Heresy of the Week, Week of 3/11/05
By Bro. Peter Dimond
For more see: Heresies of the Week Relating to “Traditional” Issues and Persons
A READER WROTE: Wait a minute ! On second thought, where on earth have you found that “SSPX teaches that souls can be saved in false religions” ? In fact, SSPX has kept teaching the very contrary ever since its inception. It teaches that souls can be EXCEPTIONALLY saved DESPITE their being in false religions, not BECAUSE their being in false religions, which is entirely different ! Now, is this a new teaching ? Frankly, I do not know any more!
Comment: It is taught clearly in their best-selling books. These books are sold in basically all of their bookstores.
Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, Page 216: “Evidently, certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions, who submit to God…But some of these persons make an act of love which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. It is uniquely by this means that they are able to be saved.”
Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, Page 217: “One cannot say, then, that no one is saved in these religions…”
Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Pages 73-74: “Does this mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian’s formula Outside the Church there is no salvation, also reject the Creed, “I accept one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is…”
Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, Against the Heresies, Pages 217-218: “This is then what Pius IX said and what he condemned. It is necessary to understand the formulation that was so often employed by the Fathers of the Church: ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation.’ When we say that, it is incorrectly believed that we think that all the Protestants, all the Moslems, all the Buddhists, all those who do not publicly belong to the Catholic Church go to hell. Now, I repeat, it is possible for someone to be saved in these religions, but they are saved by the Church, and so the formulation is true: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. This must be preached.”
Bishop Lefebvre, Sermon at first Mass of a newly ordained priest (Geneva: 1976): “We are Catholics; we affirm our faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ; we affirm our faith in the divinity of the Holy Catholic Church; we think that Jesus Christ is the sole way, the sole truth, the sole life, and that one cannot be saved outside Our Lord Jesus Christ and consequently outside His Mystical Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church. No doubt, the graces of God are distributed outside the Catholic Church, but those who are saved, even outside the Catholic Church, are saved by the Catholic Church, by Our Lord Jesus Christ, even if they do not know it, even if they are unaware of it…”
Bishop Lefebvre, Address given at Rennes, France: “If men are saved in Protestantism, Buddhism or Islam, they are saved by the Catholic Church, by the grace of Our Lord, by the prayers of those in the Church, by the blood of Our Lord as individuals, perhaps through the practice of their religion, perhaps of what they understand in their religion, but not by their religion…”
Could anything be more clear? Now let me mention something that really bothers me – in fact, it is an outrage, since it is a mockery of God – and which lies at the very heart of this heresy: dishonesty. You begin by saying that the SSPX doesn’t believe that souls can be saved in false religions. We hear this all the time from people: “no, my priest doesn’t believe that.” And each time they are wrong, and in most cases the people who are denying that their priests believe this BELIEVE THE SAME THING THEMSELVES, so that they are actually lying. I just proved that the SSPX does believe that souls can be saved in false religions. But you began (like countless others) by arguing that they totally are against such an idea, as if holding that the Catholic Church is the one true Church (which the SSPX does) were the same thing as believing that all who die as non-Catholics are lost. They are not. But after you adamantly deny that they hold such a thing, you then proceed to admit that they do! Here is what you write, and I will mark with  and  where you totally deny what you just claimed.
“Wait a minute! On second thought,  where on earth have you found that “SSPX teaches that souls can be saved in false religions” ? In fact, SSPX has kept teaching the very contrary ever since its inception.  It teaches that souls can be EXCEPTIONNALLY saved DESPITE their being in false religions, not BECAUSE their being in false religions, which is entirely different ! Now, is this a new teaching ? Frankly, I do not know any more!”
You first totally reject that they hold such a thing; then you admit that both you and they believe that very thing, that souls can be saved in false religions. This is quite simply a lie, and this is why people can’t see the truth. Their dishonesty offends Jesus Christ (who is the Truth), and it denies the Faith. This type of lying and dishonesty is how they can delude themselves into believing that their view, that those who die as non-Catholics are saved “by” the Catholic Church, is compatible with the dogma which declares that no one who dies as a non-Catholic is saved. Any honest person knows that the two are not compatible. I could say that all men go to heaven (universal salvation), but all men go to heaven “by the Catholic Church.” Does this change the heresy? No, of course not. Thus, it doesn’t matter how Lefebvre tried to explain away or justify his heresy; he was still teaching that souls can be saved in non-Catholic religions, which is blatant heresy!
The dogma of the Catholic Church does not merely affirm that “no one is saved except by the Catholic Church”; it states that no one is saved outside the Catholic Church and that no one is saved without the Catholic Faith. This means that no one can be saved inside non-Catholic religions. The defenders of the SSPX need to get that through their heads, or rather, THEIR DISHONEST HEARTS. The dogma of the Catholic Church excludes the idea that anyone is saved in another religion.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832: “Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.”
Since he was teaching that people can be saved in another religion, Lefebvre’s emphasis that everyone is saved by the Catholic Church has no relevance. The words of Pope Gregory XVI in Summo Iugiter Studio cited above could have been addressed specifically to Bishop Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X.
Lefebvre did not believe in the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation as it has been defined, and his heresy is taught to the SSPX priests corrupting them from their Seminary days. His heresy is also held by the SSPV, CMRI and most independent “traditional” priests. It was the key to the Great Apostasy, and the bridge to Vatican II.
So, when you say “souls can be EXCEPTIONALLY saved DESPITE their being in false religions” you are uttering the very heresy condemned by the Church – that souls can be saved as non-Catholics. The fact that you attempt to qualify it by saying that it is in spite of their being non-Catholics changes nothing whatsoever; the heretical teaching is the same, that persons can be saved without the Catholic Faith.
And because they are dishonest, the SSPX supporters deny that they hold that souls can be saved in false religions when it sounds bad, but then admit that that is actually what they believe when pressed. They are lying, mocking God and fooling no one but themselves. They know in their hearts that the dogma which declares that all who die without the Catholic Faith are lost is not compatible with the teaching of the SSPX that souls can be saved in Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam, etc., yet they argue that the two are the same anyway and delude themselves. These are the type of people whom God spits out of His mouth, and does not let into the Kingdom because they are not of the truth.
“Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates of the city. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.” (Apoc. 22:14-15)