of divine light and grace, to attain eternal life, since God, who clearly sees, searches and knows the minds, souls, thoughts and habits of all, in accordance with His complete goodness and clemency by no means suffers anyone to be punished with eternal torments who has not the guilt of voluntary fault.”

First, he condemns as a most grave error (“gravissimum errorem”) that men living in error and as aliens from the true faith can attain eternal life.  He says that this particularly opposes Catholic doctrine.  This really ends the debate, for people who are unbaptized and ignorant of the Catholic faith are aliens from Catholic unity.  The Church is a unity of faith, of sacraments, etc.  Pius IX therefore teaches that it’s a most grave error to believe that such people can attain eternal life while they are separated from the Church’s unity.  He then discusses invincible ignorance. 

As we’ve noted, there is a legitimate concept of invincible or inculpable ignorance, namely, that people are not held guilty for what they do not know through no fault of their own.  But such people cannot be saved without the Catholic faith.  If they are responsive to God wherever they are, He will not leave them in darkness.  Hence, Pius IX says that if such people diligently observe the natural law and are prepared to obey God, they are able by the operating power of divine light and grace to attain eternal.  The operating power of divine light and grace refers to receiving the Gospel.  For example:

Ephesians 5:8: “For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord.  Walk then as children of the light.” 

1 Thess. 5:4-5: “But you, brethren, are not in darkness… For all you are children of the light...”

Colossians 1:12-13: “Giving thanks to God the Father, who has made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”

1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen generation… a purchased people: that you may declare His virtues, who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

2 Cor. 4:3-4: “And if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them who are perishing, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine on them.”

Pius IX does not say that people can attain eternal life if they remain ignorant, but that they can they can attain eternal life by the operating power of divine light – which, as we’ve seen, means receiving the Gospel truth and being incorporated into Christ’s Church.  We also saw the connection between receiving the divine light and conversion to Christ in Pius IX’s speech Singulari Quadam.

In fact, in Quanto Conficiamur itself, just two paragraphs before the passage we are discussing, Pius IX makes a direct connection between the light and receiving the Christian faith. 

Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur, Aug. 10, 1863: “She [the Church] shines with many pious works of Christian charity multiplying rapidly each day; with the light of blessed faith illuminating many regions evermore each day.”

According to Pius IX, the light illuminates people with the faith.  It doesn’t leave them in ignorance.  Pius IX also directly connects the light with receiving the Christian faith in #7 of Singulari Quidem, a document we will also discuss.

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem, #7, March 17, 1856: “The Church clearly declares that the only hope of salvation for mankind is placed in the Christian faith, which, in teaching the truth and by its divine light scattering the darkness of human ignorance, operates through charity.”

Here he directly states that the light scatters the darkness of ignorance.  In fact, he uses the words divina sua luce (“by its divine light”), which include the exact same words (just in a different grammatical form) that are used in #7 of Quanto Conficiamur.  In Quanto Conficiamur he used the words divinae lucis (“of divine light”).  According to Pius IX, the operation of “divine light” removes ignorance.  It doesn't leave people in it.

Hence, Pius IX’s statement in #7 of Quanto Conficiamur, that people who are invincibly ignorant can be saved by the operating power of divine light and grace, should be understood in accord with his other statements: that such people can be saved through a providential bestowal of the light of the Christian faith upon those who are responsive to God where they are.  

Pius IX should and could have been more clear in Quanto Confiamur #7, but his words, properly understood, do not necessitate any false, heretical or novel meaning.  If divine light is operating (if it is working), as he says, that means that a person is receiving the light and is not left in the darkness of ignorance.  In fact, Fr. Michael Muller was a priest who lived at the time of Pope Pius IX.  He wrote against people who misused and misinterpreted Pope Pius IX’s words to teach the heretical idea that people can be saved who remain ignorant of the Christian/Catholic faith.

