The Roman Catholic Church is constantly "saving" believers in Christ. There is a semantic issue here though. Catholics do not look at being "saved" as something akin to a scout troop merit badge, or a passing grade in school. It is a continual, everlasting process Salvation is. It requires more than just a conscious mental decision between the individual's ears and an emotional display of their face and body.
You don't just get "saved" one day, where you weren't "saved" the day before. It doesn't work that way in anything but the most infantile notions of Salvation. However, to convert believers to a PARTICULAR church, there are Protestant ministers who treat Salvation as just this sort of simplistic ideal. This phenomenon is unique to Protestant denominations (and by all means not ALL of them), but it is impossible in the now-rigid, bureaucratic system of checks and balances that make up The Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. If Salvation wasn't taught as a simplistic badge of honor, then you wouldn't have so many disparate, separated congregations popping up all over the place. Church would require leaders, processes and a community spirit rooted in Jesus Christ himself. This is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church is.
Now this isn't to say that people or ministers with a simplistic, infantile notion of Salvation are bad people with no real chance of being saved. Not at all. Some of those people are the salt of the earth, and thank God for them. But everyone doesn't have the implicit Love of Christ that St. Peter had. Large groups, and His Church will be one large group, require processes and lucidity to function. Large groups of Christians need protection from corruption from within and without. There are entire congregations of Christian faithful who convert to Catholicism to take shelter from the storms of corruption faced in the materialistic, pseudohedonistic world we live in. The Information Age is no match for The Vatican, but it is a stormy sea, much like the one St. Peter fell into in his zeal to be with The Master.
Remember, man was created in God's image, but Creation Was Corrupted by Satan. So God put into motion the plan of Jesus Christ, who is now PERFECTING that image once again. That's where we are. Christ created the sacraments toward that end. To perfect a creation of His Father that was corrupted by Sin/Death. So he forgave people, healed people, baptised people, married people to his following, saved people alive and dead from the Devil's affectations and ordained people as his priests. All of the sacraments are vital, but they are not simplistic, formulaic ways of being "saved." Salvation is an ongoing process of Christ perfecting God's creation of Life through his miraculous life and resurrection. It requires the active participation of man. And the sacraments are the distillation of His practices that get us there.
The sacraments are rooted in the New Testament, and confirmed by the Old Testament. They are both Old Covenant and New Covenant. They were all either instituted in Scripture by Jesus Christ himself, or by the Founding Fathers of the Church, Peter, James, John and the other Apostles. They were refined early, within the first several hundred years of the Church. They have been polished over the centuries. And today, you have an acutely organized, functional process that is to the the original Church as an ecosystem is to an amoeba.
Through the sacraments, the Church -- including Western and Eastern and the Protestant faithful -- has truly manifested the example of Jesus Christ. The job where we stand today is to bring all of mankind within that light. Fortunately, MOST religious people believe in monotheism, One God. Jews, Moslems and Christians all share that basic, foundational notion. And non-Catholics can be "saved" through the continual application of sacraments just as Christ instructed and showed us through his many great works.
Answered By: Mediator - 10/22/2009