In this excellent article, Msgr. Fenton clears up some of the confusion being spread regarding the dogma, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." Msgr. Fenton is also forced to defend his own good name against allegations published against him by Fr. Hartnett in the periodical America
A Reply to Fr. Hartnett
Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fentonhttp://www.strobertbellarmine.net/fento ... rtnett.htm
As I prepared this article, over 50 years after it was written by Msgr. Fenton, the very confusion to which Msgr. Fenton wrote about still appears to exist even today. Even today, many appear to hold the same view that Msgr. Fenton corrected in 1952 in the following passage from the article:
"Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, there are some people who seem to persist in imagining that the St. Benedict’s Center group’s doctrinal fault lay precisely in the assertion that there is no salvation outside the Church. This vulgar, but still widespread, error was encouraged by the publications emanating from the St. Benedict’s Center. Sad to relate, it was also greatly encouraged by Fr. Hartnett’s “boner” in his April 1949 editorial. When the highly regarded America carried the story that a group had been disciplined because “They contended that persons dying ‘outside the Church’ could not be saved,” it is not to be wondered that many, even among the better instructed Catholics, were led to imagine that the statement of this Catholic dogma in some way constituted the fault for which the St. Benedict’s Center group was punished."
"Apparently Fr. Hartnett is still under this false impression. Fr. Feeney’s followers were, he fondly imagined, subject to ecclesiastical censure because they had contended that persons dying outside the Church could not be saved. To this horror, he found this same dogma set down in my review, where I had objected to a Catholic writer’s contradicting this dogma and calling it “ancient nonsense.” He obviously believed that the assertion of a Catholic dogma of salvation outside the Church, the classification of the dogma itself as “ancient nonsense,” and the statement about the Church’s members incompatible with the teaching of the Mystici Corporis were “substantially true.”
I hope that this article helps those on this board to understand the real issues of this controversy in the 1950's and also to grasp that there were two erring sides in this confusion, the first being the St. Benedict Center, but also those who misrepresented the teaching of the Holy Office, and thus further caused confusion.
Yours in JMJ,