cannot be saints/martyrs outside the Church for various reasons. First and most
importantly, as the Church has always maintained, there is
no salvation outside the Church. The Church alone has the means of salvation
& the 'keys to heaven' (see Mt. 16:19) – to imply that a non-Catholic is a saint
would imply that there is another means of salvation available to those outside
the Church, which is contrary to Scripture and to the constant teaching of the
* Objectively speaking, heresy and schism are sins – to
honor pagans / heretics / schismatics as role models would be an affront to many
saints who died fighting against heresy / schism / etc., not to mention God (who
"It is a certain, well-established fact that no other crime
so seriously offends God and provokes His greatest wrath as the vice of heresy.
Nothing contributes more to the ruin of provinces and kingdoms than this
frightful pest." (St. Charles Borromeo)
* Saints are to be models for imitation, whereas
non-Catholics cannot be good spiritual role models for Catholics' imitation
* Saints are to live in accordance with Catholic
faith/morals, but non-Catholics live contrary to the faith and also are likely
to participate in actions & behaviors which are directly contrary to morals
(since one's religion affects one's behavior)
* Those outside the Church reject Christ's representative,
and they also (most likely) reject the true Flesh & Blood of Christ in the
Holy Eucharist, as well as other essential Catholic dogmas
frankly, it seems ridiculous to think that the Church should declare those who
reject her to be 'saints'.
martyrs, besides there being
no salvation outside the Church, St. Cyprian says...
can be no such thing as a martyr out of the Church... Though [heretics and
schismatics] be thrown into the fire, or be exposed to the fury of wild beasts,
such a death will never be esteemed a crown of their faith and constancy, but
rather a punishment of their perfidy. Such a man may be put to death, but cannot
+ + +
"[The Holy Roman Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that
those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and
heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will
depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels'
(Matt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the
flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to
those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation,
and do fastings, 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 unity of the Catholic
Church." (Council of Florence, c. 1441 A.D.) [Denzinger 714, emphasis added]
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