a good summary of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus: there is no salvation outside the Church (EENS). To that the Bear would add Pope Boniface VIII's 1302 bull Unam Sanctam, and the Council of Florence's (1441) strong statement, although examples could be multiplied all the way up to (but not including) Vatican II.
Look, if the Church is just one option among many religions, then it is not the Church. At best it is a church. But Noah didn't have a yacht club, he had an ark, as in one, singular, only.
Things started falling apart when the Spirit of Vatican II went all Chairman Mao and let a thousand flowers bloom. St. Pope John XXIII threw open the windows to the world at the exact moment the windows should have been shut, locked, and the Holy Office reinforced with 100,000 inquisitors, because the world was losing its mind.
If you aren't the Church, but one face on the holy polyhedron Pope Francis likes to talk about, then, frankly, you should just shut up and stop pretending you've got anything on the sweaty Bible-thumper in Arkansas, or a mullah in one of the vacation paradises of the Islamic world. Because it's just a matter of degree of error, if you're not the Church. If you're not THE CHURCH -- the ark of salvation, the Bride of Christ -- then just shut up already. We don't want to be part of an all-engulfing amoeba-cult where everyone churns merrily along through the cosmos.
You are either the Church or you're not. You can't be "just so much of the Church that doesn't make people uncomfortable." You can't be the better-to-be-with-us-but-whatever-you-are-is-fine-Church. You can't be an unbalanced or incomplete Church. You can't be the Church of the Poor, or the Church of Mercy, if you are not also the Church of Hard Truth. If you're not willing to be the Church, then admit that God made a huge mistake. Admit you've been lying to people for centuries. Admit that the Protestants are right with their "invisible Church of believers." Pack it up, sell it off and let the rest of us start over.
How many bishops would stand up and assert that there is no salvation outside the Church?
The Bear wagers not one, no not a single one.
And yet it is a dogma of the Church.
For once and for all, stop pretending EENS doesn't exist, and confront it forthrightly. If you can find a way to legitimately put it to rest, then have at it. But don't just mince around it pretending it never happened. When did we become so gutless?
But the Bear knows they won't. Because it's kryptonite to Modernists. They can't endorse it because what they're calling the Church blows up in their faces. And they can't deny it because it is dogma, and once they actually start denying dogma, there goes their special authority on anything. They're just a bunch of old men in silly outfits.
Interesting pickle they have themselves in. Once they start admitting their dogmas are wrong, they saw off the branch they're sitting on. So they lie to the world by silence and pretense, without ever having the guts to confront the past and deal with it forthrightly. Ecumenism, no-fault Catholic divorce, it's all part of the same pattern of abandoning the truth of the past for accommodations to the present and the collapse of the future.
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