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No one who knowingly and deliberately rejects the truth will be saved. It doesn’t matter how good of a Muslim, Jew, Baptist, or anything else he may be. If anyone rejects the truth of Christ and his Church—even one definitive teaching—they will be lost. - Catholic Answers

This is summary point #1 in a Roman Catholic article explaining extra ecclesiam nulla salus which is an infallible statement meaning 'outside the Church there is no salvation'. The article talks, in part, about 'invincible ignorance' regarding not just commission of material sins but also of salvific truth:

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation” (quoting, Lumen Gentium, 16).

*Note: The article uses the terms 'Catholic Church' and 'Catholic Faith' frequently and reading it one assumes 'Roman Catholic' is intended rather than the older definition of catholic as 'universal'. Likewise, when 'Church' is used the assumption is that Roman Catholic Church is intended. If I am wrong in this assumption and Roman Catholic Church is not intended, please correct me in comments as it will drastically change and perhaps even invalidate this question.

The article lays out that anyone who is knowledgeable of and in rejection of "even one definitive teaching" of Christ's Church will be lost. They will not be saved unless they repent and accept that teaching that they have previously rejected.

I have always understood the 4 Marian Dogmas to be necessarily believed in order to be a member in good standing of the Roman Catholic Church:

Through the authority of His Church on earth, God has revealed to us four essential truths about Mary’s identity, otherwise known as “the Marian dogmas.” To be in full communion with Christ—the Church reminds us—we must believe in each of these dogmas. In other words, they aren’t optional beliefs. - Good Catholic

But now, knowing that these Marian Dogmas are definitive, infallible teachings of the RCC and putting them in combination with the first quote (above), it appears that anyone who knowingly and deliberately rejects even one Marian Dogma will be lost. In other words, any member of any Protestant denomination or Church whatsoever who has what the RCC considers to be valid baptism and marriage sacraments are still completely and hopelessly lost if they knowingly and deliberately reject say, the 'Perpetual Virginity of Mary' for example.

A Roman Catholic answer to a a previous question clearly stated that the perpetual virginity of Mary bestows no salvific benefit:

Even without the perpetual virginity of Mary, our salvation in Christ not lessened! Christ would still be Our Redeemer and Mary would still be the Mother of Jesus, the Church founded by Christ, and all mankind. However, it would be seen through the eyes of the Church in a totally different perspective!

Perhaps for a Roman Catholic the perpetual virginity of Mary adds a depth of understanding to the entire plan of salvation, the nature of God, etc., and that is fine, but it seems a contradiction to declare that a person will be lost unless they believe a doctrine that has no salvific benefit.

My question is: If salvation in Christ is not lessened without the perpetual virginity of Mary why must one believe the Dogma or be lost?

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    To reject an article of the faith is not that same as to be invincibly ignorant of it. Her perpetual virginity is not an optional "added extra" but part of Christ's salvific plan. You need to focus on one question at a time, establishing whether "salvation in Christ is not lessened without the perpetual virginity of Mary" first (which seems akin to asking whether "salvation in Christ is not lessened without the" Incarnation, Resurrection, or any other christological dogma).
    – Geremia
    Jan 16, 2023 at 18:31
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    Up-voted +1. I am mystified by the claim that anything Mary did after bringing forth Jesus, could affect the salvation of others, since that salvation is dependent solely on Christ himself, and none other. Good question.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 16, 2023 at 18:44
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    @Geremia It is categorically stated in the Catholic answer (that I linked) that "Even without the perpetual virginity of Mary, our salvation in Christ not lessened!" Why do I need to establish what has been stated? Jan 17, 2023 at 14:25
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    @MikeBorden Another answer to that question "categorically" states the contrary.
    – Geremia
    Jan 18, 2023 at 4:01
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    Another point of clarification: The term Catholic Church refers to just that. It is not to be inferred to as Roman Catholic understanding but as a Catholic teaching. Although defined by the Church, it teachings are for the Universal Church, that is to say the Latin Rite and all Eastern Catholic Rite united to under the leadership of the pope.
    – Ken Graham
    Jan 18, 2023 at 16:16