Fr. Michael Muller, The Catholic Dogma, 1888, pp. 217-218: “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 grace.  In order 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.... if invincible ignorance cannot supply the preparation for receiving sanctifying grace, much less can it bestow sanctifying grace itself.  ‘Invincible ignorance,’ says St. Thomas, ‘is a punishment for sin.’  It is, then, a curse, but not a blessing or a means of salvation… Hence Pius IX said ‘that, were a man to be invincibly ignorant of the true religion, such invincible ignorance would not be sinful before God; that if such a person should observe the precepts of the Natural Law and do the will of God to the best of his knowledge, God, in His infinite mercy, may enlighten him so as to obtain eternal life;  for, the Lord, who knows the heart and the thoughts of man will, in His infinite goodness, not suffer anyone to be lost forever without his own fault.’  Almighty God, who is just condemns no one without his own fault, puts, therefore, such souls as are in invincible ignorance of the truths of salvation, in the way of salvation, either by natural or supernatural means.”

The fact that God will bring such a person to the knowledge of the Christian faith is the Church’s teaching, as we’ve seen.  Speaking of those to whom the Gospel had not been preached, St. Robert Bellarmine taught that they could not be saved without the Christian faith.  He said that since they can know that God exists, if they pray and give alms, God will easily communicate to them the truths of the Christian faith, either through men or angels.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio, Book 2, Chap. 8: “I respond: This argument only proves that the help by which men can immediately be converted and believe is not available to all.  Nevertheless, it does not absolutely prove that sufficient help to salvation has been lacking to anyone.  For the gentiles to whom the Gospel has not yet been preached are able to know through creatures that God exists.  From that they are enabled by God, through prevenient grace, to be moved to believe concerning God that He exists, and that He rewards those who seek Him.  From such faith they can be moved, with God directing and aiding them, to pray and to give alms, and in that way to obtain from God the greater light of faith, which God either through Himself, or through angels, or through men, will easily communicate to them.

     This is how St. Thomas responds (in question 14 De Veritate, A. 11, Ad 1).  He cites the example of Cornelius, who, from faith in one God, was praying and giving alms, and in that way he won the grace of hearing the faith of Christ through angelic admonition and apostolic preaching, and even of receiving sacred baptism itself.”

We covered this in our video on St. Robert Bellarmine.  In 1847 Pius IX also pushed back against people who attributed to him the heretical position that people can be saved without the Catholic faith.

Pope Pius IX, Consistory, Dec. 17, 1847: “But quite recently, we shudder to say it, men have appeared who have thrown such reproaches on our name and apostolic dignity, that they do not hesitate to slander us, as if we shared in their folly and favored the aforesaid most wicked system… it appears that these men have desired to infer that we think so benevolently concerning every class of mankind, as to suppose that not only the sons of the Church, but the rest also, however alienated from Catholic unity they may remain, are alike in the way of salvation and may arrive at everlasting life.  We are at a loss from horror to find words to express our detestation of this new and atrocious injustice that is done to us.  We do indeed love all mankind with the inmost affection of our heart, yet not otherwise than in the love of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which had perished, who died for all, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth; who therefore sent His disciples into the whole world to preach the gospel to every creature, proclaiming that they who should believe and be baptized should be saved, but they who should believe not should be condemned; who therefore will be saved let them come therefore to the pillar and ground of faith, which is the Church… [It] shines refulgent in the perfect unity of the faith, of sacraments, and of holy discipline.”

Pius IX thus corrected those who falsely stated that he believed in such heresies.  In that speech he also affirmed that those who believe and are baptized will be saved.  So, although Quanto Conficiamur was more ambiguous and misinterpretations of it have done much damage to souls, evangelism and the Catholic faith, it bears an orthodox meaning. 

There’s no reason to believe that Pius IX was contradicting Catholic dogma, himself, and all the saints and doctors who unanimously taught that adults must know Jesus Christ and the basics of the Christian/Catholic faith to be saved.  Indeed, as we saw, in that very document Pius IX condemns as a most grave error the idea that people who are living in error and as aliens from Catholic unity can be saved.

