But this you can get only in the Church, therefore there is no salvation outside the Church, although there may be valid sacraments outside it. Now this distinction between the faith element and the love element is of extreme importance and makes the Church the only place of salvation for every Catholic.
From this follows a second distinction, namely between the validity and the effectiveness of the sacraments. The sacraments of the heretics are valid, if they are performed n terms of the orthodox tradition. Therefore nobody has to be rebaptized. But they have no effectiveness within the heretic groups. They have effectiveness only within the Church. Baptism, for instance, always gives a “character from the Lord,” as the technical term stated; it is the character coming from God, which one has throughout his life whatever one does. This was very important because it enabled the medieval Church to treat the pagans and Jews differently from the baptized Christians. The baptized Christians are subjected to the laws of heresy, the Jews and pagans are not, because even if they tried to become Jews and pagans – or Mohammedans, etc. – they cannot because they have the indelible character given to them in the very act of baptism – whoever mediates this act, whether a member of the Church or a member of the heresy. But the effectiveness of baptism, its saving power, you cannot have except within the Church.
In the same way, ordination is always valid. The priests who are fallen and excommunicated are forbidden to administer the sacraments, but they are able to do it validly. If in a prison the medieval priest who is excommunicated for a crime meets a couple and marries them, what he does is valid in spite of the fact that it is forbidden him to do so. No re-ordination is needed if the priest is absolved and returns into the clergy, because ordination is and remains valid.
Now all this makes the people in the Church completely independent of the quality of the priest. Nobody knows this quality exactly, anyhow – of course, there are mortal sins which are publicly visible, and then the priest will be excommunicated and forbidden to exercise his activities, but this is quite different – what he does is valid anyway – in this way the institution is effective by itself and has become completely independent f the status of the clergy. What we have here is the hierarchical institute of salvation, which as an institute is I dependent of the character of those who perform it; and also there is the spiritual community of the faithful. According to Catholic doctrine, the first is he condition of the second; according to sectarian ideas, the second is the condition of the first, if it comes to the first at all. These two concepts of the Church were fighting with each other in all the history of the Church. This ends our discussion of Augustine. We come now to the development of that Church which is more dependent on him than on anybody else: the Medieval Church.
The Medieval Church We can deal with this topic for two semesters, four hours a week, starting only with the year 1000 and ending with 1450. But here we can do it only in a few weeks.