This is an excerpt from the latest What in the World! newsletter:
What is the Catholic view of salvation? Not all Catholics agree. But Avery Dulles, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church and a Jesuit professor of religion at a Catholic university, is as authoritative a voice as any but the pope.
Dulles has this to say about how various people can be saved: “Catholics can be saved if they believe the Word of God as taught by the Church and if they obey the commandments. Other Christians can be saved if they submit their lives to Christ and join the community where they think he wills to be found. Jews can be saved if they look forward in hope to the Messiah and try to ascertain whether God’s promise has been fulfilled. Adherents of other religions can be saved if, with the help of grace, they sincerely seek God and strive to do his will. Even atheists can be saved if they worship God under some other name and place their lives at the service of truth and justice. God’s saving grace, channeled through Christ the one Mediator, leaves no one unassisted.”
Dulles is thankful that Catholic teaching on the fate of the unevangelized has “progressed” beyond New Testament limitations. (First Things, 2/08)