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I think you misunderstand the second answer: Even without the perpetual virginity of Mary, our salvation in Christ not lessened! It is referring to the hypothetical case that if it didn't happen at all, it wouldn't have affected the salvation. They are saying, maybe, it wasn't necessary for salvation (this must be a fringe opinion of a liberal catholic, you can ignore it anyway). This doesn't say, "without our belief in that, our salvation in Christ is not lessened.

The Marian dogmas are central to the Roman Catholic Church, it is uncompromisable. I don't think the best Catholic view would allow that it was even possible for Mary to have a marital relation, in other words, the second answer is not representative of the Catholic faith. You cannot have Christ and salvation without the Queen of heaven, Mother of God. Rejecting basic dogmas about her is equal to denying dogmas about Jesus.

Even the assumption of Mary, regarding her ascension to heaven is an uncompromisable belief. The doctrine of original sin was postulated to exempt Jesus, and make him separate from mankind. Similarly, it is necessary to exempt Mary from the same human nature, which could be tainted by her sexual relation if her immaculate virgin state is tainted. As, it can be assumed that original sin passes or is contracted by natural human sex and birth.

From this catholic page on the assumption:

Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things (n. 59)."

It can be postulated that rejecting the immaculate and separate nature of Mary, would also lead eventually rejecting the virgin birth of Jesus, in a slippery slope of logic. The assumptions of her nature are created only to justify the separated nature of Jesus.

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    I'm not sure if Ken Graham (who provided that answer) is a liberal Catholic espousing fringe positions or not. I also have had a conversation with Peter Turner where he also stated that the perpetual virginity of Mary adds nothing to our salvation in Christ. If sin is passed paternally (which is why a virgin needed to conceive in the first place) the difficulty vanishes. The sin nature is not inherited through the mother and so all the assumptions of her nature that were created are not actually necessary. Jan 17, 2023 at 14:44
  • those are all debatable issues. I am sure it is a necessary belief in Catholic faith, you should just read their official site and sources. As for original sin and its transmission, I reject them altogether as unnecessary.
    – Michael16
    Jan 17, 2023 at 15:32
  • Yikes! You don't think we are born with a sin nature or you don't favor the Catholic definition of original sin? Jan 18, 2023 at 14:40
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    If you reject original sin and it's transmission, how can you provide a truly Catholic response to this subject matter! Original sin is dogma held by the Catholic Church. This answer is totally unorthodox to Catholic understanding of what the Church professes.
    – Ken Graham
    Jan 18, 2023 at 16:19
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    Ken, one doesn't have to be a catholic to provide answers about catholic religion. I can provide great deal of answers about Islam as well.
    – Michael16
    Jan 19, 2023 at 9:42
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To be able to address the stated question (and the implied question), we must first lay out some underlying premises.

First, according to Catholic doctrine any soul who dies with an unrepentant mortal sin upon their soul will be condemned to hell (hence will not be saved). This appears to be equivalent to what the OP means by "losing salvation"

Second, any mortal sin (a sin done with complete knowledge and consent and involving grave matter) is sufficient; the necessity of belief in Marian dogmas isn't special in this regard. It applies equally to murder, adultery, fornication, theft, blasphemy, drunkenness, or any other grave evil.

Third, rejecting belief in dogma either by refusing assent or actively believing something contrary is a species of heresy. As addressed in Why is Heresy a Mortal Sin, heresy is a grave sin because it is an offense against the virtue of faith which orients the intellect towards things beyond natural reason and heresy is a willful aversion from God because "by false knowledge of God, man does not approach Him, but is severed from Him" (cf. Summa Theologica II-II q. 10 a. 3 quoted on linked question). Furthermore, "no one draws near to God except by faith, because faith is a light of the intellect.... anyone drawing near by faith must believe the Lord" (cf Commentary on Hebrews C11 L2, quoted in linked question).