SINGULARI QUIDEM – TO THE CARDINALS AND BISHOPS OF AUSTRIA, MARCH 17, 1856

The next passage that’s misused from Pius IX is from Singulari Quidem, to the cardinals and bishops of the Austrian Empire, March 17, 1856.  Certain heretics have made quite a fuss over this document – or rather over what they wrongly think the document says.  Like so many aspects of the salvation and baptism issues, however, the erroneous use of this document is connected to a bad translation and a failure to carefully consider the words and the context.  Before we cover the passage in question, note that in same document, Singulari Quidem #4, Pius IX refers to the Catholic Church and the See of Peter. 

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem (#4), March 17, 1856: “There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church.  There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord, outside of which neither true faith nor eternal salvation is found (extra quam nec vera fides, nec aeterna invenitur salus).

He teaches that people cannot find salvation outside the Church.  He makes no exceptions to finding salvation outside the Church because none exist.  But in paragraph #7 he’s discussing a different issue, namely, hope.  In this paragraph, he’s not addressing finding salvation per se, but rather hope for salvation.

This section is often mistranslated as follows:

MISTRANSLATION

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem (#7), March 17, 1856: “This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church which, in preserving the true worship, is the solid home of this faith and the temple of God.  Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control.

The translation is wrong.  Pius IX does not say “unless he is excused”He does not use, for example, the Latin word nisi

Latin: “... in catholica Ecclesia, quae verum retinens cultum est stabile ipsius fidei domicilium, et Dei templum extra quod, citra invincibilis ignorantiae excusationem, quisquis fuerit, est a spe vitae, et salutis alienus.”

Rather, he uses the preposition citra, which takes the accusative case.  Citra can mean:

  • short of
  • regardless of
  • without regard for
  • (leaving) aside

For example, The New College Latin Dictionary by John Traupman gives this as a definition of citra (with an example):

"regardless of (e.g. a person's wishes)... citra senatus populique auctoritatem - regardless of or without regard for the authority of the senate and the people."

The Oxford Latin Dictionary also gives the following as a definition of citra:

“Without reference or regard to… b) without reference to (a person’s will, permission).”

In fact, in Pius IX’s other letter to Austria, Vix dum a Nobis, he uses the same word citra, but clearly with the meaning of “regardless of”.  He states:

Pope Pius IX, Vix dum a Nobis, March 1, 1874: “Nam persuasam Nobis est, vos etiam citra hortationes Nostras haec ultro fuisse effecturos.”

Pope Pius IX, Vix dum a Nobis, March 1, 1874: “For it was persuaded to Us that you even regardless of [citra] Our exhortations were going to voluntarily accomplish these things.”

Here citra (used by the same pope to the same country) does not mean “unless”.  It means “regardless of” or “irrespective of”. Pius IX says that they were going to carry out certain things regardless of his exhortations.

Another example of citra used in a similar way is in a Latin translation of Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians, chap. 50:

Pope St. Clement, Epistle to the Corinthians, Chap. 50: “Oremus igitur et petamus a misericordia ejus, ut in charitate vivamus, citra humanam propensionem, et inculpati.”

Pope St. Clement, Epistle to the Corinthians, Chap. 50: “Let us pray and let us ask from His mercy, that we may live in charity, without regard for [citra] human inclination, and be blameless.”

Again, citra here does not mean “unless”.  It means “without regard for” or “disregarding”.  In these instances, the object of the preposition citra is disregarded as something that does not or should not limit the teaching or statement.  So, if citra in this passage of Singulari Quidem is translated as “regardless of”, which is how he uses the same word in his other document to Austria, it would read:

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem (#7), March 17, 1856: “This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church, which, retaining the true worship, is the stable domicile of the faith itself and the temple of God, outside of which, regardless of the excuse of invincible ignorance, everyone is alien from the hope of life and salvation.”

This obviously bears a very different meaning from the mistranslation.  As we’ve covered, Pius IX taught that those who are inculpably or invincibly ignorant are not condemned for that ignorance, and if they are responsive to God He will bring them into the faith.

