With those who do not profess the true faith or unity of communion with the Roman Pontiff, but still desire it, even if unknowingly, kindly Mother Church knows herself to be linked on many counts; this is true in a singular way if the baptized exult in the Christian name and, although they do not believe with Catholic faith, still lovingly believe in Christ as God and Savior, particularly if they excel in faith and devotion towards the Most Holy Eucharist and in love for the Mother of God. For, besides that common faith in Christ, there is also a share in the same baptismal consecration, at least some communion in prayer, expiation, and spiritual benefits, indeed some union in the Holy Spirit, who does not only work by his gifts and graces in the Mystical Body herself, but also acts by his power, not excluding sanctifying grace, outside that venerable Body so that the separated brethren may be incorporated into her in the manner established by Christ. That this activity of the Spirit of Christ for the growth of the Mystical Body may achieve a fuller effect, the Church never ceases to pray that the separated brethren, showing themselves freely and spontaneously docile to the internal impulses of divine grace, may strive to leave that state in which they lack so many and such great heavenly gifts and aids for obtaining eternal salvation, gifts and aids which they alone may enjoy who are really members of the Church. Let all the children of the Church, therefore, be mindful of their own privileged condition, which they must ascribe not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ; and, if they do not correspond to this grace in thought, word and deed, not only will they not be saved, they will be the more severely judged. Schema for a Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II,
drafted by the preparatory Theological Commission for the Second Vatican Council;
translated by Fr. Joseph A. Komonchak.