The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church states that:
'The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. [Jn 3:5] He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. [Mt 28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618; LG 14; AG 5.] Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. [Mk 16:16.] The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.' (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 1257 - emphasis added)
I have heard some contemporary Orthodox writers refer to the same idea that God can work salvation apart from the sacraments. Does anyone know of similar ideas in any of the Church Fathers?