The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:24

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

24. The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation [RC Catechism 846].

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches 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, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence 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.336

335 Cf. Cyprian, Ep. 73.21: PL 3, 1169; De unit.: PL 4, 509-536.
336 LG 14; cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Soli Deo Gloria

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:23

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

23. Eternal life is a merited reward [RC Catechism 1821, 2010].

1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.92 In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end"93 and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved."94 She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.95

92 Cf. Rom 8:28-30; Mt 7:21.
93 Mt 10:22; cf. Council of Trent DS 1541.
94 1 Tim 2:4.
95 St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.

2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the
beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

Eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23).

23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23

Soli Deo Gloria

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:22

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

22. No one can know if he will attain to eternal life [RC Catechism 1036, 2005].

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."616

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."617

616 Mt 7:13-14.
617 LG 48 # 3; Mt 22:13; cf. Heb 9:27; Mt 25:13, 26, 30, 31 46.

2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.56 However, according to the Lord’s words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"57 – reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.

A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: "Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.’"58

56 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1533-1534.
57 Mt 7:20.
58 Acts of the trial of St. Joan of Arc.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God (1 John 5:13).

13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. ~ 1 John 5:13

Soli Deo Gloria

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:21

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

21. Poor souls suffering in purgatory can be helped by those alive on earth offering up prayers, good works, and the sacrifice of the Mass [RC Catechism 1032, 1371, 1479].

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."607 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.608 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.609

607 2 Macc 12:46.
608 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856.
609 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41, 5: PG 61, 361; cf. Job 1:5.

1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,"191 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:

Put this body anywhere! Don’t trouble yourselves about it! I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord’s altar wherever you are.192

Then, we pray [in the anaphora] for the holy fathers and bishops who have fallen asleep, and in general for all who have fallen asleep before us, in the belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is offered, while the holy and tremendous Victim is present…. By offering to God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, if they have sinned, we . . . offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all, and so render favorable, for them and for us, the God who loves man.193

191 Council of Trent (1562) DS 1743.
192 St. Monica, before her death, to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother; Conf. 9, 11, 27: PL 32, 775.
193 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 5, 9. 10 PG 33, 1116-1117.

1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

Those who sleep in Christ need no help. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

Soli Deo Glori2

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:20

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

20. Purgatory is necessary to atone for sin and cleanse the soul [RC Catechism 1030-1031].

III. The Final Purification, or Purgatory

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly
purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.604 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. the tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:605

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.606

604 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000.
605 Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7.
606 St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; cf. Mt 12:31.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

Purgatory does not exist. Jesus made purification for sins on the cross (Hebrews 1:3).

3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; ~ Hebrews 1:3

Soli Deo Gloria

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:19

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

19. Indulgences dispensed by the Church for acts of piety release sinners from temporal punishment [RC Catechism 1471-1473].

X. Indulgences

1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.

What is an indulgence?

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."81

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.82B

The punishments of sin

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."84

81 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 1.
82 Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 2; Cf. Norm 3.
82B CIC, can. 994.
83 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712-1713; (1563): 1820.
84 Eph 4:22, 24.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

Jesus releases believers from their sins by His blood (Revelation 1:5).

5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, ~ Revelation 1:5

Soli Deo Gloria

The Gospel According to Rome ~ Part 1:18

TRUTH Please first read the Introduction as to why these blog posts are necessary. Back to Part 1 Index.

SALVATION: Error versus Truth

The Catholic Church Teaches (ERROR)

18. Acts of penance make satisfaction for the temporal punishment of sin [RC Catechism 1434, 1459-1460].

1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one’s neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one’s neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."32

31 Cf. Tob 12:8; Mt 6:1-18.
32 1 Pet 4:8; Cf. Jas 5:20.

1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent’s personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."63

The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much
ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father.64

62 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712.
63 Rom 8:17; Rom 3:25; 1 Jn 2:1-2; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1690.
64 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1691; cf. Phil 4:13; 1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor
10:17; Gal 6:14; Lk 3:8.

The Bible Teaches (TRUTH)

Jesus made perfect satisfaction for all sins (1 John 2:1,2).

1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:1,2

Soli Deo Gloria

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