To sum, a willful rejection of revealed dogmatic truth (whether Marian or otherwise) would constitute mortal sin which if one does not repent of that sin before death, one would be condemned to hell.

In other words, any member of any Protestant denomination or Church whatsoever who has what the RCC considers to be valid baptism and marriage sacraments are still completely and hopelessly lost if they knowingly and deliberately reject say, the 'Perpetual Virginity of Mary' for example

Not necessarily or at least we need some further qualifications. The statements above hold clearly for Catholics insofar as they are members of the Church both sacramentally and canonically, that is, the recognize the authority of the Church. Protestants (more specifically anyone validly baptized yet not in formal communion) are members of the Church (broadly speaking) yet not canonically part of the "commonwealth" of the Church. The question then becomes to what extent someone who doesn't formally recognize the authority of the Catholic Church is bound to believe what the Church has declared necessary to be believed. This in turn depends on what their reasons are for not belonging to the Catholic Church. If they remain outside the Catholic Church due to no fault of their own, they wouldn't be held accountable for not accepting the authority of the Church for the necessity of those dogmas. However, if they remain outside the Catholic Church because they refuse to join despite some knowledge that it is the Church established by Christ or obstinately refuse to consider its claims, etc, then that refusal to accept the authority becomes voluntary in a sense.

but it seems a contradiction to declare that a person will be lost unless they believe a doctrine that has no salvific benefit

The assumption is that only things that have salvific benefits must be believed. What though is a salvific benefit or what does it mean that a doctrine has salvific benefit? This could be understood different ways potentially.

One way is narrower in the sense of doctrines which describe some aspect of how salvation occurred and thus perhaps they are necessary to believe because they are necessary for salvation to be possible. An example of a doctrine in this category might be the virgin birth or the death on the cross. The question would be why must I believe specific things about how God accomplished salvation -- is my knowledge of them required for him to save me? The problem with this is twofold: one, in that it seems to make belief of instrumental value (I only need to belief what accomplishes salvation for me -- what is in it for me?) and two, it orders all theological truth to Salvation. While Aquinas does teach that at least in some respects justification is a greater work than creation, he would point out that creation is first in the divine plan; that is God didn't create a world so that he had someone to save. God created a world, which needed to saved after creation.

The other way would be broader and as a result looser or rather it only analogously has a salvific benefit because it's not belief in the thing itself which saves but God that saves, but rejection of what God has revealed (as related above) would be sinful and cut a soul off from the life of grace and salvation. More precisely, it is not explicitly a Catholic dogma that belief is only necessary on things that have a salvific benefit per se -- it might be a view espoused by some Protestant denominations perhaps.

Perhaps for a Roman Catholic the perpetual virginity of Mary adds a depth of understanding to the entire plan of salvation, the nature of God, etc., and that is fine

In the specific case of the Marian dogmas (Perpetual Virginity among the rest), the dogmas were formulated to safeguard Christological dogmas. That is, Marian doctrine tends to develop to highlight and safeguard doctrines around Christ and his salvific work. The perpetual virginity for example was declared amidst the early controversies on the Personhood of Christ -- i.e. in what way is Christ human or divine?

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  • "if they remain outside the Catholic Church because they refuse to join despite some knowledge that it is the Church established by Christ" It's not. The Roman Catholics schismed from Orthodoxy, which was the original Church established by Paul and the Apostles, not the other way around.
    – nick012000
    Feb 21, 2023 at 6:41
  • @nick012000 Doctrinal debates are off-topic here, so your comment is not relevant here. The question is tagged Catholicism, not Orthodoxy. This is an answer from the perspective of Catholicism and Catholicism as it has always sees Orthodox as splitting away.
    – eques
    Feb 21, 2023 at 19:57

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