On the Visible and Invisible Church

St. Nektarios of Aegina 1846-1920

Those who are not reborn by the divine grace in the only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, do not belong to any church, either visible or invisible. (Two Studies, 1. On the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church 2. On Sacred Tradition [in Greek], Bookstore Nektarios Panagopoulos, Athens 1987, p. 28.)


  1. Do you interpret him as saying that none can be saved outside the visible Church, or that tautologically to be in the Church one must be in the Church, or that there may be some only a part of the Church invisible, but any who are in any Church are such by the same Grace?

    That is, must one, by this quote, be a part of the visible Church to be saved?
    If not, what does this quote mean?
    If so, what do we make of Socrates’ “proto-Christianity” following Justin Martyr, or the post-mortem conversion of Trajan, or similar things?

  2. Chris,

    Great questions! I interpret them along these lines:


    in Christ,

  3. That was good to read, and I agree. Thank you!

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