Det Katolske svaret
Pope Innocent III (December 18, 1208): "With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that the one is saved.
Pope Pius IX (December 9, 1854): "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.
Pope Leo XIII (Jan 10, 1890): Encyclical Sapientæ Christianæ: "He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church in very truth contending against God.
Pope Saint Pius X (Marc 12, 1904) Encyclical lucinda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is our sto have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."
Pope Innocent III and the Lateran Council IV (A.D 1215): "One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful outside which no one at all is saved...
Pope Boniface VIII in his Papal Bull UNam Sanctam (November 18, 1302): "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff..
Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence (Feb 4, 1442): "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jew sand heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared of the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong, that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefits for salvation, and do tastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic church.
Retorikken forandret seg derimot etter Second Vatican Council (1965) til å vektlegge en større åpenhet for Protestanter.
Vatikanet sier, "Those also attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deed to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience." (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, 4)
Vatican II bekrefter, "The Church... is necessary for salvation" and that "whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by God through Jesus Christ, would refuse to enter her or to remain in her could not be saved. (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism 14)
Kristus, tro nåde er altså viktig for katolikker, men ikke tilstrekkelig. Den Katolske Kirke tar rollen som frelser. Det er tydelig at ingen kan bli frelst utenfor den Katolske Kirke. Dette er deres posisjon. En kan gjerne si at Kristus er nødvendig for frelse, men det er selve kirken som gjør denne frelsen tilstrekkelig.
Bibelen og den Protestantiske posisjonen
Du finner ikke den katolske posisjonen i Bibelen. Bibelen vektlegger frelse i Kristus og ikke i kirken. Kirken har en viktig rolle for Protestanter, men besitter ingen autoritet til å frelse. Kirken er ikke en mellommann mellom Gud og mennesker. Denne rollen er gitt til Kristus. Kun i Han finner en frelse. Utenfor Kristus finnes det ikke frelse. Kirken har altså ingen autoritet i seg selv til å frelse. Det gjør Bibelen tydelig.
Johannes 15:5: 5
1 Tim 2: 5
Kilde: The Roman Catholic Controversy by James White page 138-139. Du finner alle referansene til sitatene her.