Tuesday, July 30, 2013
First we should note that the Church was never blessed with a Supreme Pontiff who proclaimed and defended the defined dogma, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, more often or more vigorously than Pius IX. We also remind our readers that he was a very brave and holy pope; he has been declared "Venerable", and his cause for beatification is being promoted at this very time.
Pius IX reigned as Holy Roman Pontiff for thirty-two years (1846 to 1878), longer than any other Vicar of Christ except Saint Peter. In certain statements he made in official — though not infallible — pronouncements during his Pontificate, he seemed, to some liberals, to excuse the invincibly ignorant from the necessity of membership in the Catholic Church for salvation. His three most quoted statements follow: