Are the objective graces valid if they are done by people who subjectively are under a strong judgment of the opposite of holiness? The Donatistic movements excluded them, did not allow them to become ministers, because for them the holiness of the Church is the personal holiness of their representatives. This would have had the consequence that the individual Christian would have been dependent on the moral and religious standing of the clergy. He would have been dependent on the inner holiness of the minister. Now Augustine was clear about the fact that you cannot judge about it, that any attempt to judge about it would lead to terrible consequences – to claiming the position of God who alone can look into the hearts of the people. He wanted to save the objectivity of the Church against the demand for subjective holiness in its representatives. He followed the lead of Cyprian. In order to do this he introduced the distinction between faith (including hope) and love. Faith, including hope, are possible outside the Church, because they are determined by their content. You may live among heretics, you may be one yourself, but if you fulfill the formula of baptism in the right way, then the content is decisive and not your personal heretical or morally unworthy status. The formulas are the same as they are in the Catholic church. Therefore if the heretic churches use these same formulas, the contents make their activities valid.

Love, on the other hand, is something which cannot be found where there is not the right faith. Love is the principle which unites the Church – it is not simple moral goodness, which can be found everywhere, but it is the agape relationship of individuals with each other. And this spirit of love, which is embodied in the Church as unity of peace, as the reestablishment of the original Divine unity which is disrupted in the state of existence – this is something which you can have only in the Church. Therefore salvation is only in the Church, since salvation is impossible without the poured-in agape, the agape given like a f luid into the hearts of men.