Hence, this passage of Singulari Quidem could have meant that the dogma outside the Catholic Church is 100% true regardless of the excuse of invincible ignorance.  That is to say, the concept of invincible ignorance does not in any way limit the dogma.  It’s perfectly compatible with it, because if someone is thus ignorant and responsive to God, He will (in His providence) bring that person into the fold.

But one could also render citra in a weaker fashion, meaning “leaving aside”.  In that case it would be translated:

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quidem (#7), March 17, 1856: “This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church, which, retaining the true worship, is the stable domicile of the faith itself and the temple of God, outside of which, leaving aside the excuse of invincible ignorance, everyone is alien from the hope of life and salvation.”

I actually believe that this is the sense in which Pius IX is using citra in this passage of Singulari Quidem.  But even with this ‘weaker’ rendering of citra, there is no heretical meaning.  That’s because, as we mentioned, this passage is not about attaining salvation but rather about hope for salvation.  This is a crucial point.  Since Pius IX believed that the invincibly ignorant, if they responsive to God, will be enlightened, he could simply have intended to leave aside (citra) the issue of invincible ignorance when discussing whether anyone outside the Church can have a kind of hope for salvation.  He could have been putting that to the side when mentioning the issue of hope.  But that doesn’t mean that anyone can find salvation outside the Church or while remaining unenlightened and ignorant.  Obviously they can’t.

Hence, although the mistranslation and a failure to consider the context of the passage has caused some to conclude that Pius IX was heretically teaching that the dogma Outside The Church No One Can Attain Salvation has exceptions, better translations, a careful consideration of the context, and an understanding of how citra can be used show that there’s no need to conclude that Pius IX was heretically teaching that the dogma has exceptions.  Indeed, the idea that the salvation dogma admits of an exception is heresy.  Even someone such as Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, who in fact was liberal on this issue, correctly stated that to say the dogma Outside The Church There Is No Salvation has exceptions is to deny it.

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Catholic Church and Salvation, 1958, pp. 124, 126: “The teaching that the dogma of the necessity of the Church for salvation admits of exceptions is, in the last analysis, a denial of the dogma as it has been stated in the authoritative declarations of the ecclesiastical magisterium and even as it is expressed in the axiom or formula ‘Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.’  It is important to note that such teaching is found in Cardinal Newman’s last published study on this subject… Obviously there could be no more effective way of reducing the teaching on the necessity of the Church for the attainment of eternal salvation to an empty formula than the explanation advanced by Newman…”     

Thus, those who wrongly think that Pius IX was inserting an exception into the dogma are accusing him of blatant heresy; but, as we’ve seen, proper translations and a careful consideration of the context do not require any such meaning.  Also, his passage is not infallible.  The fallible teaching of Pius IX or any other pope must be set aside if it contradicts the Church’s dogmatic and repeated teaching on this matter.  The Church’s dogmatic teaching in fact positively excludes all exceptions.  It infallibly uses language such as: no one at all; every human creature; whoever; none; etc. in declaring that there is no salvation without the Catholic faith or outside the Catholic Church.  Exceptions are thus expressly contrary to the dogma.

Pius IX does not teach that the ignorant can be saved if they remain ignorant and unenlightened.  He expressly condemns the idea that anyone can be saved without the Catholic faith or while separated from Catholic unity, and he declares it criminal to profess anything besides the one Lord, the one faith, and the one baptism of divine revelation.

The fact that no adult can be saved without belief in the essential mysteries of the Christian faith was reaffirmed by Pope St. Pius X in his 1905 encyclical Acerbo Nimis.  He also referenced Pope Benedict XIV.

Pope Pius X, Acerbo Nimis, April 15, 1905: “And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: ‘We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.’”

When he refers to the mysteries of faith which must be known and believed to be saved, he’s not talking about simply believing in God and that God is a rewarder.  He’s including mysteries of the Christian faith.  In fact, he refers to the dogma of the Incarnation in the same paragraph.  That’s because no one is saved without faith in Jesus Christ.

For additional dogmatic proof that no one can be saved without the Catholic faith or faith in Jesus Christ, see this important video and article: How Is One Saved "By The Name Of Jesus Christ" (Acts 4:12)?

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